Claire (QINGWEN) Huang, a fashion designer who graduated from central Saint Martin has worked in the department of retail marketing at Cartier as well as the department of design at Thom Brownie and simone rocha in the past few years. Her own brand, KINGWEN, is based in Shanghai and London and aims to combine modern aesthetics with classic fairytailes or paintings. Under the theme of romanticism.
HER PIECES HAVE BEEN PUBLISHED IN VOGUE ITALY, KINGKONG, V MAGAZINE COVER STORY, ETC.,
Who are you?
I am Qingwen, the founder and designer of KINGWEN.
Why fashion and not any other type of design?
Because fashion is wearable art on the body, I hope to explore the connection between the human body and fabric structure through garments.
What makes fashion special to you and what power do you see in it?
Fashion is a way of life and attitude, I hope that when someone wears the clothes I design, they get the confidence and happiness that the clothes themselves bring them.
Who and what are your primary references? Why?
Oil paintings and Chinese classical myths are my main references. I hope to integrate the color blend aesthetics of the East and the West in my designs
Where does the Versailles inspiration come from? What does Versailles represent for you?
The Palace of Versailles came from my childhood trip to France, which was the first time I came to a western country from China, and the Palace of Versailles is a collection of many magnificent treasures.
For me, it is a place where time and space travel can be forgotten.
What did you feel when you pictured a monk walking down the Versailles palace? How did you connect those contrasting entities and aesthetics?
The red color of the monk’s cassock contrasts sharply with the sparkling gold of Versailles.
I like the contradictory carrier of conflict. When the virtual and the real are combined, different layers and lightness are used.
What elements of Chinese culture do you feel have shaped your work?
The sense of water blends with ink in Chinese painting. Chinese painting pays attention to blank space. Many times, although nothing is drawn in the empty space, it is better than filling it. Just like clothing, sometimes less is more.
What textures, fabrics and materials do you like using the most and why?
I like to use a clear mesh layered printed fabric, which creates a different sense of pattern when the model walks around.
What is femininity to you and how does that imprint in your garments?
I think femininity is a touch of romance and fairy tales. Who doesn’t want to go back to childhood? In the new season, The Spring/Summer 2023 collection draws its inspiration from the image of Mi Fei, the goddess of Luo Shui, or the Goddess of Luo, who is a legendary figure in China’s pre-Qin dynasty.
Like the sun rising in the sunset, like a lotus flower emerging from the clear water. Bright as the sun rising in the sunset, burning like a lotus flower emerging from the straining waves.”
The Goddess of Luo is the embodiment of the oriental ideal of aesthetics.
This collection intends to depict the ancient Chinese goddess in the oil paintings of the Impressionist Claude Monet, with the intention of exploring the Western imagination with an Eastern aesthetic. The goddess of Luo leaps out of traditional Chinese ink and wash paintings, wrapped in a halo of colour from ink and brush into Monet’s mysteriously dense Impressionist canvases, appearing and disappearing like a light cloud over the moon or a flowing wind back into the snow. This collection continues the use of ink colours and oil brush strokes, tracing the beauty of women in a hazy fantasy world.
What are you working on at the moment?
I’ve just finished tailoring a show piece for the new season, and I’m sitting down at my computer to answer this interview.
Where do you see yourself in the future and how do you think your past will shape that?
My life is bound up with my career, my past and my future will be reflected in the clothes I design.
Chinese translation below!
谁不希望回到童年？在新一季中，The Spring/Summer 2023系列从宓妃的形象中汲取灵感，宓妃是中国先秦时代的传奇人物，也就是洛水女神。像夕阳中升起的太阳，像从清澈的水中冒出的一朵莲花。像夕阳中升起的太阳一样明亮，像一朵莲花从紧张的波浪中浮现出来一样灼热”。罗女神是东方美学理想的化身。这套作品打算在印象派画家克劳德-莫奈的油画中描绘这位古老的中国女神，目的是用东方的美学来探索西方的想象力。罗女神从中国传统的水墨画中跃出，被水墨和画笔的色彩光晕包裹着，进入莫奈神秘而密集的印象派画作中，像月亮上的轻云或流风回雪一样出现和消失。这个系列继续使用墨色和油画笔触，在一个朦胧的幻想世界里描摹女性的美。
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