The vassal king knows best how to combine east and west, blending old and new. She grew up in a rural village in southern China’s Fujian province, now lives between Shanghai and London, and sees herself as an ambassador for Chinese craftsmanship. “I’m the best builder of bridges,” the designer said during a preview of her show at the Hôtel d’Evreux, just a stone’s throw from Place Vendôme, Paris’ posh mecca. “It’s about connecting cultures and communities, and generations.”
In the autumn, she drew on the traditional Chinese “Hundred Houses Robe”, a piece made by 100 cloth collected from friends and family and is said to bring good luck to newborn babies. In Feng’s version, she’s stitched deadstock fabrics from her studio with Chinese silks from her collection to create a bomber jacket in shades of khaki and a floor-length double-breasted coat with undone skirts. After opening, it became a short paragraph. Her modern take on the Chinese knot displayed similar ingenuity, inspired by memories of her grandmother’s knotted hairstyles and knotted outfits, amplified here for the streetwear generation, including cartoonish proportions on padded scarves. The pattern was also subtly used on reversible down jackets and shearling and nylon coats with removable panels.
The collection also serves as the official debut of Wang’s makeup collaboration with Estée Lauder, which will launch in April after two years in the making. Wang opted to zero in on an eyeshadow palette of nude and beige shades with a touch of plum. “Purple is a very important color in China, symbolizing loyal family,” she explains, “and it is connected to the phoenix, which is the symbol of the brand.” The phoenix appears on laser-printed indigo denim stud jackets and jeans Elsewhere, graphics are inspired by the traditional ink paintings Wang practiced as a child, as well as the swooping foam fringes clipped onto the Nike Air Max 100s.
the latter specifically sums up Wang’s knack for bringing prototypes to life—no wonder Nike has tapped her as a collaborator. If the venues she chooses surprise, with silk-lined walls and formal salons far removed from pristine urban spaces, energized by the music she’s shown before, that’s all part of the plan. “People have been asking me all day, Feng, why did you choose to be here? Not you!” she laughed. “But actually I wanted a bigger contrast—not following people’s expectations. I want to say, hey, space is traditional, but people can be modern. “