ANGEL CHENSeptember 11, 2017
To celebrate London Fashion Week, we’re talking to some of our favourite up-and-coming fashion brands. We talk to Chinese designer Angel Chen, whose intricate, forward-thinking and avant garde designs create a whimsical and free-spirited aesthetic…
Why did you start your brand?
Before I started my brand, I thought I would look for a designer post in the US because of my working experience in Marchesa, Alexander Wang and Vera Wang during my placement year. I was determined to start my own brand because I want to give a try to actualize my universe of rebellious graphic, romantic fabric and exuberant colours.
What drew you to fashion?
I have always been a fan of John Galliano since being a teenager. It was his design that made me decided to come to the UK and study fashion.
What’s your design process like?
My design process usually begins with a movie, an opera, a piece of music, travel experiences or even dreams that give me a hint. Then I would research those elements as well as the materials according to the mood. After the information is gathered, I would start sketching and draping to design clothes for the characters that inspired me. I see the final pieces as different characters created by me instead of garments. They are part of me because of my dramatic way to express them, and also part of a particular group of people.
Your brand is very youthful and seems to be taking inspiration from various character. Can we expect a continuation of that in your next collection?
You can expect a rebellious Angel Chen as usual in the future collections; my inspiration will be from Biblical stories and myths.
How do you think Angel Chen and Urban Outfitters complement each other?
Urban Outfitters has characters of carefree and bohemian style. They are also passionate about life and have their charming, unrestrained attitude which can somehow represent part of Angel Chen.
What’s the story behind this year’s collection?
The upcoming SS18 collection will be about Noah’s ark in the future world.
You’ve said that you are fighting for a place of Chinese fashion on the current fashion scene. What’s the Chinese fashion scene like and how does it inspire you?
The young Chinese designers have made significant progress in the recent 4-5 years; It is like a Renaissance in the Chinese fashion scene. Their creative idea also benefited the Chinese retail market for a lively atmosphere. This generation of Chinese designer is also very different from the senior ones such as Uma Wang and Ms Min; the senior’s design is more elegant and sophisticated while my generation’s is more focus on subcultures.
In what ways do you think Chinese fashion is influencing London’s fashion scene this season?
There are many outstanding Chinese designers chose to based in London such as Min Wu, Xiao Li and Xu Zhi. I think this phenomenon will continue and there will be more and more young Chinese designers chose to base in this cosmopolitan fashion capital because of the city’s deep culture and high acceptability of creative ideas.
What’s next for your brand?
Our unisex pieces such as windbreakers and hoodies are always the best performers. We think this is the right time for us to have a menswear line. The future Menswear line will be rebellious like the pieces you see on our runway male models while womenswear will be creative, punk yet romantically interpreted.