Tuesday, June 6, 2023
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'It's a couturier's horror story' – newcomer Robert Wen looks to horror movies for inspiration

High fashion weeks and horror movies are hardly bedfellows, but for his first appearance on the Paris calendar—this week’s closing show—Robert Wun felt it made sense.

“It was definitely out of my own fears and insecurities when I told Bruno [Pavlovsky, president of Chanel and his mentor] I wanted to do a show, and then united Will vote unanimously to put me on the calendar,” the designer told vogue. “I never thought that would be possible.”

Wun said he began to think about what it meant to be part of the official fashion calendar and what new things he could offer. “I want to do something that brings two extremes together to find a new balance. If couture is just beautiful and delicate, inspired by flowers, everyone will end up doing the same thing.”

His thoughts turn to the tailors and technicians who bring clothes to life, and how everyone lives in fear of breakage, stains, and other mishaps. “I channeled the worst thing that could happen on a runway and decided to channel that into confidence, embrace it and turn it into something beautiful,” he continued.

Wun himself is a horror movie buff, and his early victimization of Georgie Denbrough (Pennywise in Stephen King’s It ) and killer clown fetishes, throwing it all into a show that showcases technical flair once you see the broken heels, spilled booze, and burnt edges. A sunray and micro-pleated gown featured silver molding and deliberate cutouts, and was paired with a veil the designer burned with incense. The final look, black with white feathers, was inspired by down jackets burned by cigarettes.

As for the wine-stained gown, the designer noted, one might wonder if it’s from the villainous clown movie: Is that blood or bordeaux? “When you push your emotions to the limit, there’s something very real about it,” he said. The dyeing process on that piece was so delicate that it eventually ruined the original, whose folds and construction took three weeks to complete. After spending days trying to salvage the dress, the designer had no choice but to start over; he and his team completed the gown shown on the runway in less than a week, with embroidery nearly catching up to It’s show time.



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