The AW17 collection from Chinese designer Han Wen blazed its own bright trail at London Fashion Week, with its freshly innovative take on womenswear inspired by techniques and ideas from a multitude of cultures.
Here we saw something so modern and new, it stood apart from every other show of the week. With loud, harsh industrial dance music that was softened by tribal drums and pipes, we were gripped from the first beat.
As organic earthy hues marched down the runway, non-traditional structures meant a new type of woman was born; powerful, yet feminine. With a sense of Samurai meets fetishism, Wen sculpted shapes that hung off the models with a hint of Military and Tibetan Monk thrown in. Punk- and folklore-inspired, we witnessed a new blend – a worldly mix not seen before.
Fabric piercings, strapping, exaggerated corsetry and quilting created a completely new silhouette. Leather, fur, silks and pleats gave us a heady combination of textures, which despite the various influences, never seemed to be overkill. These designs are confident and exciting, they command attention and dare you to explore them.
The most wearable pieces of the collection were the pleated skirts, where softness blurred with fierceness. Han Wen has a history in architecture, which is loud and clear in his designs, his stunning pattern cutting skills allowing him to play with volume and shape to incredible lengths.
Graduating from Parsons New York in 2016, Wen went on to receive Fashion Scout’s Merit Award after thrilling the selection panel last season. Wen constructs like a fine couturier but always ensures his designs are wearable. With such a striking collection on show, we know this superbly skilled avant-garde designer will be a strong name in fashion for a long time to come.