fashion minority Shanghai womenswear

Adjustable, We Are: Sizing Up Joyce Wang SS18

The uni-size notion may not be a first in the industry, yet the way Joyce Wang puts together this vision in her SS18 Fashionability collection, paired with a little minority legacy -- "in with the old and out with the new", does put an indigo innovative spin on things.

We at Temper view Joyce Wang as an afresh creator who uses her eponymous JOYCE WANG brand to take the old, from literal secondhand piece to the artisanal techniques found with China’s minorities, and turn it into brand spanking new. From timeworn to real-time, if you will. And the time has now come to check out  Wang’s SS18 Fashionability collection. Hi ho Silver!

From her very first cubist-cubic-marble inspired Transcend graduation collection with its straight lines, severe shapes and constructions, Wang’s creative journey has taken her across experimental up-cycling mountains and blue denim emotional waters, from a feral severity to the artisanal softness of indigo-dyeing.

Her modish travails and thoughts combined with a strong Temper-approved sense of self-confidence may come off as poser hubris to some, but we have yet to hear a pedantic word leave Joyce Wang’s mouth. And believe you us, in this loveable-Poo Bah industry, “pedantic” is very much part of the wardrobe staples, never to be understated. One fashion faux pas in dire need of some up-cycling, if you ask me. Either way, we got Wang, we got wine, we go wild.

Joyce Wang SS18 Fashionability
Joyce Wang SS18 Fashionability at Paris Fashion Week.

Wang is no newcomer to the designer game. Having graduated from the Guangzhou University of Fine Arts, she is currently prepping to show off her sixth individual collection in Shanghai after having introduced it to the minds and bodies of les Parisiens during PFW on September 30. From her very first cubist-cubic-marble inspired Transcend graduation collection with its straight lines, severe shapes and constructions, Wang’s creative journey has taken her across experimental up-cycling mountains and blue denim emotional waters, from a feral severity to the artisanal softness of indigo-dyeing.

All that surrounds us, influences us  on a day-to-day basis. For Wang, her latest inspirations come in the form of Guizhou Province’s Buyi Minority who weave and (indigo-)dye all their garments by hand, adorning their wardrobes with some basic checked or striped patterns. Indigo-dyeing is one such minority tradition you can play with and turn into Shanghai catwalk fashion. The artisanal patterns are in their most original core being hand-created as well, twisting, turning and sowing the fabric in such a way that the indigo’s white and blue coloring naturally starts creating the checks and stripes. Plus, nature’s paint literally gets under your skin and benefits your health. That’s a slice of ice-cream TCM cake for ya right there, babes.

Joyce Wang SS18 Fashionability
Joyce Wang SS18 Fashionability.

Another detail that has served almost as a signature trademark throughout Wang’s various lines and collections is the incorporation of pockets and buttons that allow for adjustable silhouettes. The wearer can create overlap, oversize or go for a slim fit, or whatever else befits their dainty dabbling in fashion that day. As the garments are size-adjustable, they can be worn in a looser format, meaning you can play it day-by-day, all the while meshing the piece with your own style.

Wang’s latest fashionable responsibility is her SS18 collection entitled FASHIONABILITY. This series sees the abovementioned inspirations and aspirations come into full fruition, showcasing a size-adjustable collection with handcrafted fabrics artistically inspired by and technically based on the Buyi tribe. Temper looked up Wang and went from big and bold to minor(ity) details as we got our desired dose of deets on the latest pieces by one of our favorite doozie dudettes!

Using an artisanal technique is about the creation of the new through the employment of culture, tradition, with the mix-in of history.

Joyce Wang SS18 Fashionability
Joyce Wang SS18 Fashionability.

The Temper Wang-Adjusted Questionnaire

Temper: What prompted you to work with more artisanal techniques such as Buyi indigo dyeing?

Wang: “It’s been two years since I first visited Guizhou and I remember being simply amazed by the crafting abilities of local women, weaving and dyeing and creating in a way that almost makes it seem they are just flipping through the pages of a book. I just loved seeing this, feeling it, touching it. With these traditional skills passed on by the generations, it makes for one fascinating experience.”

Temper: Where did you draw your inspiration from for this adjustable collection?

Wang: “From the abundance of SWAP shops located all over town [Shanghai], I realized that a lot of the clothes have been discarded because their size no longer fits the previous owner. I got to thinking that we wouldn’t have this problem if the garment were size-adjustable. I consequently decided to create a size adjustable collection, having tested the waters with a few pieces in my previous collections. These previous attempts proved pretty successful so I just went for the full monty with this one!”

