London-based, Taiwan-born designer Apu Jan recently hit the runway as part of London Fashion Week’s Fashion Scout, an off-schedule showcase featuring emerging designers. The now LFW regular and designer behind the label APUJAN presented his Autumn/Winter 2016 “Lingeringly” collection of 36 outfits embodying the exploration of emotion in time and the fragility of memories.
Attendance in the front row included Taiwanese model and actress Ann Hsu and Apu Jan’s father, the founder of Taiwan’s largest e-commerce mall, PC Home Online. The show began almost an hour late to an overflowing room, with people having to be turned away at the door.
Apu Jan is known for integrating Chinese silhouettes with unique knitwear techniques and is an expert in fabric development. This season remained true to his signature look, boasting elegant gowns, cardigans, sweaters, and coats with mandarin collars, all constructed with knitting machines for a range of textures and fabrics. Cotton, merino wool, cashmere, and silk headlined to provide movement, comfort and luxury.
Jing Daily caught up with the designer of the moment to learn more about the process behind putting together a successful performance, his plans for the brand, and secrets of the trade.
Tell us more about Lingeringly and the influences for this collection.
“Lingeringly” evokes the passage of time, which is such an emotive subject. As designers, we use clothes to describe our story and our intimate thoughts. I used digital prints featuring cabbage roses, clocks and hourglasses, knitting structure, and music, to convey my own personal feelings, but I hope the collection speaks to each person in their own unique way.
How do you feel about having such a popular show with Ann Hsu sitting in the front row?
It’s nerve-racking, but to have such a turn-out is incredible. I’ve always seen Ann Hsu in the press as she is such a prolific actress in Taiwan, and to see her at my show wearing APUJAN is a dream come true.
Why did you have such an ambitious production for the show, which included a live music experience with DJs and classical instruments?
The live music was from Project APJ led by DJ QuestionMark. I’ve worked with them every season since 2014. We collaborate from the initial concept. When Lingeringly began to take shape, we spoke so we would have a common central theme, but it’s important to me that they have their own creative take on the concept so it’s a true collaborative experience. They describe Lingeringly with their music, and I present their music in my clothes.
You’ve started to stock your collection in China, starting with one store. Do you have plans to expand?
Yes. There are always plans to expand in Asia as it’s a home market for me. I’m taking one step at a time.
Describe the ideal woman who would be wearing APUJAN AW16.
It’s for the global woman. She has a low-key approach to style with acute attention to detail. She likes luxurious materials, but not too shiny, and she wants her clothes to be as graceful as she is.
It must be a relief for the show to be over and for it to have been so well-received. Do you have any confessions to make or secrets to reveal?
[Laughs] A secret?! Well the show is presented as being very polished. Backstage is a different story. It’s such a manic rush. I have to keep calm under pressure as there is so much going on and of course, you want everything to be perfect. If you’re together, the people around you will feel it and stay as relaxed as possible. I’m really happy that people stayed after the show to connect with one another and that the feedback has been wonderful.
Below are more looks from the show: