Sinophiles and cinephiles alike will be taken with the title at topical hand. We aim to please. By no means fashionably tame, Temper presents the Top Ten brands we think embody the explicit depiction of an insatiable lust for that ultimate seductive mix between the fashionable and wearable. Tag that brand!
First, a little faddy party “did you know” fact before we start playing tag, though. The Chinese word for “fashion” (时尚|
China Fashion has come a long way, baby. From a coerced creative and cultural wasteland to storming the vested houses of design, the question becomes…
What are the top ten tip-offs?
1. Louis Shengtao Chen
Louis Shengtao Chen is the energetic designer behind the eponymous brand, describing his work as “surreal, delicate and enjoyable.” And yes, Temper alludes! The Beijing- born designer has worked for Loewe and Kiko Kostadinov, with his bodacious craft highly received by industry from the grassroots. Louis was awarded the Ports 1961 full scholarship, the LVMH Grand Prix Scholarship (2020) and the British Fashion Council BA Scholarship (2019).
Aimed at challenging the tradition notion of glamour, the Chen label attempts to construct a boundary-breaking yet accessible clothing philosophy. This designer has a mind of his own and approaches design from a more “unorthodox” perspective, the man told us; his recent AW21 collection cementing that very notion.
The contrast between masculinity and femininity runs through the entire punky body of work. “It’s not because I am trying to get rid of the gender label, I just simply love the sense of contradiction in design,” Chen explains to Temper. He skillfully mixes hard materials such as mechanical parts, rubber and metal with soft fabrics such as lace, cashmere and silk, creating his very own design philosophy, and a dramatic style of new elegance.
Anna Yang is the designer behind Annakiki, an independent brand the DNA of which is contemporary and non-traditional. In her 2018 interview with Global Blue, Yang told the publication, “I like Comme des Garçons, Yohji Yamamoto, Maison Margiela and John Galliano. Fashion is a rapidly changing and an unpredictable industry; trends are constantly changing. Yet these designers have always maintained their distinctive personalities, adhered to the spirit of self and maintained a strong creative and innovative edge. I think this is very rare and valuable.”
Yang aims to transfer a code of aesthetic fatigue in a new design language by using mixed materials, fabric recombination and asymmetric design so that all unique garments can be presented in two different forms.
Hoping for her collections to be collected, Yang holds the belief that every garment deserves to be respected and inherited. Sustainability between tradition and rebellion.
WEancheAM is a Milan-based, Shanghai Fashion Week-beloved brand. “WE” stands for group consciousness; “AM” stands for the individual subjective. The brand’s main design highlights include printing and structural silhouettes, culminating in a unique personality through ready-to-wear clothes.
The founding designers’ previous experience at Italian fashion house CoSTUME NATIONAL extends to their paying great attention to various and specific types of tailoring. In the pursuit of artistry in clothing, much consideration goes out to to the practical use by applying draping techniques. The garment must fit the body seamlessly.
A matter of global designer subjective.
4. Victor Wang
Individuality and gender fluidity. Designer Victor Wang is a graduate of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp (BE). The brand was born in the summer of 2018, with an army that shares a fearless self-confidence and the courage to constantly pursue themselves.
The lovers are three-dimensional, colored, positive and flamboyant. At the same time, the label’s philosophy is diverse and inclusive, but also loves to explore the beauty found in conflict and opposition. The budding designer’s unique stream of consciousness is symbolized and brought to 3D life in strong cuts and extravagant shapes. Lavish and lush, we find it.
Wang’s current SS21 collection, “Nova, is based around the 1969 film “The Color of Pomegranates” by Russian director Sergei Parajanov depicting the life of revered 18th-Century Armenian poet and musician, Sayat-Nova. The designer’s inspirations pull from sub-cultural and historical references that are fused together to create sensuality and elegance within each unique garment.
5. Yang Li
Yang Li ( 李阳 in Chinese) is a fashion designer born in Beijing, based in London. He currently serves as the creative director of his eponymous label Yang Li. Li’s first collection “Zero Hour,” released in 2010, was shown through a short film in collaboration with filmmaker and photographer Scott Trindle. The film features articles of clothing being cut and repaired to varying degrees. Yang saw this as an act of “subtle rebellion”.
