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Hong Zhao is a 2020 graduate from London College of Fashion’s Graduate Diploma in Fashion Design and Technology, and is currently studying MA Womenswear.
I aim to celebrate the contractionary relationship of the family and also reform the stereotypical and cliché perceptions of Asia, especially China.
I focus on the cheesy traditions such as the “cult of happiness” (a suspicion of traditional decoration which presents an -unrealistic version of happiness-). It gives me a sense of “cheesy chic” which presents tradition in a contradictory way.
When I tried to apply for an MA I felt I didn’t have enough ability in fashion design but I still didn’t want to give up so I decide to do the Graduate Diploma first.
I was encouraged to research my own heritage, culture and background. So I started researching about my mother’s old photos and I was triggered by a photo of my mother wearing a fur jumper, which inspired me to design a new way to create a fur-like textile.
Inspired by the traditional lion dance and the old photos, I layered the organza and pulled the thread out of it to make it fuzzy on the edge to create the fake fur. I present different cliché elements such as dragon and fur using the mille-feuille technique, which the craftmanship will make desirable.
I have a good understanding of colour, fabric and surface. It helps me to bring the ideas of mille-feuille to create fake fur with organza and have developed it to a professional standard through repeated experimental sampling, which I haven’t seen other designers doing so far.
By using the technique of making fake fur with organza, I can represent the cliché element such as pattern and real fur in a new way but with cheesy Chinese family-style at the same time. At the silhouette level, by cutting the fur into different lengths it can shape the interesting Chinese 80’s boxy silhouette.
During the Graduate Diploma course, I learned to know myself better and find my own advantage. Tarang and Anna help me to develop it further and encouraged me to challenge my edge, exploring new areas which I haven’t try before.
I want to suggest that you need to focus on your own ability and your own interest and go deeper. Also, be hard working.