Saturday, 12 February 2011

LCF MA Graduate Showcase: Qunying Huang

Despite our eyes being fixed on the goings on in New York, we just had to continue our LCF MA Graduate showcase series. Recent posts have celebrated the cream of the latest crop of MA graduates and have seen us speak with each of our favourite students to learn more about their collections and their experiences at LCF. Here, we turn our attention to the collection of Qunying Huang.

Entitled Bound & Boundless, Huang's collection is focused on exploring and expressing different personal boundaries and Chinese philoshophy. Through the stunning combination of jacquard fabrics with flat fabrics, the design talent uses a design method that refers itself to modern art and traditional tailoring to express the four different personal boundaries as well as the feeling of protection and vulnerability of masculinity. Here we talk to the design talent to hear about her experiences at LCF, learn more about the processes and techniques used within the collections and reveal her hopes for the future...

SS: Firstly, congratulations on more than playing your part in a dazzling, menswear rich MA show. How did it feel seeing your finished designs on the catwalk?
Qunying Huang: Seeing our MA show at the V&A was a monumental moment for all of us. I was enjoying the moment. We have worked a long time for it, this was our time and every one was watching us.

SS: Describe the moment you realized you wanted to be a menswear designer?
Qunying Huang: This idea only came from when I was in my BA Course, I was in China at that moment. In the third year we had a menswear course, and I found that menswear is more about subtle details and tailoring, which is quite different from womenswear. And I love to make some totally different things. This is a challenge to me.

Backstage at the MA show. Photography by Morgan O'Donovan

SS: What attracted you to the LCF MA course in particular? What was the best thing about your course? And the worst?
Qunying Huang: We are free to explore anything we want to explore, and we have the opportunity to push things.

The best thing of my course is we can turn our original ideas in to real garments. It is very interesting to see our own design on models. In the process of making the collection, I have improved a lot in my project management, time management, tailoring skills and so on.

The worst thing is when we want to use some special machines, we need to travel a long way.

SS: Now on to your collection itself. Bound & Boundless experiments with fabric and tailoring techniques in a stunning way. Can you talk us through the inspiration for the collection?
Qunying Huang: I got the inspiration from the personal boundaries and Chinese philosophy “in the world, all things are born of being, being is born of non-being. Laozi”. There are four kinds of personal boundaries, they are soft, sponge, rigid, flexible personal boundaries. People will feel weak and vulnerable when they have a soft personal boundary, which has been expressed by jacquard and soft fabrics. People with rigid personal boundary would feel isolated and protected. For the Chinese philosophy, I tried to express the non-being, that space is what is needed. For example, look at a house, what we need is the space inside it. If the house does not have space inside, it offers no benefit to us at all. I focused on the combination of different fabrics and the proportion of every outfit.

Backstage at the MA show. Photography by Morgan O'Donovan

SS: The main focus of the collection has been on the silk jacquard outfits and the Tanaka technique. Could you talk us through these techniques?
Qunying Huang: Silk jacquard fabrics are really difficult to make for menswear and I wanted to express masculinity through very soft fabrics. The jacquard jacket is not traditional tailoring, I use some organza between jacquard and silk lining to support the front body and lapel. Jersey and wool are combined by the Tanaka technique. Wool has to be much heavier than the jersey. I put wool at the bottom of the jacket, so we can see the wool a slightly drop when the model wear it, it was subtle details.

SS: How would you describe the collection in your own words?
Qunying Huang: Soft but masculine.

SS: I know this is difficult question to answer but have you got a favourite, anything that you were most proud of?
Qunying Huang: The most proud of thing is that I can always get inspiration from our life, as well as I can do what I love and I did it well. When the people told me that they like my collection, I was proud of myself.

Backstage at the MA show. Photography by Morgan O'Donovan

SS: The menswear on show this year was so strong. I was amazed to see that fifteen of the twenty two graduates selected studied menswear. Aside from your own, which was your favorite of the graduate collections?
Qunying Huang: I love Mio’s collection, she used amazing fabrics and she is so good at tailoring. She worked very hard and used a very different way in V&A show to present her collection.

SS: What advice would you give a prospective menswear fashion student?
Qunying Huang: Don't be afraid to use some unusual fabrics and do whatever you like.

SS: Finally, what would you like to achieve in 2011 and beyond?
Qunying Huang: I will stay in London and continue developing beautiful menswear and womenswear to express myself. I am looking for a job at the moment, I want to get more work experience.

Backstage at the MA show. Photography by Morgan O'Donovan
As she explored various personal boundaries, Qunying Huang has created collection a soft yet maculine collection through the use of uncommong tailoring techniques and light fabrications. I for one, am looking forward to watching her talent develop. I'll leave you with her eye catching look book. Shot by Nikolay Biryukov, the look book captures the essence of the collection perfectly...

Photography by Nikolay Biryukov, hair and makeup by Joanne Lui with Florian Pessenteiner modelling.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

As good as anything shown in New York. Thanks for sharing.


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