London Fashion Week Men’s is over, and naturally with its end comes a flurry of reviews, reactions and looks from backstage. For our part, with photographer Ada Yang, we’re taking you behind-the-scenes for two shows that caught our eye this week – the first, an exciting modernisation of traditional Chinese garb from London-based designer Feng Chen Wang, and the second, a military-inspired show from United Arab Emirates-born designer Khalid Al Qasimi’s house Qasimi.
Finding inspiration in her hometown, Feng Chen Wang incorporated patterns and fabrication techniques known in China for generations. Selections from traditional wear find their way into her designs. In several pieces, a special type of tie-dyed fabric known as “Lanyinhuabu” was used. Wang became aware of this from her grandmother, localising her inspiration.
Even finding this fabric wasn’t easy, Wang claims. Press from the Fashion Week says she visited five villages to find only two workshops that still produce the fabric. The result is an artisan-crafted textile dyed with a mix of soybean and lime chalk crafted by Wang into contemporary wear, making for an interesting and unorthodox collection. Completing each look were sneakers from the Feng Chen Wang x Converse collaboration.
Tensions in the Middle East were fodder for UAE-born designer Khalid Al Qasimi. Qasimi’s designs are openly political; pieces from the most recent collection drew clear inspiration from military fatigues and his Dubai home. Some may think these sources of inspiration would result in a joyless collection, but Qasimi keeps it light, instead, using this politically-charged imagery as a sort of flavouring – not overpowering the works, but merely giving them proper context.
Designing around tumult can be difficult, but Qasimi assures viewers that his message is a positive one. Texts surrounding the collection spoke of hope and liberation, and with Qasimi’s free-flowing designs and occasional splashes of colour, one can’t help but feel these ideas have been thoroughly imbued in the collection.
Find out more information about London Fashion Week Men’s here.