Nova Chiu S/S 2012 by Dana Bocai
Nova Chiu’s creations look like they’ve leapt straight off the pages of ancient fairytales. Strong, architecturally inspired silhouettes burst with colour, texture, beads and print. Her LCF graduate collection was a case of Art reflecting reality, as Nova drew inspiration from her birthplace, the Yunnan province of China, also known as the ‘mystical, earthly paradise’ that is Shangri-La. The aptly named Shangri-Ladida collection mixed traditional Chinese and contemporary dressmaking methods, winning the prestigious Collection of The Year award and creating a buzz of interest around what the designer will do next.
All photography courtesy of Nova Chiu
Chiu will be starting as a brand-new designer this London Fashion Week, but that doesn’t mean she’s new to fashion. Nova has worked for big-name designers such as Anna Sui, Richard Nicoll, and Matthew Williamson, who are all known for their use of colour, texture and shape.
Nova Chiu by Abi Hall
For her graduate collection, Nova Chui drew inspiration from China for more reasons than it being her birthplace. Feeling that although China produces most of the clothes sold around the world, not much is known about traditional and contemporary Chinese fashion. Nova decided she wanted to unveil unknown Chinese culture through her work, mixing traditional and contemporary techniques together in a collection fit for a modern-day princess.
Nova’s background in Surface Textiles is evident in her choice of modern and traditional prints, embellishments, and fabrics. I love her use of different textiles and creativity with red and yellow faux fur, which she embroidered into or pressed prints onto. Not many people could whip up a traditional Chinese ‘ink and wash’ painting method and place it on cotton and nylon to such a fresh effect. Jade and wooden beads poke through faux fur and run along edges as decoration. Sequins and different types of bells were also embedded in the fabric, meaning a girl wearing Nova Chiu will most definitely be seen and heard.
Nova Chiu by Dana Bocai
The beauty of a graduate collection, and Nova’s in particular, is that burst of energy from the pages of a student sketchbook into a catwalk collection. With her sketchbook lovingly displayed on her website, visitors get a sneak peak at the work that went into her attention-grabbing graduate collection. The illustrator in me loves the detailed, feminine and surreal drawings Nova creates. This designer spends a lot of time illustrating.
Nova Chiu by Jo Ley
This London Fashion Week, I truly cannot wait to see what Nova has in store. Will it be a development of the graduate collection or a complete change? I think we can predict more fascinating displays of her expertise and playfulness with surface textiles. I know I want to see more of her beaded and embellished faux fur; seeing shimmering stones poking out from candy-coloured fur reminds me of some type of fairytale animal. Whatever colour, inspiration, shape or customer she chooses to create for, I’m sure this London Fashion Week will be heaven on earth for Nova Chiu.
Nova Chiu by Jo Ley
Nova Chiu will be debuting her A/W 2012 collection this London Fashion Week on Friday the 17th of February at the Vauxhall Fashion Scout Ones to Watch show
- Nova Chiu: London Fashion Week A/W 2012 Catwalk Review
- Nova Chiu: London Fashion Week A/W 2013 Catwalk Review
- Nova Chiu: London Fashion Week S/S 2013 Catwalk Review
- LFW 09 – Nova Dando The Rainbow Collection – Dance for me
- Little Women AW15: an interview with Renli Su