Joyce Wang SS18 Fashionability
Joyce Wang SS18 Fashionability

Temper: What was your process in creating these pieces? What’s the storyline?

Wang: “First, I always think of/ outline a theme, then I decide on the shape and style — based on the JOYCE WANG brand style and trend analysis. Then, I will take to the drawing table and do my initial sketches — using a size M as my standard measurement. In the next step, I calculate what size range I should go with for each design. Last but not least, I will choose the fabrics that best befit the designs. That’s the process for you, right there!”

Temper: Who do you envision wearing this Fashionability collection?

Wang: “People who like to express themselves, who have a personality and personal take on life to convey; people who go by a sustainable lifestyle.”

Wax printing is a mechanical dye-blocking method whereby hot wax is applied, often in the form of a geometric pattern or an artistic representation.

Joyce Wang SS18 Fashionability
Joyce Wang SS18 Fashionability.

Temper: China’s Minority/Artisanal techniques anno 2017: What’s the status quo there? Are they still in full swing?

Wang: “I see a lot of older women doing the crafting; not too many young people are into it. Nevertheless, these traditional tools or skills and the organic way of producing are a legacy younger generations could/should take on board. It’s the creation of culture, tradition, history; and at the same time can create a decent income.”

Joyce Wang SS18 Fashionability
Joyce Wang SS18 Fashionability.

Temper: Do you see yourself incorporating more of the above mentioned artisanal techniques in the future? Which ones stand out to you, for example?

Wang: “Yes, as a matter of fact, I do! I would love to experiment more with all kinds of traditional skill sets, for example that of wax printing. I tried my hand at that one when I was in Guizhou and it’s absolutely incredible how you can draw such patterns by hand.”

 

Temper intermezzo – brought to you by the good graces of China Highlights:

“Wax printing, alternatively batik printing, is a mechanical dye-blocking method whereby hot (melted) wax is applied, often in the form of a geometric pattern or an artistic representation (anything from a flower to a human face), to a chosen part the fabric, then when the wax has dried sufficiently, the fabric is dyed in a cold-water vat of soluble dye. When the dyeing process is finished and the fabric has been allowed to dry completely, the fabric is then washed in hot water, which dissolves the wax, and the finished product is a piece of fabric with patterns, designs, images, etc., in a contrasting color to the dyed, or background, color.” From wax back to Wang, then…

Joyce Wang SS18 Fashionability
Joyce Wang SS18 Fashionability.

Temper: Will you continue with the designing of “uni-sized” garments in the future or is this collection a one-off — or will you be experimenting with other “funky quirks” ?

Wang: “I aim to experiment with the uni-sized idea some more and seek out other, different ways of playing around with it. At the same time, though, I would love to challenge the idea of fashion design going on zero waste as well. Not an easy feat to tackle, but I’d love to see how far I could take it.”

Temper: Any advice to those dressing up in size-adjustable clothing? What (not) to do?

Wang: “For a lot of people goes that, when they think of the term ‘uni-size’, their mind will conjure up visions of very loose shapes. That’s not the point. Uni-sized garments can bear a fitted shape as well, but when they do have that ‘fit’ to them, this means it can be taken in near the waist. The shape will become smaller, so when you put it on, you may have to adjust the size first in order to wear it the right way. Similarly, given it’s size-adjustable, the garment can be worn with a looser, more nonchalant fit, enabling you to change the shape of the design to match your changing style. It’s all about a wholly fresh fashion-ability.”

 

Miuccia Prada once said, “Fashion is instant language”. From the mood we wake up in to the vision of the seasons in the streets to the style state of the mind; all are adjustable and in such manner instantly reflected on our day-by-day style-board. The adjustable, uni-size notion may not be a first in the industry, yet the way Wang puts together her vision in this SS18 collection paired with a little minority legacy, “in with the old and out with the new”, does put an innovative spin on things. With more looking at the past to see the future to come, the JOYCE WANG brand is going waxing (print) moon.

After all is said and sewn… Be it in terms of fashion or  or personality, when sizing up the other person, we too must be adjustable. It’s a matter of style.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All images come courtesy of the JOYCE WANG brand
For more info on the JOYCE WANG brand, go to:
www.joycewangecofashion.com, Wechat ID: 836100566, IG: @joycewangecofashion
Photographer: Catherine/ Video: Mark, Paul(backstage) / Make up: Rena,Fariza / Hair:刘荣华/ Models: Gemma, Inna, Claudia, Tatiana, Rena.
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