Tag Archives: designer

What’s the Point in Growing Up?

January 12, 2018 2018年1月12日



Born in Taipei, having studied in Milan, and now based in Shanghai, Ning (aka Kang Yung-Ning) is a designer and entrepreneur whose intercultural experiences have broadened her mind and shaped her creative interests. In the past, she’s found success as a high-end menswear designer, stylist consultant, and lecturer. In more recent years, she co-founded XSPLUSLAB, an eyewear brand designed specifically for kids, and Speechless, an online fashion and lifestyle platform. Eager to learn and experiment, Ning’s career path has been a path filled with many twists and turns. Even now, it’s difficult to define her job roles and responsibilities, which might change on a day to day basis. She sums everything up by simply saying, “It’s a bit complicated!”

生于台北,留学米兰,现在长居于上海的 Ning(康韵宁) 形容自己是一位专业“不务正业”的跨文化人士。除了担任一线品牌的男装设计师、造型顾问和学院讲师之外,她还创办了儿童眼镜品牌 XSPLUSLAB 以及时尚创意平台 Speechless。当被问及怎么定位自己的时候,Ning 的反应是,“哇,这很复杂,实在一言难尽!

Despite her cross-disciplinary interests, Ning has been able to balance all of her creative and entrepreneurial pursuits. Unsurprisingly, when asked what she would prioritize to if she had to choose between her personal life and work life, Ning went with the latter. But she admits, it’s often difficult for her to determine where one ends and the other begins. “I discover inspiration for my work everywhere in life,” she says. “It might come from spotting a row of interesting buildings, a particular floor tile, how random colors interact with one another, graffiti art on the street, or even a fallen leaf.”

在不同领域间游走,天秤座的她也形容自己是一个很平衡的人,尽管有很多不同的身份,也能尽量让这些角色达到彼此平衡,并且每个工作都全力以赴。如果要工作与生活二选一,Ning 毫不迟疑地选择工作,原因是她认为做自己喜欢的事,工作也像生活一样。她喜欢四处搜集与流行,时尚,艺术及生活相关的资讯。“生活中大大小小的事物都能为我带来灵感,走在路上看到一排特殊的建筑,路上的一块砖头,不同的色彩搭配,墙角的一个涂鸦,甚至是一片落叶,都能带给我灵感。”

In early 2016, Ning met Vic, an eyewear designer. At the time, Ning worked full-time as a menswear designer. But the two had a mutual interest in using their respective expertise to create something fun for kids; this resulted in the idea of designing playful eyewear for children. To their surprise, the project – initially created just for fun – received an overwhelming amount of positive feedback. This success would sow the seeds for the two to launch XSPLUSLAB not long after. Their vision for the brand is simple – create eyewear for stylish kids and adults with a child-like sense of wonder. But aside from simply designing glasses, Ning aims to communicate an underlying message of “Never grow up.” She hopes the brand can help foster creativity in the youth and inspire people of all ages to live their life without constraints.

2016 年初,Ning 碰到了她现在儿童眼镜品牌的合作伙伴 Vic,那时的 Ning 以从事男装设计的工作为主,而 Vic 是个很资深的眼镜设计师。因为两人对于小朋友的生活方式有着共同的想法,他们以做着玩的心态设计制作了一些儿童眼镜,没想到反响非常好。此后,两人就将这个概念发展为了现在的 XSPLUSLAB,一个专为有自我主见的酷小孩和童心未泯的有趣大人设计眼镜和配饰的原创品牌。而制造眼镜之外,Ning 也更想将这种“不想长大”的生活态度传递出来,和大家分享勇敢创新、充满创意的生活方式。

Aside from XSPLUSLAB, a large portion of Ning’s time is dedicated towards Speechless, an online platform that curates a collection of quirky lifestyle and fashion-related stories. “On one particularly hot day, when I was walking around town with my friend, I noticed a group of older folks in public with their shirts rolled up, revealing their stomach. To me, it felt almost like a fashion statement. I thought it was so much fun, but I couldn’t quite explain why. Not long after, I realized I had other interesting observations and ideas about fashion that I wanted to share. And so, Speechless was born,” she says, explaining that her long-term vision is for the platform to grow into an archive of stories that’s able to captivate people of all professions, races, cultures, and genders. “Maybe it’s a naive idea, but we’re open to everything. On this platform, I want people to not worry about ‘stepping over boundaries.’ There shouldn’t be any!”

