• Text Jake Hall
  • Photography Ieva Lasmane
  • 6th January 2020

Mountain climb

“This season, Feng Chen Wang reminds us to not give up and encourages us to keep on climbing, step by step”, read the mantra that drove the talented designer’s FW20 collection, inspired by a recent trip to China which saw her climb a mountain near her hometown and sit atop its peak, waiting for sunrise.

Wang aimed to remember this night through a colour palette that graduated from cool hues to warm reds, and painterly prints which seem to mimic the crags of a mountainside. As always, her expertise in outerwear took centre stage: from black leather tuxedo blazers with bright red racing stripes to technical parkas with contrast detail, these were pieces built to weather any storm.

A further exploration of Wang’s identity came in the form of layered fabric, which took the three kanji of her name and abstracted them into patterns splayed across bomber jackets and puffer coats. Her hometown is even the source of the dye used in her collection, which is actually pigments created from herbal tea sourced in Fujian – and are therefore non-toxic, unlike the chemical dyes so often dumped by fashion brands into rivers worldwide.

Wang’s collaborators include the likes of Pepsi, Woolmark (she is a finalist for this year’s annual prize) and, of course, Converse, but it’s her own vision that shines through the collection and leaves on an optimistic note: “Tough times may lie ahead but, as this collection hopes to remind us, dawn will surely come.”