In the careful hands of Haizhen Wang, winter becomes a time for celebration. Aurora, the latest collection from the designer’s eponymous brand, brings the season to life, imbuing it with power and grace through the label’s well-crafted designs.
Born in Dalian, China, Haizhen Wang earned his MA in Womenswear Fashion from Central Saint Martins before launching the Haizhen Wang label in 2010. Through his work, Wang forms his worldly experience into expertly tailored pieces layered with a characteristic delicateness and ease. In this icy editorial, Wang takes us deep into the arctic, showing us looks influenced by the darkly beautiful winters of Siberia. To know more about the series and the label, Schön! caught up with the designer.
Could you introduce us to the collection on display here. What inspired these particular works?
I was inspired by the rebellious angel depicted by classical female painter Artemisia Gentileschi and the words of Virginia Woolf. The starting point was that I wanted to review the style of women nowadays — what does the modern woman look like? I was inspired by those female painters and writers, and I explored the collection from their perspective.
What story were you trying to tell in the accompanying photos? How did you attempt to do so?
Our creative director’s story was inspired by his childhood, by the vast permafrost of Siberia, the ringing silence of the snowy wilderness. The full name is “What do you dream about, cruiser Aurora?” It’s the name of the song from Soviet Russia, Aurora being the personification of the eternal cold and the beauty of the snowy horizon.
You previously said you were interested in moving beyond traditional catwalk shows. How has this period of social distancing affected that vision?
The outbreak definitely reinforced my decision to do fashion shows, especially after being forced to stay at home during quarantine. I tried live streaming myself, and I found the response was good. The online business in China has been expanding my imagination. There are many interesting ways to display online, such as pictures, videos, live streaming, and small programs. I want to try to explore that further.
How would you describe your design ethos?
Well, I have to say I am an experienced designer. I have seen a lot of fashion changes and style changes. My ethos is to simply design for the people I love. I am a little bit nostalgic; there is always a woman figure in my mind, a woman who is brave, free, not afraid to ignore trends, and stays classic.
Where do you see the Haizhen Wang brand going in the future?
No matter what the future holds, I will insist on the independence of the brand. Of course, I am also constantly observing and learning, hoping to offer more interesting experiences to my customers.