说起 Speechless,这个 Ning 一手创立的线上生活形态资讯平台,背后还有个可爱又有点搞笑的小故事。“当初和朋友走在街头,看到夏天时大叔们因为天气闷热,把衣服卷到肚皮上散热,一群人站在路口形成有趣的‘时尚风景’,觉得说不出的逗趣景象,加上自己有许多对于生活趣事和时装及美感的看法想跟大家分享,于是便有了Speechless。” Ning 想借助这个平台,和一群对新鲜事物充满好奇的人们分享资讯,他们不按常理出牌,喜欢打破沙锅问到底,勇于打破常规,当然还有,充满幽默感。Ning 希望透过 Speechless 推广一种没有边界,跨产业、跨种族、跨文化、跨性别的理念,创造一个单纯且有趣的意见交换与分享平台。“在这里因为我们单纯而开放的多元精神,大家不必在意互踩界线!哈哈,因为我们也没有界限!”

“I’m both a dreamer and a dream maker,” Ning tells us. “I’m interested in sharing my experiences with people eager to learn so that they can make it closer to their own dreams. I think the best way to live life is to keep an open mind about everything. Kids and adults think differently. Adults already have preconceived notions about many things in life, but kids are different. They look at things in a different light – they don’t see limitations.” Ning often reminds people to retain their child-like sense of wonder about the world, to be receptive to different ideas, and create by thinking outside of the box. She wants people from all walks of life – especially designers, stylists, and fashion enthusiasts – to see that life can be lived without the mental limitations we often place on ourselves and spread the message that by harnessing our creativity, we hold the key to unlocking endless possibilities.

我是一个梦想家(Dreamer),也同时是一个梦想实现家(Dream maker) 。因为我在做梦的同时,也会把自己的经验传达给很多学生,帮助他们更靠近梦想。” Ning 和我们分享道,我觉得最有趣的生活状态就是对任何事物都采取开放的态度。”所以 Ning 常提醒自己用小孩子的态度对待世界,“孩子的生活和成人的生活不同,成人对事物已经有既定的印象,可是小朋友不一样,小朋友没有带有色眼镜,也没有任何的限制。” Ning 希望用更开放的心胸和更多元化的想法去创作,把这种没有界限的生活方式带给所有人,包括设计师,和那些对时尚和设计有热情的人们。

If you’re interested in checking out more designs from Ning and XSPLUSLAB, they’re now available at the POY Art Designer Concept Store.


Aegean Shopping Mall
1588 Wuzhong Road 1F 123A
Minhang District, Shanghai
People’s Republic of China


Website: xspluslab.com
Facebook: ~/xspluslab
Instagram: @absolutespeechless
WeChat: SPEECHLESS_Official


Contributor: Ye Zi
Videographer: Yang Bingying & Ye Zi

Photographer: Chan Qu

想看到更多 Ning 和 XSPLUSLAB 的更多作品,可以到半境空间设计概念店参观。


吴中路1588号 1F 123A


网站: xspluslab.com
脸书: ~/xspluslab
Instagram: @absolutespeechless
微信: SPEECHLESS_Official


供稿人: Ye Zi
视频摄影师: Yang Bingying & Ye Zi

照片摄影师: Chan Qu

Xander Zhou Spring/Summer 2018

October 19, 2017 2017年10月19日

For the unveiling of Chinese designer Xander Zhou‘s latest collection, the runaway was transformed into an office-like environment, or more specifically, the headquarters of an imaginary corporation called “Supernatural, Extraterrestrial & Co.” But instead of white-collared workers, Zhou’s office is populated with uniformed staff in glittery tracksuits, bowling uniforms, oriental garments, and other outlandish outfits. Every outfit is a “standardized uniform” in Zhou’s reimagining of modern society in an alternate reality, but the details in each design help draw attention to the diverse origins and cultural backgrounds of Zhou’s imaginary characters. For every single one of his collections, Zhou has described his design approach to be similar to producing a movie, with each look helping to build a cohesive and compelling narrative.

