The Tempter, crossing all capital T’s, refers to the Devil. And daredevils, these top ten textile-driven beasts are. Using visuals we at Temper feel best represent the tangible tastiness of these different designers, it’s time to get touchy-feely with China Fashion. It’s Textile Time.
1. Cynthia & Xiao
CYNTHIA & XIAO Is a knitwear label established in 2014 by Central Saint Martin graduates, Cynthia Mak and Xiao Xiao. The Chinese design duo injects excitement and humor into basic knitwear silhouettes through vibrant, bold and whimsical graphic prints for men, women, and children.
Shortly after their debut, Cynthia & Xiao gained international recognition as a finalist in Vogue Talents for Asia and made their first runway showcase during the AW17 New York Fashion Week. Cynthia & Xiao in 2018 was named one of the 10 Asian Designers to watch and was a semi-finalist of the International Woolmark Prize.
Mak pursued a degree in fashion design with marketing at Central Saint Martins College of the Arts and Design in London, where her distinction graduate collection earned her praises from the prestigious fashion publication, Vogue Italia. Her talent opened opportunities for her to work at reputable fashion houses such as Alexander McQueen, Vivienne Westwood, Preen by Thornton Bregazzi, Roksanda Ilinčić — and for luxury retailers back in Hong Kong.
Xiao studied fine arts and textiles before moving to London to pursue her interest and talent for art and fashion at Central Saint Martins, where she graduated with a degree in Fashion Design with Knitwear. Upon graduation, Xiao moved back to Beijing with the intention to develop her expertise in knitwear and gain a deeper understanding of the Chinese fashion market. Throughout her years working in fashion, both in the United Kingdom and China, she had acquired an extensive skill set in design and production.
2. Atelier QML
Atelier QML constructs garments concretizing the concept of “memories” through extensive draping and pleating techniques. This enigmatic designer once again demonstrates knitwear’s popularity both on and off global catwalks and unravels the changing status of the relationship between knitwear and fashion.
Knitwear has played groundbreaking roles in both social and fashionable revolutions. During World War I, stating merely one example, men, women, and children knitted large quantities of clothing and accessories to help the war effort on the Allied side, supplementing the troop’s uniforms with socks, hats, scarves, sweaters, mufflers, and balaclavas. The Industrial Revolutions and the textile industry, too, walk hands interwoven. But that’s not for now. Knitwear holds different and fluid associations with comfort, well-being, and chic.
QML challenges the established ideas, and show that — far from being old-fashioned and dowdy — knitting is one highly versatile, luxurious, and continuous source of inspiration for high-end fashion.
3. Ruiyue Liu
Ruiyue Liu obtained his master’s degree at the London College of Fashion back in 2012. Three years of industry working experience under his belt, he in 2015 launched his own label. Liu tries to provide a clean and minimal image with exquisite cutting and fabrication. He believes that clothes are about “striking the balance between individuality and commonality”. Clothes could be memorable. And wearable.
Color blocking and material splicing are remarkable points of interest across Liu’s collections, offering more possibilities from their visual and texture impact.
Liu holds a special penchant for the relationship between clothes, customers, and their surroundings. The women who wear Ruiyue Liu are independent, sophisticated and strong-spirited.
Jennifer Lee in 2012 graduated from Columbia University with a BFA in Psychology. Determined to incorporate her knowledge of the human psyche into fashion design, Lee enrolled in the fashion design program at Parsons’ New School for Design in New York, New York, where she became a nominee for the Hugo Boss Scholarship and Parsons x Kering Empowering Imagination Competition.
After accumulating working experience from brands such as Marchesa and Marc Jacobs, Jennifer in 2017 launched Jn:Dn.
Jn:Dn balances a bright coloring palate with a utilitarian denim infusion. For the grown-up woman; not the grown-old one.
5. ZHAO QIANYAN
The ZHAO QIANYAN collection features the conversations that happen between a garment, the space it sits in, and the way it fits. It’s a method of design involving craft and consideration, inspired by the interaction between different materials — especially those raw and rougher around the edges.
