Designer to Watch | Chinese designer SAMUEL Guì Yang

Shanghai Fashion Week dropped its veil earlier this month. The emerging Chinese fashion power attracted worldwide attention. We excavated SAMUEL Guì Yang from the bonaza of the fashion show. However, this is not the first time we encountered this Shenzhen-born designer. In the Paris Fashion Week held in March, he led his brand with London Showrooms to collectively present a dynamic fashion landscape of London.

Against his obsession towards the relationship between arts and fashion, the brand philosophy and aesthetics are equipped with deep exploration of blending arts into fashion. Circle is everywhere. On the brand name. In the pieces. Designer’s specific preference of this pattern may be effected by his oriental origin. In Chinese culture, ‘circle’ is a respected form, mental state, accomplishment. It somehow represents ‘perfection’ or simply ‘right’.

You may say a circle starts with a point. But we would like to say, it doesn’t have a start or an end. Both of ‘them’ are so perfectly connected that they move along eternally. With a non-stoppable rhythm. What’s interesting is that, faced with such an immortal motif, Samuel named each of the collections as an ephemeral study. The showcase after his graduation, instead of a traditional runway show, he set up an installation. Music, dance, photography, ice, garments. He invited audience to walk into his mind.

During the course of the installation, ice melted and garments fleshed out. Rubber is the signature material of SAMUEL Guì Yang. It adds an alien accent to the pieces. Undoubtedly, it is not a usual material. Samuel extends the use of rubber over the development of collections. It is not only used on shoes. It not only exists as accessories on the garment. In the latest collection, it comes out as a full outfit.

The 4th  ephemeral study: 2017 AW collection

The latest collection as always, puts fashion and art on equal footing. Guided by his interest in human form, Samuel finds another path to line out body. He had a vision of a story structure for this fall/winter collection, where ‘circle’ was symbolized as a hole. A hole which connects different time and space. Frankly saying ,it does sound like a black hole. Inside of it, time was frozen. So when a lady was reached out by someone within the hole, she was dragged into another space. And so are we.

The story happens in a background: an infectious disease in a wet apartment. So what’s in the hole maybe an ultimate escape, a new world. Relatively new. It can be a chapter of past or a piece of future. In the collection, there are elements of Qipao, a signature Chinese costume stressing on the beauty of women. Designer told us that the beautiful Qipaos in the famous Chinese movie ‘In the mood for love’ of 2000 encouraged him. 

Oriental and western aesthetics are well interchanged here. Chinese ethos and rich culture heritage flit through all the collections of  SAMUEL Guì Yang. His exclusive exploration of himself and continuous innovation of artistic language in fashion are what the brand can rely on. This is actually common among Chinese emerging designers. Rather than keeping up with trend or making a blast on stage, many of them choose to first define who they really are and so, redefine fashion landscape.


Picture credits:  SAMUEL Guì Yang Official Instagram @samuelguiyang

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