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Top 25 Art Blog - Creative Tourist

Yifang Wan, Fashion Scout Merit Award Winner: London Fashion Week A/W 2013 Catwalk Review

Merit Award winner Yifang Wan proved why she'd earned Fashion Scout's highest accolade at the Freemasons' Hall on Saturday 16 February…

Written by Matt Bramford


Yifang Wan A/W 2013 by Gabriel Ayala

Fashion Week A/W 2013 got off to a cracking start on Friday, for anybody who actually turned up. I didn’t, thanks to the effects of an anti-Valentine’s cocktail binge, instead spent the evening in bed with fish and chips and half a bottle of Rioja. So it was Saturday morning where my season started, heading as I did to this season’s Fashion Scout Merit Award winner – Yifang Wan.


Photography by Amelia Gregory

Previous Merit Award winners including David Koma, Felder Felder, William Tempest and Leutton Postle have all gone on to establish successful labels and the pressure of such previous acclaim must be terrifying — but its effects weren’t evident in this polished collection by Yifang Wan.


Yifang Wan A/W 2013 by Dom&Ink


All other photography by Matt Bramford

Record numbers packed the ‘white room’ of the Freemasons’ Hall, and so my view of the show was framed by a diminutive Frenchman wielding a vogue.fr microphone like a maniac and a very excitable girl with masses of hair. Her head was all over the place trying to secure a good shot and I was forced to perform a strange sort of swaying dance with my zoom lens, not unlike an Emperor penguin.


Yifang Wan A/W 2013 by Dom&Ink

I’d briefly taken an interest in Wan‘s work when the Merit prize was awarded at the beginning of the year, and her previous collections draw inspiration from her Asian heritage and long, draped silhouettes dominate her previous outings. So it was no surprise, in the best possible way, to see these themes continued for A/W 2013, with inspiration from performance artist ‪Marina Abramović‬, most famous for sitting in a smock and staring at New Yorkers in the MOMA for 700 hours.

Only four rich colours featured in this collection – deep blue, green, red and black in thick fabrics. Jackets came with triangular slices removed almost with abandon as fabrics draped asymmetrically and architecturally. Almost every piece skimmed the floor, while fabric swayed and draped in different directions with emphasis on Far Eastern cuts. Each piece was accessorised with intriguing angular sculptural pieces, some worn around necks, others carried almost like weaponry.

Yifang Wan is no stranger to awards, having won the L’Oreal Professionel Award at Saint Martins as an MA student. Her £25,000 prize this season will hopefully propel the designer’s label in the direction it deserves.

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