Talk of expanding markets and China's 1%'s love of European heritage goods has been the hot topic for Western fashion financiers for over a decade now. But what of the homegrown talent? Uma Wang is part of the new Asian talent showing in Europe, with a culturally informed aesthetic that is ladled in idiosyncrasy. Her pieces are technically astute and experimental, including an original knitting technique.
In Milan, Massimilian Bizzi, the founder and CEO of WHITE – a renowned fashion fair which showcases international talent – has offered Wang, for the second time, a chance to showcase her collections on a European stage. However, WHITE is more than just a platform, it is, as Bizzi explains, "A workshop for creatives from all over the world. We are working and investing in new and interesting businesses, like the Uma Wang project, beginning with the supply of Italian fabrics, strictly 'made in Italy' production and distribution through international channels."
Dazed Digital: How did you develop your signature knitting technique?
Uma Wang: When I work with knit, I don't have an idea of what I want it to become already. I start with the first point/knot then I follow the texture and see what will come out. In this way I leave space for mistakes to happen, you know, mistakes sometimes generate surprises. Each season is different, it depends on the personality of the fabrics, on what they inspire in me... they are the main inspiration.
DD: You've worked as a designer in China and show under your own label in Europe. Does the attitude toward fashion differ across countries?
Uma Wang: I put my feelings into my collections, so I believe that everyone receives them in the same way all over the world. Emotions are universal, there's no barrier in language or culture that can modify them.
DD: Do you consider yourself a voice of new Chinese designers?
Uma Wang: I think it's all about timing. This is definitely the right time for a Chinese designer to develop, so I feel lucky for this opportunity and I'm certainly proud to represent my country and Chinese designers worldwide.
DD: How has it been working with WHITE?
Uma Wang: This is the second time we've collaborated with WHITE for our show in Milan, and both times we had great shows which were very successful. I'd like to thank them for all of their support so far and hopefully for the future...
Photos by Curva di Contrasto