Fashion

Fashion Scout SS20 Award Winner Announced As WEN PAN

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Founded in 2009 WEN PAN is a designer that has seen the womenswear brand sore through the fashion industry with a creation of designs that are a fusion of the spirit of oriental recluses with romantic grunge aesthetics. A brand that can now be found stocked in Selfridges. Fast forward to 2019 WEN PAN is the winner of the globally acclaimed Fashion Scout Merit Award SS20. And with the release of their latest collection ahead of this seasons London Fashion Week Event, before the designer is able to grace us with this collection, we had the wonderful opportunity to interview WEN PAN. Check out what we discovered from the incredible emerging brand below.

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Tell me a little bit about your background and how did you start your career in fashion?

WP: I discovered design when I read an article about the ‘Seven Sages of Bamboo’, a group of scholars in ancient China. It only described what they wore, but I could picture how they were living and the cool, careless, ‘anti-social’ attitude they had 1000 years ago. That was the time I realized fashion, or clothes could say many things.

How did you start this brand ?

WP: I decided to launch my own brand as I wanted to share my personal point of view and tell a story in my own way. I decided to base my brand in London because I find in the city a deep source of inspiration. I am always inspired by surroundings. The road between my studio in Dalston and my home is full of surprises and inspirations. I am living in London, a city that encourages me to think about fashion bravely, while I am from China, I have an oriental taste deep inside. The combination of these two really shape my own aesthetics.

I’ve seen the campaign for your last AW19 Collection, where did the inspiration stem from?

WP: Fall/Winter 2019 collection exudes fragility and resistance, as traces of working girls in factories, oil stains and utility wear are a key source of inspiration.

What’s the message you want to spread with this new SS20 Collection?

WP: The inspiration for SS20 collection is human trace in abandoned family houses in Shanghai. From the ripped floral wallpapers to the cozy bedrooms. I can feel a sentimental presence of the past, a subtle resistance to the ruined surroundings and the cruel reality.

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What is interesting to me as a fan of your design is that you don’t excessively use different colours in your designers which is really apparent in your last AW19 collection, is this for a specific reason or not?

WP: It all came from the inspiration of that collection. I just took two tones-beige and blue. I found a door with white painting stains in an abandoned factory, which reminded me of the working situation of people. The door just had two colours-beige and blue. I like to take everything naturally from the initial inspiration and research.

How different is this SS20 Collection from your previous AW19 Collection?

WP: We will use some airy and transparent elements for SS20, which will be a fresh try for us, but still in our own aesthetics.

Did you use different materials? Or just the same materials?

I use raw cotton, linen and silk, which can indicate worn traces, combining with pretty and feminine colour and patterns. As I got inspirations from traces of human lives. I took photos of these traces, and found random, imperfect layers of organic materials show most, such as cotton bed sheets, linen curtains, canvas interiors and so on. So the current presence is a natural choice drawn from my initial inspiration.

What I also really like is that you use different models, from different ethnic backgrounds is that something you always do?

WP: Our aim is that we want to create an aesthetic that is beyond culture background.

What can we expect from your future collections?

WP: I will keep my own pace, and take this journey in a relaxed way. In the near future, we hope to produce products in wider categories, especially interiors, in order to build an overall aesthetic system. We also seek for any chances to collaborate with artists.

With your brand being a womenswear brand would you ever consider creating a men’s collection as well?

WP: I would consider the idea! Let’s see in the future.

If you had to give a single statement what would be your advice for young-people, who want to start a career in fashion?

WP: Be authentic.

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As WEN PAN excels through its ingenuity in design the collections are becoming vastly known for their celebration of the confidence in imperfection, with designs at this season’s fashion week that we anticipate will continue to set the mark for more encapsulating collections to come.