Shuting Wang recently made it to the final ten Fashion Fringe semi-finalists with her collection of romantic ruffles in juicy, mouthwatering colours. We caught up with the designer to talk about the gorgeous collection and her hypnotic underwater film.
Your portfolio shows some pictures detailing different stages of the process and the fabrics have a wonderful, crumpled effect. Some of them look like they're made of paper. How did you get that texture?
It's a new kind of fabric that I found in Premiere Vision Paris 2011. It is a mixed textile with cotton and polymade. I wanted it to be half transparent, so when all the layers come together the colour will change gradually. And the right side of the fabric has a little shine, just like silk, that's very beautiful.
The overall effect is very romantic. Was that your intention? Are you a romantic?
Yes, I think I am a romantic person and I love that my collection has a romantic feeling. I am a very typical Pisces.
The colours are striking. How did you go about picking colours for the designs? Or did they come first?
I didn't really pick the colours. I think they found me! For that collection the colour board came from the movie 'Memories of Matsuko' which was a big inspiration. I am a fanatic of colours, they are amazing. I love all colours as they reflect life in all its forms. I dyed all my fabric in the collection, and even though it's a long and laborious process to get the exact colours I want, I still enjoyed it. And I would love to continue to dye my own fabric in future collections as well.
Tell us about the video, shot by Anna Sundström. How did that come about?
In my mind, I always think the most beautiful woman is like water, seemingly soft and gentle but can not be broken. And when all my rough designs for the collection were done, I was thinking about how to do the photo shoot and presentation. At that time I saw some underwater photographs in my friend's place and I was shocked because the feeling was exactly what I was looking for. So I decided to do it and my tutor told me about a girl in fine art who was looking for someone in fashion design to work with on an underwater video and photo shoot. And that's how I found Anna! I think we're lucky as we have a lot of common ideas. And she is a great partner！
Do you feel like a storyteller when you design a collection?
I am inspired from my emotion which is fed through what I see and feel. Creativity is a very subjective thing: it blends perception, touch, and a physical passion expressed through emotions. I am inspired by nature, many kinds of art and different cultures and their beliefs and ideas. And yes, I believe my collections have their own stories.
Can you tell us about the inspiration for the collection?
''There're so many ways to die... '' is the first line of the music of that underwater video; the whole concept of the underwater presentation mixes the idea of being 'close to death' with my own preferences for the romantic and feminine. The inspiration for that collection is a Japanese movie called 'Memories of Matsuko' which is about a woman who has a very miserable life. Death is definitely not a good subject and more often than not is very taboo, but I was really moved by the way she always tried her best to live her life and get through her fate as best she could. The film is definitely about 'wish fulfilment', but I was deeply impressed by the beauty of her life despite her misery and the difficulties she had to confront. She was killed in the end, but I think we can look on death in many different ways. Even though it's normally a horrible thing in some ways, it can be looked as a beautiful thing, a spiritual process of rebirth and renewal.