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Susan Fang’s New Fashion Collection Mirrors Post-Lockdown Freedom

Inspired by flying insects and jellyfish, the collection transports us to the fashion designer’s ethereal, pastel-colored world

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Jul 21, 2022 1 mins read

Initially scheduled for Shanghai Fashion Week 2022 (which was postponed in light of Covid-19 before going entirely online), the debut of fashion designer Susan Fang’s latest collection AIR-FREE occurred on the top floor of the Museum of Art Pudong on July 17.


With floor-to-ceiling glass windows overlooking the Bund’s colonial architecture and the Pudong financial district’s futuristic skyscrapers, the venue was a perfect fit for the collection’s theme: metamorphosis.


Susan Fang new collection


Despite postponing her show twice, the young designer was adamant about parading her new pieces in person. Holding on to hope paid off for Fang, and the fashion show served as a cathartic release from Shanghai’s dark days in lockdown.


“In the past few months, we all shared the same feelings. I hope we can express them together through the pure beauty of classical music and nature represented in the show and finally release our inner butterfly from the dark,” Fang told RADII.


Dressed in nature-inspired garb with ethereal, romantic silhouettes, pastel colors, and light fabrics, models strutted down a catwalk covered with 3D-printed glass flowers.


susan fang


Fang also experimented with new materials and techniques, such as floating paint in water to create prints, to convey the feeling of freedom and movement.


“We [Fang and team] applied rhinestones on clothes for the first time. Some of them are shaped like clovers, others like flowers. We cut and reassembled them to be dynamic and to resemble petals in the wind when reflecting natural light,” explained the designer.


Romantic and dreamy as a whole, AIR-FREE’s garments also fit the practical needs of the modern woman.


“Women who like art will probably appreciate these designs because every detail is handmade from scratch. But [the clothes] also appeal to those who travel, because who wants to think about ironing clothes when traveling?” laughed the designer.


susan fang


Though ultra-feminine, Fang’s designs also challenge the male gaze. Designed by a woman for women, the collection is about wholeheartedly embracing one’s femininity.


One of the fashion items in AIR-FREE is the result of a collaboration between Fang and the American footwear brand Ugg. In the designer’s own words, the pair of furry sandals embellished with butterflies and rhinestones combine “the bling-bling factor” with comfort.


susan fang


While Shanghai still seems to be haunted by the ghost of Covid-19, Fang’s fashion show offered a glimpse of hope to the lucky few in attendance. Even reliving the show in pictures has the means to transport viewers (that’s you) to an otherworldly dimension marked by butterflies, tulle, and pastel dreams.


Part of a new generation of female Chinese designers who are making waves in the global fashion arena, Fang has participated in both Shanghai and London Fashion Week and was shortlisted for the prestigious LVMH Prize in 2019.


All images courtesy of Susan Fang

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