Chinese born Han Wen, graduated from Parsons The New School for Design in New York earlier this year. He has won the prestigious SS17 Merit Award for his collection, previously won by creatives such as, ROBERTS|WOOD, Phoebe English, David Koma and Xiao Li. Before the show, Wen expressed his excitement to present his creations in London with support from Fashion Scout.
Wen’s work explores the powerful potential of structure in design, innovation seen in the curated blend of techniques. This notion of change and potential is continued in the spring/summer collection. As is the young designers style, there was a heavy focus on textiles, and an exploration of fabric and technique approached with an experimental attitude. Metal rings held together pieces, adding texture, as Wen’s inimitable craftsmanship transformed leather and delicate sheer fabrics.
One particular dress was evocative of the New York skyline, where petite leather squares make up a larger, angular garment. Wen’s architectural background appears through a theme of deconstruction, where a white shirt is torn apart, reimagined and constructed in a way that challenges the status quo.
His work exists as a form of escapism, grounded in imagination and reality simultaneously. The metal detailing allows the clothes to at once tell a fantastical narrative and allow space for liberation from restraints.
The meaning of the details are twofold, focussing on functionality as well as elaboration as zips allow the wearer to adapt the clothing in a multitude of ways. The geometric print of the fabric echoes the expressive shapes, proving Han Wen’s design process to be as avant-garde as the final pieces.