Budding designer Yùhán opted for a quixotically convertible womenswear collection containing “3-in-1” pieces, intensified all the more by their militaristic Sci Fi tech features as well as the renowned and refined artisanal art that is Suzhou embroidery. In the name of conflicting equilibria, Temper this time around does not take five per se, but instead chooses to give you five fast facts on this newly graduated MAsterly mistress.
Take 1! The buzz about Suzhou’s bizzy embroidering beezz.
The first records of embroidery in Suzhou date back as far as the Spring and Autumn period (770-476 B.C.). The embroideries served minor decorative uses, on clothing and household items.
Su embroidery (su xiu 苏绣) is the most celebrated of the four main styles of Chinese silk embroidery, hailing from the city of Suzhou and surrounding towns of China’s coastal Jiangsu Province. Known for its subtle and refined needlework, Su embroidery is praised for its use of the finest threads, balanced compositions, dense stitching and smooth finish.
Compared to the other three embroidery styles — Xiang of Hunan Province, Shu of Sichuan Province and Yue of Guangdong Province — Su embroidery is characterized by distinct stitching techniques, use of split silk threads and a breadth of art themes.
Why this historical cultural 101, you ask? Because…
“We should not look back unless it is to derive useful lessons from past errors and for the purpose of profiting by dearly bought experience.” George Washington
Take 2! Inspiration spiked with dedication
Yùhán has taken a leaf out of Japan’s kimono fabric book and belted it with some high-tech dedication.
Take 3! Androgyny, where the feminine meets the masculine
The Yùhán woman in this graduation collections is a powerful one who carries herself with a blatantly militant sense of confidence and ease. Her catwalk image is strengthened — exaggerated, even — by the strong presence of black leather, robust corsets and statement spikes.
Take 4! Future Works vs. Fallus Symbols
The future in the Yùhán sketch book is looking rather different from this particular collection on show. “As a designer, you must always combine your vision with what is trending. Like it or not.” Quote, Yùhán.
For her next collection, the designer turned to American TV show “Hannibal” for inspiration. Key will be the contrast between scary and elegant as found within the show’s protagonist portrayed by actor Hugh Dancy.
On a collaboratory level, Yùhán is creating a collection of handbags for a rather well-known Chinese brand based on a robot movie, the name of which has escaped the mind for now, mixing the cute with the cold through the use of small designs in dark leather. Polished off with some very fallus-like bag clasps… The future is now.
Take 5! From Xi’an to Antwerp
From Yùhán’s Alma Mater to MA Mothership, we go:
The Xi’an Academy of Fine Arts (西安美术学院) was founded in 1949. She is the only art academy in northwest, whose forerunner is the Art College in Northwest Army & Government University. It has 12 departments and 55 majors which including Chinese Painting department, Oil Painting department, Printmaking department, Sculpture department, Design department, Environmental Art of Architecture department, Decoration department, Fashion Design department, Art Education department, Art History & Criticism Department, Video & Animation Department and Basic Education department. Additionally, the school has branches in Shenzhen, Qingdao, and Shanghai. The academy also has a professional art magazine.
The Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp is an art academy located in Antwerp, Belgium. It is one of the oldest of its kind in Europe. It was founded in 1663 by David Teniers the Younger, painter to the Archduke Leopold Wilhelm and Don Juan of Austria.
The Academy nowadays offers three distinctive programs: Visual Arts and Design, Conservation Studies and a one-year dedicated teachers training. A body of 540 students (of whom 230 are international) work in the four main buildings located in the heart of the city.
Yùhán was the first-ever student to directly enter the Antwerp MA Fashion program — having attended the BA courses elsewhere. As she made sure to put o=up a wall of her designs behind her during the Skype interview with the Academy’s MA admissions committee, she left such an impression that they had no option but to let her in.
Now that’s what we call combative creativity.
All images come courtesy of Yùhán
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