(Feature Image: Vega Wang 15 S/S Campaign)
(English Version Below)
背井离乡，日夜看着家园被饥渴的资本家和摩登社会的理性所侵蚀，变得体无完肤。逃离，逃离，不断的回避。躲到深处，四处耸立的黑暗，慢慢驱使着那原始的重生。墙角的阴影中，那匹深棕色的马，那一双犀利的琥珀色双眼，射穿人们的视野，深入骨髓。Vega Wang 14年秋冬的廓形，皮草，和地球母亲的色调，诉说着一个富有灵魂的故事，也影射着她内心世界的一种渴望。
1985年出生与辽宁的王在实，在伦敦圣马丁学成艺术和设计之后回国发展。如今她兼并设计和品质的品牌Vega Zaishi Wang已然成为中国独立设计界的领军人物之一，同时受到许多国际时装界的赞赏。
- 你最新一季的设计the dark night of the soul的灵感来源是什么？
-所有人成长的环境一定都会影响她的性格或价值观。我们家是满族，在东北的家乡保留了很多少数民族的传统文化。我小时候是在山水自然之间长大的。所以我之前做过森林，深海，宇宙等的设计，也正是来自于我对大自然的向往和激情。深圳是个年轻有活力的地方，但是给人一种没有根，飘忽不定的感觉。16岁去伦敦上学对我人生的影响非常深远。也许只有当你在一个远离自己成长的地方才能看清楚，看明白自己家乡的真实面貌，和你自己到底有多渺小。若非如此，你只会是井底之蛙。在伦敦，不仅让我意识到世界上厉害的人太多太多，同时也让我迷上了英式设计，特别是男装的绅士风格。这也是为什么Vega Wang的设计里有很多tailor wear等男装的元素。厦门是一个很放松，很chill的地方。岛屿本身都是各国纷争的军事重地，但是上面的岛民都很看得开，很单纯。这是我觉得厦门最独特的地方。厦门那五个设计师（Wan Yifang, 上官喆, Dido Liu, 于静，刘旻）也都是我的好朋友，他们选择留在厦门的原因也应该就是这种与世无争的分离感，让他们可以安安静静做自己的事情。
Vega Wang, a young Chinese designer born in Liaoning, China. After graduating from both London College of Fashion and Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design, she moved back to China. Today, her quality and creativity combined brand Vega Zaishi Wang has become one of the most essential player in the independent designer field in China, while receiving much attention and appreciation from the international fashion industry.
- What is the inspiration for your latest collection—The Dark Night of the Soul?
-My original inspiration comes from a story I discovered about a group of nomads in northern China. These people live collectively in a “deer tribe” in a forest between the Chinese and Russian border. However, as the modern civilization progresses and the increase of people’s need for natural energy resources, these nomads were kicked out of their natural habitat where they have lived for centuries. The government built up a framework of modern lifestyle for them, including houses, electricity et cetera, and put the deer they had in captivity. But they did not consider the rules of nature. Soon, the deer started to die one after another, and these nomads were troubled by alcoholism and depression. Eventually they secretly moved back to the forests where they belong, back to the simple, primitive lifestyle they led. After reading about this story, I started to think, who are the real “losers” in this society? From our point of view, they live in a backwards society in a primitive way. But perhaps from their perspective, we are the ones living the terrible life. This thought also applies to us as designers, as we struggle between commercialization and true creativity. Therefore, I wanted to appreciate and pay tribute to this deer tribe’s culture. So in this collection, you could find a lot of herdsman style leather bags and cases, and the silhouettes of the clothes follow their traditional outfits as well. I used a lot of ginger yellow symbolizing the earth and soil and dark blue to represent the polar night sky. I feel like they will eventually disappear due to our development, but for now, all I can do is to record their beauty as much as I can.
- You have moved a lot your whole life. How do you think places like Liaoning, Shenzhen, London, Xiamen and Beijing have influenced you?
