Upcycling : Wicked & Un-Wasted

I may have men­tioned this kittykat once or twice before and no mat­ter how I try, I simply can­not hide the big knit­ting needles that 25-year-old Joyce Wang is by far and bey­ond one of my favor­ite, freshest and tasti­est new design kids on the block.

我以前可能不止一次地提到她,尽管多次尝试还是抑制不住我对 Joyce Wang 的喜爱,25 岁的 Joyce Wang 是迄今为止我见过的最有创意、最有品味,同时也是我最喜爱的年轻设计师。

The fact that she’s a bit kooky (“weird” is such an ugly word), only adds to our mutu­al like/​mixability.

现实中的她有点古灵精怪(kooky)(“古怪”(weird)是一个很丑陋的字眼,我不会拿来用),这也是我们互相吸引的地方。

Her mod­ish trav­ails and thoughts com­bined with a cer­tain self-con­fid­ence — which I for one did not pos­sess 8 years ago — may come off as pos­eur hubris to some, but I have yet to hear a pedantic word com­ing from her mouth. And believe you me, in this love­able-Poo Bah industry, “pedantic” is very much part of the ward­robe staples, nev­er to be under­stated. A fash­ion faux pas in dire need of some recyc­ling, if you ask me.

创意前卫、辛勤努力、再结合某种自信(这种素质是我自己八年前所不曾拥有的),虽然这可能会给人一种自恃的感觉,但是我还从来没有从她的口中听到任何有关卖弄的话语。相信我,在这个充满自恋人士的时尚圈里,“卖弄”(pedantic)虽是家常便饭,但其作用却是不可低估的。一时的失言就可能给人留下话柄。

That being the case and left off the cat­walk, I prefer to see this tal­en­ted design­er as  an afresh not-so-kinder-sur­prise who uses her latest line Upcyc­ling to take any dull, dowdy, mat­ri­arch gar­ment from time­worn to the cur­rent timeline. From mat­ron to mis­tress mater­i­al. And bey­ond.

有些时候设计师的时尚生涯可能就这样悄悄地落幕了,然而我更希望看到这位有才华的设计师以让人耳目一新的姿态出现在人们的面前。通过她最新的升级再造,把那些呆板、俗气、过时的服装重新回收利用。

About The Old, The Anew and “Dress me, Be you”

关于旧物,新颜,“Dress me, Be you”

Wang is no new­comer to the design­er game, hav­ing gradu­ated from the Guang­zhou Uni­ver­sity of Fine Arts, worked for Jack&Jones in Beijing and cur­rently cre­at­ing her third indi­vidu­al col­lec­tion in Shang­hai (slated for some good old-fash­ioned run­way show­ing off come April 2017).

Wang 并非设计界的新手,毕业于广州美术学院,曾就职于北京的 Jack&Jones,现今作为独立设计师的她正在上海创作着她的第 3 个系列同时精心准备着 2017 年 4 月的时装秀。

Mov­ing from her ini­tial cubist-cubic-marble inspired Tran­scend gradu­ation col­lec­tion with its straight lines, severe shapes and con­struc­tions, into the (and I quote) “copy-pas­te” men­tal­ity of Jack&Jones (or any sim­il­ar large brand, for that mat­ter) proved no easy feat for our dame of the hour. “I think any high-end  cooper­a­tion with fast fash­ion brands could bring the lat­ter some new ideas. Non­ethe­less, in the end, they [the fast brands] just copy one another. The reas­on I quit Jack&Jones is just that : Feel­ing the cre­ativ­ity being sucked out of me and basic­ally find­ing no sat­is­fac­tion in work­ing for a large brand. I quit and fol­lowed my own path. To suc­cess ? We’ll see, hee. At least I can pay my rent, eat and drink red wine for now.” stated Wang.

