The Temper Fact Checker enters the gray zone — intentionally putting the ordinary in extraordinary. Boasting the de facto rallying cry “why take one, when you can have both!”, we deem it high time for a Temper tête-à-tête with Daoyuan Ding. Check!
A post-90s poster child, Zhejiang province native and Central Saint Martins (2019) graduate Daoyuan Ding possesses a distinct designing quality that hovers between the eerie and ecstasy, the poetic and the prosaic, the minimal and the maximal. Velocity.
Inspired by Belgian Surrealist painter René Magritte (1898-1967), depicting the ordinary within an extraordinary setting, Ding’s work, too, challenges the observer’s preconditioned perception of reality.
Make no mistake, Ding’s aesthetic expression is by no means vague. His fashion philosophy is by all means one as consistent as it is authentic. In merino veritas.
With an unwavering ability to take a small selection of seemingly ordinary colors and fabrics, trompe l’oeil alert, and combine these in a most minimalist way to emphasize a maximally clear point of view, Ding has proved to possess a masterstroke since his very first collection — AW19.
The unusual proportions running up and down, plus round and round, came via wide-legged, high-waisted, and often cropped suit pants paired with elongated jackets nipped in at the waist. #TailoringTeachings
“My initial inspiration came from artworks by René Magritte in which night and day are disordered [rendered vague] by light,” Ding explained in a 2019 interview with Women’s Wear Daily (WWD). “Soon I realized that I wanted to create things that look familiar but unfamiliar at the same time… There is always a gray zone where it is difficult to define what is the dream and what is the reality of things.”
In addition to Magritte, Ding’s collection veers between otherwordly realms as conjured up by other artists and filmmakers such as Man Ray and David Lynch. Ding’s tailored pieces were splashed with camouflage designs blending together different traditional menswear patterns, including houndstooth, checkered madness, and pied-de-poule, while the roomy coats enter the gray zone, bearing the same motif could be turned into bags.
After obtaining a degree in fashion design from Shanghai’s Donghua University back in 2014, he traveled to Milan in his quest to pursue further studies. After finishing his studies at the European Institute of Design, Ding spent the next two years working as a designer for the Japanese brand Uniqlo.
Following that stint, he decided to pack up and move to London, England, to take a graduate course in menswear design at the London College of Fashion. Graduation year: 2019. And he’d only just begun. To give. Edge.
The 2019 “International Talent Support Award” project took place in Trieste, Italy. Fun fact: Out of the 26 2019 finalists, 15 hailed from Asia at large. Because the quality of the design works competing for this particular award scores off the charts every year, the award receives considerable industry attention.
Ding took home the biggest award of the night — including a €15,000 cash prize and a chance to present his collection at Pitti Uomo in January 2020.
Women’s Wear Daily, Vogue, The Fashion Archive, Dazed Digital, and the beat stomps on, all took to Ding’s AW19 collection like kittens to a ball of (high-end) yarn. And stockists are bound to follow suit (coats).
Ding has long been fascinated by the way and ability to express one’s own identity through fashion design.
Although his AW19 styles were more masculine, Ding has repeatedly stressed his designs to be “pansexual,” adding a profound interest to venture into womenswear as well.
Why stick to one, when you can have both?
Cross over to the gray side via