Urban Matters Shanghai 2017
The MINI FASHION X Labelhood Beyond Native Capsule Collection.
DESIGN INSPIRED BY the CLASH OF CULTURES.
For the MINI FASHION Capsule Collection, designers Andrea Jiapei Li, Wang Fengchen and Moto Guo each created five pieces inspired by culture, the contrast and balance of tradition, heritage and modernity. Here, they speak about their influences and their collections.
Your Capsule Collection for women was inspired by the so called “Slashers”, modern women with a wide range of skills as you say. Can you tell us more about them? Why do you think that this is an important topic?
Andrea Jiapei Li: The Slashers refer to modern women (and men) whose skills and interests spread across multiple fields, who are not constrained by a single label or identity. The Capsule collection takes inspiration from and aims to celebrate this group of people as they are constantly pushing boundaries and embracing challenges; they are not afraid of taking risks and are always confident and optimistic.
As today’s women juggle between multiple roles in their daily life, I think it is important to highlight women’s potential and celebrate those who have been able to exceed beyond societal expectations and norms.
Your designs were also inspired by the cities Beijing and New York. What are your relations to both cities?
Andrea Jiapei Li: My years living in Beijing coincided with my introduction to the fashion world, which is part of the reason why the city holds a dear place in my heart. New York is where I furthered my fashion studies and later launched my career as a designer. It is where I currently live and work. I love New York for its diversity, openness and energy.
You designed five pieces: an oversized blazer, a belt, a mockneck top with removable sleeves, high-waist trousers and a handbag. How do these individual items come together?
Andrea Jiapei Li: The five items together create a look that offers the versatility needed by a Slasher woman. Each item, worn alone or combined with any other item within the look, would suit well in a professional work setting, but is also functional and versatile enough to be worn for casual, fun occasions. This flexibility is achieved through the use of cotton blend and synthetic fabrics, easy silhouettes and functional details.
Your men’s collection is inspired by city photographers in London and Shanghai which is quite specific. Where did this inspiration come from?
Wang Fengchen: These independent and free "urban photographers" see travel as a kind of spiritual activity, discovering cities inspired from different perspectives; they are people who are passionate about city life. In addition their unrestrained movement is one of our inspirations.
In your opinion, what are the most prominent characteristics of the cities you compare?
Wang Fengchen: For me the most prominent feature of London is the diversity. Everyone here is mixed together, every type of person and culture has a place, and Shanghai for me is fast, fast moving, fast growing and fast to change.
Can you tell us more about the individual designs for the Capsule Collection?
Wang Fengchen: This capsule collection continues the details of our classic drawstring that allows customers to convert into a variety of shapes. In addition, we use "AM / PM" to represent the time difference or the difference in time whilst traveling to different destinations. The t-shirt's offset printing pattern is inspired by the bar code at the bottom of the passport.
What is your favourite piece from your collection if you have one?
Moto Guo: The oversized jacket represents the greatness of Tokyo. It can be worn reversibly/inside out. The practicality of the jacket stands for Tokyo as a whole, in terms of its advanced living quality and functionality, and the rather admirable out-of-comfort-zone kind of great living spirit.
The colour of the outer layer is a combination of the three additive primary colours with a dash of the secondary colours resulted by overlapping either two of the mentioned colours; whereas the inner layer will be largely surfaced with white. The idea of the colour combination perfectly conveys the spontaneous living style and speed of Tokyo which can be both fast and slow.
The oversized jacket is an exaggeratedly enlarged version of the inner tailored shirt and preppy shorts but made into a jacket by paneling and cutting, which quirkily presents an illusion effect. It is the best epitome of motoguo's wackiness and cuteness.