新一季的Xander Zhou的T台被打造成一个巨大的办公室场景,但里面可不仅仅只有西装革履的上班族,更充满了外星人、餐厅服务生、神秘的东方法师等各种角色,乍一看他们隐藏在现代文明之下,却在各自的着装细节里透露着自己身份的线索。对设计师而言,整个系列就像一次个人电影创作,所有look一起构建出最终完整的剧情。一起来看看这场Xander Zhou SS18台前幕后精彩的“演出”。

Website: www.xanderzhou.com
Instagram: @XanderZhou


Contributor: Shou Xing
Images Courtesy of Xander Zhou

网站: www.xanderzhou.com
Instagram: @XanderZhou


供稿人: Shou Xing
图片由Xander Zhou提供

Saigon Emoji

August 30, 2017 2017年8月30日

Emojis have become an indispensable part of modern communication, allowing people to easily convey their feelings and thoughts at the mere click of a button. In 2015, to the surprise of many, the “Face with Tears of Joy” emoji was even selected as Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year. Seeing this, Saigon-based designer Maxk Nguyn had an idea: “Why don’t I mix those tech icons with symbols of daily life in Saigon?” This light bulb moment culminated into the Saigon Emoji project. From streetside fruit vendor selling baskets of Instagram likes and Facebook Reactions to old mailboxes with unread notifications and a street cleaner sweeping away the past hour’s internet browsing history, Nguyễn’s fun series embeds these familiar digital symbols and emojis with photos of Saigon locals as a way of presenting the city and its stories through a universal language.

近年来,Emoji表情符号成为了现代人沟通过程中一个不可缺少的元素,一些无法用语言表达的想法或情感却可以用一个emoji符号轻松传递。emoji的喜极而泣符号更是在2015年的时候破天荒地成为了英国牛津字典的年度风云词汇。听到这则新闻,来自越南西贡 (胡志明市)的设计师 Maxk Nguyễn冒出了一个想法:当这种简单的数位图画影像和西贡的生活景象结合在一起,结果会是怎样? 《Saigon Emoji》就此诞生。坐在路边贩售水果的越南阿姨,果篮里装满的却是爱心和点赞符号;老房子的旧式信箱右上角冒出红色的未读邮件数字;清道夫的扫把下是上一小时的网络浏览记录。Nguyễn将这些数位符号带入西贡人的日常生活中,用emoji这个无国界之分的语言,讲着他家乡的故事。

Facebook: ~/Maxknguyen91


Contributor: Ye Zi



供稿人: Ye Zi

Between Two Ideals

March 9, 2017 2017年3月9日

Sydney-based designer and illustrator Joy Li arrived in Australia at the age of one after her parents immigrated over from mainland China. Growing up in an Asian household while living amongst a Western society has meant that Li has spent her entire life “wedged between two ideals.” Her latest project, Living as an Asian Girl, aims to showcase the frustration that many Asian women living in Western societies experience. This three-part series takes inspiration from social media, pop culture and internet memes. Although the presentation is light-hearted and approachable, Li seeks to shed a truthful light on the “difficulty in reconciling with conflicting identities and its subsequent effect on our psychological well-being.”

Joy Li是一名设计师和插画家。一岁时,她随父母从中国移居澳大利亚。作为一个生活在西方社会,却在亚洲家庭里成长的女生,Li的人生注定会夹在“两种价值观之间”。因此,在她的最新的设计项目《Living as an Asian Girl》中,Li希望向观众传达许多亚洲女性在西方社会生活会遇到的挫败和苦恼。整个项目分为三部分,灵感来自社交媒体、流行文化和网络爆红现象——虽然Li的表现手法走的是轻松有趣的路线,但她希望这件作品能传达给观众“在不同的身份间找寻平衡的艰难,以及它对我们心理上的影响”。

Words to My Daughter – “Dear Joy, I ____ You.”