作为毕业设计,她以立方体大理石为灵感来源创作出以直线、几何形状为结构的风格服饰;从设计别出心裁的毕业作品,到就职于以“抄袭”而著称的 Jack&Jones,Joyce Wang 一路上走的并非一帆风顺。她说:“我认为高端品牌如果跟快时尚品牌合作,快时尚品牌是能从高端品牌处学来一些新的设计思路的。可是到最后那些快时尚品牌还是选择了全盘抄袭。我从 Jack&Jones 辞职的原因就是如此:我感觉我的创作灵感都要被榨干了,给这样的品牌做设计我自己根本得不到满足。所以我决定辞职去走我自己想走的路。至于将来成功与否,我们走着看。至少现在我能交得起房租,不愁吃喝。”

Her first per­son­al col­lec­tion as a full-fledged dress­maker (don’t take that word­ing too ser­i­ously, bit­te) was entitled “Dress me, Be you”. The sil­hou­ettes here fol­lowed the nat­ur­al flow of the body, how very feng shui, merely accen­tu­ated or boldly empowered by the occa­sion­al big graph­ic design — or light(some) col­or splash. As they say, the dress must fol­low the body of a woman, not the body fol­low­ing the shape of the dress. (Yes, Hubert de Givenchy.) This par­tic­u­lar col­lec­tion gained Wang the atten­tion of the lar­ger Shang­hai fash­ion fol­low­ing in mid-2015. Which brings us to today’s body of art­work : Upcyc­ling, cloth­ing from old to anew.

她作为独立设计师设计的第一个系列叫做“Dress me, Be you”。这个系列尊重女性身体的自然曲线,以突出图案或是以浅颜色点缀为亮点。就像人们常说的,服装要顺从女人的身体而不是拿女人的身体来适应衣服的形状(纪梵希)。Wang 的这个系列使她在 2015 年的上海时尚界脱颖而出。接下来她要我们展示她的最新设计系列:升级再造,变废为宝。

Qual­ity before quant­ity. No ques­tion.

毫无疑问 质量比数量更重要

One 1960s/​70s super­mod­el-turned-fam­ous-act­ress once said “Fash­ion is what you’re offered four times a year by design­ers. And style is what you choose.” We con­cur, Miss Hut­ton. And if in the 2010s you can add some sus­tain­ab­il­ity to that style, even bet­ter. Upcyc­ling aims to reduce waste by recyc­ling old cloth­ing and giv­ing it a new hand­made life. Wheth­er Wang changes the shape, paints it, draws away or mixes dif­fer­ent mater­i­als ; the con­cept, time, effort and per­son­al involve­ment in her design pro­cess are what make the gar­ment renewed and unique.

一位红于 196070 年代的模特演员曾经说过:“时尚设计师给我们提供了一年四次的服饰换新,然而风格却是我们自己选择的”,我们十分赞同赫顿小姐(Miss Hutton)的说法。2010 年之后,在个性风格的基础之上,如果服装还能是环保的那就再好不过了。升级再造的宗旨是减少浪费,回收利用旧衣物,通过手工设计加工赋予其新生命。Wang 把这个设计理念实践到设计过程中,经过长时间的努力,通过改变剪裁、添加颜色、混合不同的质地材料等不同处理手法来达到旧物换新颜的目的。

IMG_3612
It all starts with a draw­ing on one side of Wang’s work table…从 Wang 桌边的一张设计图开始…

“Basic­ally, I have a bunch of old clothes — given to me by friends or retrieved from the city’s ran­dom flea/​vintage mar­kets — lying around on the one side of my work­shop and on the oth­er side, you’ll find designs scattered across the draw­ing table. Then I just start to put the designs and these ‘unwanted gar­ments’ [‘unwanted’, such an ugly word] togeth­er and look which com­bin­a­tions make that per­fect fab­ric­ated [in every sense] fit.” A yet to be cat­walk-stomped con­cept, espe­cially in China. One oth­er example of such re-con­struc­tion design, is Gong Jiaqi, win­ner of sus­tain­able fash­ion advoc­at­ing Redress NOG’s Eco­Ch­ic Design Award back in 2012.

