Fashion designed with the motto "Don’t take life too seriously, just enjoy it and have fun."
The fashion industry is not known to be for the faint-hearted, it's a tough business to be in; designers have to work around the clock to produce innovative collections every season and the 'see-now-buy-now-model' adds even more pressure to produce fashionable garments more rapidly. However, the London College of Fashion (LCF) designer Cheng Qian has designed a collection that takes a more relaxed approach to fashion. She describes how through her BA '16 collection, she wanted to show that no matter how hard life can get, we can still overcome it, "don’t take life too seriously, just enjoy it and have fun". In this interview, Cheng talks about the inspiration behind her collection and shares her thoughts of where she thinks the fashion industry will go in the future.
What is a typical Cheng Qian customer?
Although my previous collections have been menswear, they can also be worn by women. So I would say a typical customer would be either a man or woman who loves colour and refuses to be mediocre.
What is your favorite piece of your collection and why?
The piece with the text ‘THANKS FOR HAVING ME’ is my favourite. The technique to make that piece is unique and the graphic letters on the front and back are quite humorous, which defines my signature style.
Tell me the story behind your BA ‘16 collection. What inspired you and what are you trying to show with the collection?
The collection is inspired by the takeaway culture under the stressful and lifeless tempo we are living in. The BA '16 collection was in collaboration with a menswear designer. We wanted to show that no matter how hard life can get, we still can overcome it. Don’t act like a puppet. Don’t take life too seriously, just enjoy it and have fun.
What are the next steps for Cheng Qian?
I am currently preparing my new collection for Shanghai Fashion Week and I am going to start a new project working with Chinese traditional handicraft. Also, I am contacting the London Fashion Scout to showcase my different projects.
How was the experience of pursuing your BA at the London College of Fashion?
It was definitely worth it. I will never forget my experience of studying there. LCF is a place that I gained both professional knowledge and confidence. I am very grateful as I feel that I can apply a lot of what I learned at LCF to my career.
Is there a person whose career you particularly admire?
Chitose Abe, the creative designer of the fashion brand Sacai. I greatly admire her. She is smart and turns traditional and classical garments into something fresh, which inspires me to borrow traditional techniques to recreate 'normal' garments with infinite possibilities.
Why did you decide to study Fashion Textiles as opposed to Fashion Design?
Well, I already had a background in womenswear before starting at LCF. And another reason why I choose fashion textiles was because I love the sound that the machine makes when it's knitting. I also find it incredible how one knitted piece can be made using just one piece of yarn. It is like a mathematical set, going from zero to infinity.
A definite fashion no-go?
Nothing is inappropriate in fashion. But I think a ‘fashion no-go’ depends on the occasion, just like it is weird and rude if a person wears a bikini in a restaurant.
If you could change anything about fashion it would be?
I wish I could transfer more COSPLAY elements into fashion.
Where do you think the fashion industry will go in years?
I think the fashion industry will start to pay more attention to young designer brands. Young designers will have more opportunities to launch their brands to make their dreams come true. And fashion will have more crossover cooperation with other fields.