Past and future is a consensual art between convention and converting in which creations come down to their completely conflicting of the noumenon. It is a new subject of acknowledgment that unconsciously shapes and symbolizes personality. Being an individual is modernist but being nonchalant is more contemporary. That specificity is entirely compatible with a minimalist approach. It rests on the tipping point between male and female – an interesting aesthetic of gender fluidity.
Clothes are more than just design, they’re anthropological. They embody experiences stretching far beyond thought.
6. Vega Zaishi Wang
Born in 1985 in Liaoning province, Vega Zaishi Wang moved to Shenzhen with her parents at the age of 8. She left at the age of 16 to move to London to study fashion design. For the next six years, Vega studied at both London College of Fashion and Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design, during which she also interned for Alexander McQueen and Vivienne Westwood.
Most Wang products are hand-made with a majority of fabrics sourced from across Asia and Europe. Her aesthetic certainly reflects her cultural heritage but is also largely influenced by her time spent in the UK. The shapes and silhouettes are slightly exaggerated, but she focuses specifically on a purity of tone, exceptional hand-craftsmanship, and a quiet charm resonating with clients around the world.
Her unique passion and understanding of sub-cultures empower her to imbue her clothing with determined yet emotional characteristics. This engaging harmony creates peace between the human form and the abstract geometries of her clothing.
7. Yi Ding
Ding Yi is a womenswear fashion designer who will graduate from Polimoda in fashion design this very year (2020). She tries to keep the balance between the creative and the commercial, focusing on the use of different textiles — knitting, printing, embroidery.
Embroidered with a child-like feel of innocence, Ding in her third-year collection — as on display in the picture above — plays with colors and elements of geometry
Young at heart. Brave at life.
8. Ming Lai Lee
Ming Lai Lee’s AW20 collection delves deep into the realms of perfection and imperfection in a bid to express the illusion of beauty by using handmade and high-technology textiles.
The main technique applied throughout the collection is that of felting. The difficulty of this practice is maintaining control across the felting process. Resulting in the encountered difficulties eventually becoming the unique aesthetic thread running throughout the garments. The artisanal process turns the imperfect into perfect.
Inspired by the idea of identity, Ming’s AW20 researches the dilemmas in both the social as well as the individual bodies in fashion.
9. Fengyi Tan
Fengyi Tan is a Chinese fashion designer and a graduate of the Royal College of Art, London. Her work accumulates in a unique visual aesthetic based on the interaction between space, movement, and the body, drawing on inspiration from sources diverse as experimental dance and modern art.
Tan exploits the qualities of different media such as clothing, installation, and video to imagine future possibilities. Her AW17 collection, as — and we cannot emphasize this enough — selected by Temper to use in this Top Ten, takes its inspiration from the concept of the “time traveler”. A brave and independent female character is created, full of curiosity for an unknown future within multiple dimensions, constantly contemplating moving back and forth between the realms of the inner and outer world. The series makes use of a variety of elastic elements to express the tensile force of time, while spatial dimensions are revealed through linear segmentation of the garments attached to the body.
This season saw the development of chiffon textured cotton suits that bring greater warmth and comfort, as well as 3D textured woolen knits. There are also down jackets with irregular segmentation that can be changed in shape via ties. Details of feminine movement are interwoven in the whole series of pieces, presenting a softer image of the time traveler.
Honorable yet Tangibly Seductive Mentions
Triangle shapes, layering, two-dimensional cuts inspired by minority musings, especially those hailing from South China. The MINNANHUI brand is a personal brand created by designer Hui Minnan.
Hui graduated from Central Saint Martins in London in 2013, majoring in fashion design, print, and dye. Her graduation design “The Mark” was rated as one of the best designs of the year by the Business of Fashion.
Standing by the old “do not blindly follow the crowd, establish your own individual artistic sense” saying for the brand’s style, this spirit embodies the core idea and concept of the brand. The brand is designed for women aged 18 to 30 — but hey, who’s keeping count after 30 anyway — with a strong sense of innovation and independence.
MINNANHUI injects unrestrained design ideas into ready-to-wear series and restructures the ready-to-wear design using elements of haute couture. The whimsical aesthetics of the brand are reflected in the development of fabrics, the dazzling color matching, the combination of three-dimensional pleating, wool knitting and other different techniques and styles.