Chinese Design Watch: Q&A with Shao Yen Chen on his Austria-Inspired London Fashion Week Collection

    The emerging designer talks to Jing Daily after his London Fashion Week presentation featuring a collection inspired by 20th century Austrian art.
    Jing Daily
    Alexa BeatrizAuthor
      Published   in Fashion

    A look from Shao Yen's F/W 15 collection. (Courtesy Photo)

    Out of the top four major global fashion weeks, London Fashion Week tends to feature the most emerging Chinese design talent—which is likely due to the large number of Chinese design students studying at the prestigious Central Saint Martins. One designer that caught our eye this season was Taiwanese London-based fashion designer Shao Yen Chen, who showed his 10th consecutive collection for label Shao Yen on the first day of London Fashion Week.

    The contemporary Fall/Winter 2015 collection inspired by the artworks of 20th Century Austrian painter Egon Schiele marks Chen’s transition into luxury knitwear with sophisticated silhouettes and technically skilled structure. Jing Daily spoke with the designer after his presentation to discuss influences, Chinese market expansion plans, and his future design direction.

    Shao Yen's London Fashion Week presentation. (Alexa Beatriz)

    Congratulations on the F/W 15 collection. In your own words, what does this collection embody and can you tell us where the inspiration came from?#

    The human body and Egon Schiele’s work: his lines, graphic style, exaggerated shapes, and poses inspired me. I put those details in my garments, in the shape and form; for example, when the clothes move, it is like a muscle. The fabric is like veins and vessels, with a flesh color tones.

    You completed your studies in London at Central Saint Martins. Does your Taiwanese heritage and background still influence your work or is it more of a cocktail now?#

    I do not consciously think about my background when I design. But where I grew up in Taiwan there was a lot of countryside and beautiful scenery and I’m always inspired by nature; the texture and layers of nature, you can see that in my work, that naturalistic background will always be an inspiration to me.

    This is your 10th consecutive collection. What’s next for you? Is there going to be an effort to expand your presence further in China?#

    At the moment, I am going to continue enjoying what I’m doing. I’ll be collaborating with a Taiwanese store for a new collection to keep a focus on different markets. I’m stocked in a few Chinese stores and I would want to keep expanding. I’m going to focus more on knitwear as I studied and trained in knitwear and design; focus more on the knitwear fabric and style.

    Look below for some more looks from Shao Yen's F/W 15 collection:

    Shao Yen's London Fashion Week presentation. (Alexa Beatriz)

    A look from Shao Yen's F/W 15 collection. (Courtesy Photo)

    A look from Shao Yen's F/W 15 collection. (Courtesy Photo)

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