-I believe that the environment one grows up in shapes one’s personality and values greatly. My family is ethnically Manchurian. In northern China, a lot of our traditional culture aspects are preserved. Plus, I am a nature kid and grew up in areas surrounded by mountains and rivers. This is why my previous collections involve a lot of elements from forests, ocean and the universe. Shenzhen is a lively place, but it doesn’t give you a sense of belonging and identity. When I moved to London at the age of 16, it changed my life and opinions in a lot of ways. Perhaps one needs to go somewhere that is far away from one’s homeland to realize the truth about his/her origins, and to realize how tiny we are in this world. In London, I discovered that there are endless amount of talented people out there, and in the meantime, I fell deeply in love with the dandy style of British gentlemen. This is why you can find a lot of men’s tailored-wear elements in my design. Xiamen is a very relaxing, chill place. Interestingly, islands are normally a militarily important territory wanted by the countries around it. But the people living in Xiamen do not seem to be bothered by a lot of things going on outside, and are usually more innocent, pure. This is what I find most fascinating and unique about Xiamen. The five well-known Chinese designers based there (Wan Yifang, Sankuanz, Dido Liu, Yu Jing, Liu Min) are all my good friends, and they chose Xiamen for its tranquility away from a lot of the busy world.
- How come your style varies greatly every season? Is there a element that you have continued secretly?
-I have been waiting for someone to ask me this question! I never wanted to give people a pre-set stereotype of what I can do or what I usually do. This would limit myself in an invisible frame. I think the reasons why I have followed and pursued creativity are the total freedom of mind and randomness that come with it. So I want each of my collections to be inspired by something completely different. I have always wondered how I can make an everlasting concept in this era of information explosion. I am not criticizing the methods of old classic luxury brands, but I want to tell a different story every season. But still, I would love it if people can tell that it is the work of Vega the moment they see the design. This is why I always interpreted a lot of military suit elements and focused greatly on the details. A lot of media loved to ask me if I have some “Chinese elements” in my design. I want to ask them, how come something made by a Chinese person destined to have “Chinese elements” in it? I personally spent the majority of my lifetime in China, therefore the environment, the people and things that happen to me already had a great influence in the way I think and see things. This is essentially Chinese. Plus in recent Chinese history, there was a long period when everybody wore the same military uniform everyday. This is an element that is unique to our country. I am glad to have come back to China after graduation. Nowadays, the creative industry has gathered a lot of domestic and international attention due to the population and the economic growth China has. But one of the major problems for us is belief. When money is the only religion for a lot of Chinese people, how to slowly craft a brand with time and care has become the question I want to tackle. Plus, we have a lot of emotions and ideas that are so different from the rest of the world, and sometimes even the incredible language of Chinese cannot express these sentiments. Which is why I chose the variable concept of design to express my everlasting state of mind.
- You chose to work with the renowned Chinese photographer Xu Chuang and the hottest up-and-coming supermodel Yuan Bochao for your latest collection. Was there any special chemistry within this team?
-Xu Chuang has a lot of very sophisticated thoughts as a photographer, and his style is very easily recognized. Yuan Bochao is such an incredible model for a 16-year-old girl like her! So in a super-team like this, everything was easily achieved and realized quickly. I normally do not limit the creativity of photographers and I would much rather see the possibility of my design when viewed by a pair of fresh eyes.
- How do you balance between commercialization in the Chinese society and your personal artistic pursue?
-In my opinion, commercialization is opposite from artistic design. Creativity requires the support of business. If you do not have enough financial support, you would have no creativity.
- Do you have any fun secrets that could be shared with us?
-I look like such a tough girl from the outside, but I am actually terrified by cockroaches. Once I was with some friends at the beach of Xiamen, and found a huge cockroach on my bathing towel in the shower. I was so scared that I had to run out and get help naked haha.
- How come you chose a traditional Beijing-style courtyard (Siheyuan) for your studio?
-When I first moved to Beijing, considering the convenience of my clients, I chose a studio in the Central Business District. But looking at all the crazy skyscrapers, the busy white collar going to and from work everyday, I could not see or feel the emotions of all these things. This particularly made me really upset. I thought I would either find an old courtyard, or I would move everything back to Xiamen. China today is unlike most places in Europe, where the history is well preserved. Our history has always been destroying or rewriting. So I hoped that my design can deposit a sense of history, and my clothes can stay in people’s closets for a very long time. So eventually I found this petit “Siheyuan” and settled down quietly.
Article Published on the “COLD” Issue of Elsewhere Magazine