“我有很多旧衣服,有些是朋友给的有些是从跳蚤市场/古董市场淘的,跟我散落在桌上的设计图一起在我的工作间里摆得到处都是。于是我尝试着把我的设计图和这些‘被弃’(unwanted)的衣服组合起来,看哪种组合出来的效果最好。” 这样的设计理念在中国还不是很常见。有一个值得一提的从事再造的设计师是 2012 年衣酷适再生时尚设计奖的获奖者 Gong Jiaqi

Upcycling: Wicked & Un-Wasted
Upcyc­ling : Wicked & Un-Wasted
Den­im is a Wang favor­ite ; check out the top left. 牛仔布是 Wang 的最爱;见左上图.

Obvi­ously, and even I the non-cre­at­ive get this, mater­i­als are key in Upcycling’s pro­cess. When asked about her favor­able fab­rics, one rolls off the tongue with­in a sow­ing machine stitch : “Den­im, I favor and adore it.” The material’s work­ab­il­ity in ref­er­ence to shap­ing, dye­ing and match­ing it, makes it dif­fi­cult to go wrong with ; you can­not wrong with it. Jeans really do rep­res­ent demo­cracy in fash­ion. Favor­ite Upcyc­ling den­im designs ? One knee-length den­im patch­work jack­et patch­work and a top incor­por­at­ing the den­im waist­band.

很明显,即使我这个外行也知道,布料是升级再造过程的关键。当我问到 Wang 最喜欢的布料时,她毫不犹豫地马上回答:“我喜欢的是牛仔布”。 牛仔布的可加工性很强,定型、染色、匹配都毫不费力,而且用牛仔布很难会出错,也不会出什么差错。牛仔布代表时尚中的民主。我最喜欢的牛仔再造升级设计?当然是那套带腰带的拼搭牛仔上衣和及膝牛仔裤。

About Pre-Orders, Pat­terns and Pock­ets

关于预购,样式和口袋

Pre-order ? “Yes, pre-order is the word for Upcyc­ling. It also con­tin­ues this whole con­cept of ‘not wast­ing’. If I don’t offer on-the-spot pro­duce, I don’t waste any­thing hee­hee. [In that same gal­leria of thought] I also don’t know that much about sus­tain­able fash­ion under­tak­ings in Shang­hai ; I mean, yea, I hear people talk­ing about it, but I haven’t seen any­thing yet. I did meet NEEMIC’s Hans Gal­liker, but he’s actu­ally a Beijinger.” Quote, Wang. Ha, true, he is ; but more on the fant­ast­ic sus­tain­able pre-order-wor­ship-able NEEM­IC here at a later date.

那预购呢?Wang 回答说:“预购是再造升级设计的前提。这是在坚持整个理念中‘不浪费’的宗旨。如果我不现场制做的话,就不会产生任何浪费,嘿嘿。关于在上海可持续时尚的发展情况我其实知道的并不多;当然我听到别人谈起过,但我从来没有亲眼见过。我见过 NEEM­IC 的设计师 Hans Galliker,但他是北京人”。对,他是北京人,有关 NEEM­IC 的可持续预制时尚,我以后会讲到。

The Buyi from Guizhou : Weav­ing, Pat­terns, Indigo. 贵州布依族:织布,纹样,靛蓝.

Speak­ing of sur­round­ings, all that sur­rounds us, influ­ences us  on a day-to-day basis. For Wang, her latest inspir­a­tions come in the form of the Guizhou Province’s Buyi Minor­ity (布依族) who weave all their gar­ments by hand, usu­ally adorned with some basic pat­terns (checked or striped). It’s a minor­ity tra­di­tion which you can play with and turn into fash­ion, if you will. The 2016 col­lec­tion will fea­ture Upcyc­ling designs man­u­fac­tured in the Buyi hand­woven fab­rics. With a side of indigo-dye (you boil the plant to cre­ate the paint and dye the fab­rics or some­thing like that, I’m not good with flora — plants die). The pat­terns are in fact hand-cre­ated as well, twist­ing, turn­ing and sow­ing the fab­ric in such a way  that the indigo’s white and blue col­or­ing cre­ates them very nat­ur­ally. Plus, nature’s paint lit­er­ally gets under your skin and bene­fits your health. TCM, babes.

