Han Wen, winner of the coveted Merit Award, presented a gorgeous collection on Saturday 17th at Freemasons Hall in Covent Garden. The designer originally from Hainan, China, has always been a lover of art. It was clear that his love for art, and past in architecture was used as an inspiration through the collection.
Han Wen’s collection isn’t just materials put together beautifully to create an outfit. But, it is the uniform for a character in the story he is telling. He told Vogue that his thesis begun with a fantasy “What if the world was powered by women?”. He started by looking at his Chinese heritage and fell upon a character in a novel. Drawn towards her persona and the armour that she wore he begun to design.
Han has recreated Chinese armour throughout using ‘modern techniques and fabrics’ as quoted by Fashion Scout. He has found strength in experimenting with textiles; including ruffles, layers, mesh and sheer fabric. The thick materials combined with sheer fabric or ruffles balances the theme of armour and femininity.
The use of chains across the chest, neck, wrists and as earrings adds strength and structure to the use of Hans light materials that perfectly hang off the models. He has managed to find the faultless balance of oversized vs. fitted to create garments that you could wear into battle then to dinner the same evening.
If we were to give the collection a title it would be Oriental Gothic Sugar Queen. Han told Vogue that
“The collection tells a story about a powerful female figure and shows that women can be powerful yet feminine.”
The collection was beautifully presented and it was easy to understand the personality of the character Han introduced to us.
Text: Tamera Heron
Images: Rob Case, Fashion Scout