This month PAUSE meets the super surrealist UK fashion designer Ning Wang, with rich patterned designs and bold colour palettes, Ning puts together a creation of art in fashion. We caught up with her to talk about her new collection, inspiration and her goals in the future.
What is the one word you would use to describe your designs?
What are your thought processes when designing a new collection?
It usually starts with a mood board. Pictures of fashion throughout the ages; street style, fabric swatches, illustration etc. I own a large and extensive book collection which means it is always easy to find some form of inspiration. I initially develop a mood board from these existing resources at my disposal. I use the first board as the primary direction of what’s visually going on in my mind and will then slowly start to create a concept or narrative story for a new collection.
Since my designs are rich with patterned prints, I can start to develop prints for the new collection which are then followed by drawings. I aim to capture the essence of the narrative through these ink drawings. The initial drawings are further developed into various patterns which combine the hand drawn elements with illustration software. By combining these techniques, it allows me to explore scale and placement, containing and mirroring the narrative within each patterned piece. I like to explore clashing colour through various printing tests to obtain an intense, ultra-saturated colour palette.
You have named Hip Hop culture as one of your many inspirations, what attracts you so much to it?
I love Hip Hop because it is a form of expression. For me, Hip Hop music is empowering. Its influential thoughts and expressions are incredibly infectious. The music is able to capture every situation and emotion through the various elements of the music, most notably, speaking on any subject in any manner possible with freedom.
The energy, spirit, enthusiasm and talent in Hip Hop visual culture can be seen as a muse for designers and artists. It has profoundly affected visual culture, whilst also producing a distinctive lifestyle that is prevalent throughout the world.
What do you enjoy most about designing?
Drawing is the most important part of my design process; imagery is drawn from the unconscious mind and finally surfaces to become my prints. I love the drawing stage and knowing there is nothing better to do with my time other than scribbling away on a piece of paper, all my prints come from my own original drawings.
What is your favourite garment from your last collection?
In my last collection I grew very fond of illustration prints with bold colour palettes, I spent a lot of time experimenting and recombining them with different elements from my drawings. I am especially fond of the outfit with chains pattern, the end result contains richly patterned silks and a casual silhouette that is very suited for outerwear I think.
Are there any other designers you admire at the moment?
KTZ, Walter Van Beirendonck and Cassette Playa.
Where do you hope to be in 5 years time?
My next step is to set up my own clothing brand with my partner and illustrator Zhang Liang. I plan to develop new textiles for an entirely new collection. You can expect to see some amazing collaborations with designers, artists and creative individuals around the world in the near future.
Interviewed by Ernela Vukaj