说起所处的环境,我们身边的事物每天都在影响着我们。对于 Wang 来说她的最新灵感来源于贵州的少数民族布依族,手工织布并以格子或条形纹样加以装饰是布依族人的传统。这种传统编织若略加设计便可成为一种时尚。Wang2016 年的系列就是以布依族人手工织布为材料进行的再造升级设计。靛蓝是从植物中提取出的一种蓝色染料。布料上的纹样也是手工制作的,将织好的布料扭曲折叠之后放入靛蓝染料中浸染,从而创造出美妙的蓝白相间的自然纹样。另外,从自然中提取出的染料不仅对皮肤无害而且有益健康。

Of course, “pat­terns” are merely scratch­ing a design’s sur­face. Wang goes ton-sur-ton with Upcyc­ling.  Oth­er details that take the collection’s gar­ments from drab to fab (how very Daily­Mail of me) are the pock­ets and but­tons that allow for adjustable sizes. Not per se in regards to your weight, but in regards to your fash­ion plate (or palette) de la minute. The wear­er can cre­ate over­lap, over­size or a slim fit, or whatever else befits their dainty dab­bling in fash­ion that day. The design is in the details, non?

当然了,“纹样”仅是设计的一小部分。Wang 还会根据升级再造的需要调整搭配颜色。另外整个设计的亮点是可调节的口袋和纽扣设计。所谓可调节并非按照身材变化来改变衣服的型号,而是依照着装人自己的时尚风格,叠穿、宽松、紧身或是根据当天的时尚感觉来自由变换调节。细节反映设计,不是吗?

About Design­ers, Details and Dir­ec­tions

关于设计师,细节,和方向

One detailed design­er Wang holds in Bruce-Weber-high regard is Alex­an­der Wang. Yet in her nor­mal Shang­hai lane-house life, she’s a fan of smal­ler brands com­ing up with ori­gin­als — and the likes of LaBoron. As far as her own brand goes, she main­tains tat people should buy a gar­ment because they like the whatever-ward­robe-item for itself. Not the label attached to it. Upcyc­ling doesn’t do labels and, well, fash­ion after all is an instant lan­guage (Miuc­cia), so let the gar­ment do the talk­ing.

Alex­an­der Wang 是 Wang 十分崇拜的设计师。生活在上海里弄里的她更青睐于一些原创设计的小众品牌,例如 LaBoron。在品牌发展的过程中,Wang 一直鼓励顾客去购买他们自己真正喜欢的服饰,而不是只看品牌。升级再造系列的服装就是没有任何标签的,毕竟时尚本身就是一种即时语言,还是让服饰自己来述说吧。
In sum, Wang believes that “fash­ion has the power to give you con­fid­ence. If I’m not dressed up, I just can­not work. And when people keep star­ing, you either look fab­ulous or hideous. I don’t think I’m that ugly SO I must be fab­ulous. I’m wink­ing now, please do write that down!” I for one am pretty con­vinced this little fash­ion fros­ted cup­cake knows what she wants her Upcyc­ling to stand for and is rolling in the very right dir­ec­tion with it — Beijing, Shang­hai, Glob­al ? No rest or waste for the wicked.

总而言之,Wang 相信:“时尚有着赋予人自信的力量。如果我不好好装扮自己,我都没法出门。当人们注视你的时候,你要么是时尚美丽的,要么是丑陋粗俗的。我不认为自己丑,所以我必须要美丽动人。(Wang 挤着眼睛在说)请一定要把我说的记下来!” 我很确信 Wang 知道自己要如何去经营和发展她的升级再造 —  — 北京、上海、全世界?这个古灵精怪的女孩会把回收再造彻底进行到底。

Hey, accord­ing to Harry Win­ston (yep, it’s Ses­ame Street time again):

People will stare. Make it worth their while.

就像 Harry Win­ston所说的:既然人们在看,那就让他们一饱眼福。

Port­fo­lio : Cour­tesy of Joyce Wang.

Ori­gin­al text (Eng­lish) by Els­beth van Par­idon for Tem­per Magazine.

Chinese trans­la­tions by Li Dan (李丹, of Kitayama Stu­dio).

 

Syn­dic­ated from Tem­per Magazine

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