Li is known for working with underground and cult musicians. For his AW17/18 collection, the designer partnered up with American singer-songwriter Michael Gira for a live performance to accompany his runway show at Palais de Tokyo in Paris. Other musical collaborations have thus far included Blixa Bargeld of Einstürzende Neubauten, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Ramleh, KK Null and Pharmakon.
The man is making some confrontationally fashionable noise.
6. Shasha Wong| Swaying
The concept of Shasha Wong’s (黄莎莎 in Chinese) graduated from the Royal College of Art Graduate Show in 2017 and in 2018 created her own knit- and womenswear brand Swaying. The label stems from Wong’s obsession with the touch of fascination and detail. Through visual language, the combination of different materials and the interaction of knitted structures, it can tangibly express the intangible feelings and emotions from all inspirational angles.
The garments reproduce the gentle and tenacious independent female image that the brand adheres to. The brand name Swaying refers to both the mechanical and bodily movements when knitting, as well as the lazy, cozy and enjoyable feeling the designer experiences when knitting.
From stretched or shrunken knitwear issues of the past to svelte felt minimalism: Dea Ex Machina.
Designer Wang Changrong (王长荣 in Chinese) graduated from the Fashion Design Department of the Academy of Fine Arts at Tsinghua University and holds 11 years of experience in the fields of apparel design and brand operation. The W.RONG brand was founded in Shenzhen back in 2016.
The label represents the fascinating and challenging nature of China’s independent post-80 and -90 women. With its perfect combination of fashion and practical wear, infused with sporty elements to meet the multiple dressing needs of women across all walks of life, a set of shapes can meet a variety of roles throughout the day. At the same time, the brand is devoted to the exploration of outlines and details, combining bold cutting with avant-garde deconstruction to embody the softness and resilience of modern independent women. Flex fashion.
8. Yeung Chin
Hong Kong designer Yeung Chin (楊展 in Chinese) was the Chief Designer for G2000 before starting up his own business. He has designed costumes for the City Contemporary Dance Company and has exhibited at the Cheer’s Exhibition held at OXO Tower in London, Asia Society Hong Kong and the Hong Kong Heritage Museum.
His eponymous label YEUNG CHIN is all about challenging the existing aesthetics. The designer uses art to find new ways — such as new dance moves — to create fashion. Films and sculptures too provide inspiration for his designs.
One of his standout exhibitions at K11 in 2019 explored the boundaries of fashion, sound and performance art. By deconstructing and reconstructing the unique cultural codes, Yeung Chin invited us to change our perception of aesthetics, transforming embroidery and silver into a contemporary spectacle of wearable art.
Dances with fashion.
9. I Love Pretty
I LOVE PRETTY is an independent designer brand created by designer Yang Juan (杨娟 in Chinese), characterized by the art of “noble sexy”. Yang believes that no matter the age of a woman, she must remain elegant and confident. And regardless of any unfortunate happenings we may encounter in life, these must never affect our enthusiasm for life in se or the pursuit of our dreams.
The designer uses novel fabrics with oriental traditional cutting technique to make her dresses “appear like a dream”. The brand, with its unique and elegant character, insists on releasing female elegance and showing off the figure of femininity. Designing should, after all, be exquisite down to the smallest details. Fashion hearts fantasy.
10. Particle Fever
Particle Fever is a high-end designer sports brand launched by Shanghai Dimensions Technology Co., Ltd. under the Shanghai Ruler Technology Co., Ltd. The brand designs each sportswear piece with an unconventional experimental attitude, thoroughly thinking about how one sportswear item can reflect a process and aesthetic perspective.
There is at the moment a higher demand in China for creativity, avoiding the popular trend of blind obedience, rejecting meaningless labels and freely practicing all the pioneering plans related to sportswear from the multiple perspectives of art, technology and culture. Starting with every inch of fabric, Particle Fever strives to eliminate all intermediate costs, stretch to the limits and provide more uniqueness.
In life, who does not physically cherish the springtime of youth through art and design? A young brand to its wearer should be like a thread to a needle.
When it comes to your wardrobe, it should be about love and lust, top to bottom.
And about throwing caution to the wind.