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Graduate Spotlight: MA Fashion Design Technology Womenswear student Zhixian Wang

LCF_MA16_Zhixian Wang
LCF_MA16_Zhixian Wang

Written by
Josh De Souza Crook
Published date
12 February 2016

The final LCFMA16 live stream is just under a week away now as we draw closer to this year’s cohort of MA Fashion Design Technology Womenswear students who’ll be displaying their collections on the catwalk.

Ten MA Womenswear designers will be debuting their collections in-front of press and industry professionals in a central London location ahead of the opening of London Fashion Week. LCF News caught up with all ten designers and will be showcasing their work in a series of Graduate Spotlight interviews in the build up to event on Thursday 18 February 2016.

This is Zhixiang Wang, the Chinese designer who based her final collection on San Mao, Chinese poet and writer. She wanted to embrace freedom, true love and romance in her garments, building on one of San’s stories that she’s loved since secondary school.

LCF_MA16_Zhixian Wang

MA Fashion Design Technology Womenswear designer Zhixiang Wang will be showcasing her collection at next weeks live streamed LCFMA16 Womenswear Catwalk. Photography by Felix Cooper and styling by Anders Sølvsten Thomsen.

Tell us about your final collection? 

My final collection is based on San Mao, Chinese poet and writer. San Mao spent her whole life seeking freedom and true love, she had a romantic but sad love story with her husband in the Sahara desert. I love her poems and stories, so I wanted to use her in my collection, I wanted to represent her story in my design style. I used white, red and orange in my collection as the story starts with freedom and pureness, then finishes off sadly with the death of her husband. It’s a sad but romantic story I first heard in high school, she’s was a very strong women known across China before passing away.

Where did you prior to your MA at LCF?

I studied at the Beijing Institute of Fashion Technology in China, I was a womenswear student for my undergraduate. I didn’t know too much about fashion back in China, it wasn’t until my BA course that I got a real understanding of the industry, design and technology. I took a year out after my BA to work in fashion, I won bronze prize in the Cocoon Cup, this helped me get a scholarship to study my MA at LCF.

Reflecting back on your MA, and thinking of any prospective students thinking about starting an MA, what would be your top three tips/bits of advice would you give to them?

Because the world already has thousands of designers, I think its important to have your own personal identity to standout. You also have to keep creative all the time, it is very important to have fresh blood in your design. The last and most important tip is, every designer should consider their responsibilities to society and sustainable fashion.

Why did you choose LCF and MA Fashion Design Technology Womenswear

The teaching method is very different in London compared to back in Beijing. I wanted to come to LCF to experience and see international designers, open my vision, and learn differently. I’ve always loved London, and wanted to study abroad to help develop my style. I wanted to come to LCF and London to learn more about design, its very different to how I was taught in China. Experience is very important, I chose LCF to learn new methods and grasp international designs and learning practices.

What have you found the most enjoyable and interesting parts of the course? And what have you found the most challenging?

The beginning of the course was quite difficult for me, the whole experience was very different to what I learnt in China. Our course leader, Nigel Luck, always pushed us to develop our designing skills. At first it was different and a little difficult, but after it we started to enjoy really pushing our abilities. I’ve also found meeting other designers on the course very interesting, especially those from different countries. Everyone has a special design style, so we learnt from each other and communicated on designs and projects. It’s quite a mixed class in terms of nationality, its great learning about new cultures and design styles.

What’s been your favourite thing about studying in London?

London has a great atmosphere for fashion and culture, I’ve experienced so many new things. It also has great resources, like museums, galleries and art that you can indulge in new experiences, and explore everything. I also love the weather, I prefer it to Beijing. I really don’t like the food in London though, that’s the only thing I miss about China!

Have you won any prizes?

I’ve won a few awards back in China. In 2013, I won First Place in the Hempel Award of the 21st China International Young Fashion Designers Competition for my project UNBOUNDED. I also won the best technology award in “Changshu Cup” China International fashion design competition for my JING HONG work. In the same year I same third in the 9th “COCOON Cup” China International Women’s Fashion Design competition for my project INTIUTION. This award was funded by Hangzhou Government, whom also helped fund my postgraduate. Two years earlier, I came second in the 2011 T.B2 Fashion design competition for my MO YUN project.

Have you been in the media? 

I was featured when I won the Gold in Chinese Fashion Week and also Chinese television channel CCTV.

Describe your style in five words…

Romantic, poetic, freedom, aesthetics and pure.

Do you have a muse? If so, who and why? 

My muse is also the person I based my collection on, San Mao. She’s my muse because I love her style. I grew up reading her poems and writing, I wanted to represent one of my favourite stories from her. It’s kind of like a small dream representing her poem with my designs and collection.

What are your future plans and do you think the course helped you realise these plans?

I have several choices and I haven’t decided which route to follow. The first plan is to find a job in London, at the brand or studio I like for one or two years. The dream job would be Alexander McQueen, I know its difficult but I can try. There are also some great platforms for new designers, if things don’t work here, I might try and grow as a designer in China. The course has definitely changed my life though, I found my personal identity here. I’ve really enjoyed studying at LCF, living in London, everything has really developed my abilities. LCF has changed my life for the better!