With striking silhouettes inspired by traditional outfits of Mongolian Women, the designer talks launching her namesake brand at Milan Fashion Week.
Sharp exaggerated shoulders, majestic deconstructed embroidery, padded floor-sweeping drapery. Introducing the boundary-pushing designs of Chinese designer Sara Wong, who is stepping out from the MAXRIENY by SARA WONG name and relaunching her namesake brand with a strong singular identity: SARA WONG.
To be debuted at Milan Fashion Week, her striking FW21 collection retraces the tradition of ancient Mongolian culture, fused with contemporary nods and elements that still characterise the style of the people today. Celebrating femininity throughout time, think playful asymmetric bustiers, fabric bands used instead of belts, high collars and embroidery in rich burgundy, duck-egg blues with deft touches of canary yellow, pinks and lilacs.
We caught up with Sara Wong and talked launching her namesake brand at Milan Fashion Week…
What inspired you to start your own fashion brand?
My first approach to job was with an accounting firm but very soon I understood that it wasn’t my dream and I decided to change it. My career in fashion started officially in 2010 when I returned to China and took over the position of Creative Director at MAXRIENY. After 10 years in the company I feel it is now the time to put all myself in my creation, including my name, in order to give a strong identity to the brand. I want my women to recognise themselves in me, and giving my name to the brand is a way to tell them “this is me, this is Sara Wong”.
How difficult has it been to navigate the “new normal” during the pandemic?
China faced the pandemic before any other country but thanks to the prompt government action we returned to a quite normal life in a relatively short time. We cannot consider ourselves safe yet and I hope the whole world will be soon free from this virus. It is killing not only people but also economic and confidence and hope, that’s worse. Speaking of “new normal” I think we have to consider the big impact of internet and social networks on our life, they are now representing one of the most important communication way but also the most profitable sale channels.
What is it that makes SARA WONG unique in the crowded fashion landscape?
The label SARA WONG is unique because it totally reflects my personality and of course I am unique. I mean the woman Sara Wong with her dreams, her soul, her creativity and her life is one of a kind in the world.
How does your background and experience in the finance world influence your work today?
I suppose that the finance studies have definitely broadened my logic and structural process abilities with a very different mindset. I am quite sure to have a good sense of rationality and balance that combined with my creativity allowed me to find the right mix of commercial viability and design.
What is the inspiration behind the new collection?
For the next FW 21/22 collection I got inspired by the Mongolian culture, in particular the period of XIX century when the “New Culture Movement” has been spread inside China, and lot’s of Mongolian intellectuals especially those who had returned from overseas, brought back home the culture from the west. The title of the collection is TARTARY: SHADES OF MONGOLIAN. Also the colour palette reflects the preferred shades from Mongolian women from brown to blue with a touch of yellow and lilac, lively and bright colours for a woman with an outgoing temperament.
The silhouettes are heavily inspired by traditional outfits of Mongolian Women, especially the shoulders element, deconstruction and reconstruction are also frequently used throughout this collection. The collection maintains its playfulness of mixing fabrics with a touch of pure femininity.
Milan represents the most important window for fashion industry including both the sides: creativity and business. Milan is not only glamour and fashion but it is also the city where you can build up strong commercial relationship.
Art seems to be a very important element of the SARA WONG DNA. How important is art in your life?
Art is part of my life. I have a passion for European Art Movements such as Neo-Classicism and Romanticism and always put artistic elements in my collections. I like to mix the ancient Chinese and Asian cultures with the more modern Europe. Before pandemic I was a big traveler and in my trips I tried to discover the most typical details of each country I visited and love to meet people with their costumes and tradition
Who would be your dream woman to dress?
I have not a specific woman in mind when I start my design process. I create for strong and independent women, they always have a sense of dedication and tenacity but at the same time they are very feminine and romantic. My woman lives in a modern fairytale world.
What’s next for Sara Wong?
It is very difficult to speak about projects in this period. My goal for the moment is to consolidate the worldwide brand awareness and make me ready for a new renaissance.