Li arranges snippets of her everyday household conversations into a chart that measures each phrase’s frequency, tonal value and emotional impact. The sizing of the text correlates to the frequency that these phrases are heard. While such phrases may be eerily common across most Asian households, often uttered as a means of showing affection, they’re atypical and unexpected in Western society. Li’s intention is to shed light on these cultural contrasts while documenting her personal struggle with defining her own identity.

对女儿说的话—— 《Dear Joy, I ____ You.》


Visual Serenade of Twitter Sentiments  – “A Sad Ballad for Asian Girls”

In this second piece, Li explores how Asian girls are represented online by correlating tweets into an image based on their delivery. The data was derived from Twitter searches relating to the keywords “Asian women” and “Asian girls”, with results ranging from offensive to empowering.

Twitter帖子的视觉小夜曲——《A Sad Ballad for Asian Girls》

在第二部分里,Li 将Twitter上搜索的帖子内容和根据这些内容形成的图像放在一起,进而探讨亚洲女孩在网络上的形象。她在Twitter网站上搜索“亚洲女性”和“亚洲女孩”的关键词,收集了一系列的帖子,其中既有侮辱性的内容,也有倡导女性赋权的内容。

A Character Quiz – “Who’s Your Token Asian?”

Along with limited representation amongst mass media, Asian women are also constantly pigeonholed into certain stereotypes. Li created this visual flow chart that takes viewers through a series of questions to discover their “token Asian.”

一个性格测验——《Who’s Your Token Asian》


Li describes herself as someone who draws inspiration from the past as much as the future and hopes that her work can “delight the mind’s eye and invite a sense of nostalgia.” What started off as a personal project has evolved into a beacon of truth that resonates with Asian women from all over the world.




Contributor: Whitney Ng



供稿人: Whitney Ng

Gundam Robots in Real Life

January 10, 2017 2017年1月10日
A conceptual sketch by designer Vitaly Bulgarov / 来自Vitaly Bulgarov的概念草稿

Like something straight out of science fiction, a gigantic humanoid robot has recently been unveiled by the South Korean company Hankook Mirae Technology. Dubbed as the Method-2, the current iteration of this larger-than-life bipedal mech suit is a collaborative project between Moldovan designer Vitaly Bulgarov and the mysterious South Korean robotics company.

韩国韩泰未来科技公司最近推出了一个巨型的人形机甲,看上去就像是从科幻小说里走出来的一样。这个代号为Method-2的巨型双足机甲是摩尔多瓦设计师Vitaly Bulgarov和这家神秘的韩国机器人研发公司之间的一个合作项目。

Large robots piloted by a human isn’t a new concept, at least in popular sci-fi shows and films. They’ve appeared in Japanese animes, such as Gundam , in the form of combat-ready mobile suits; in the video game series Metal Gear as weaponized bipedal tanks with nuclear weaponry, which often appear as the final boss; and more recently, in Western movies like Pacific Rim where the humanoid mechs are used to combat kaiju, or monsters, that emerge from the sea.


Unlike the robots depicted in many of these sci-fi movies and games, Hankook’s 13-foot-tall robot isn’t intended for military use. In the short term, the robot has been envisioned for industrial applications where it can remain tethered to a power source. It’s even said that they plan to release an alternate version of the robot, with only torso and arms on a wheeled foundation, to assist in cleanup at the Fukushima disaster site.


Video Courtesy of Vitaly Bulgarov


A scientist at work inside the Hankook Mirae Technology robotics lab
A group of scientists at Hankook Mirae Technology fine-tuning a robotic joint

Robotics experts have expressed skepticism towards the authenticity of the entire project, citing a combination of many reasons: Bulgarov’s background with working in Hollywood blockbusters, such as the upcoming Ghost in the Shell movie that takes place in a post-cyberpunk world with a cyborg protagonist; the immaculately clean state of Hankook Mirae’s robotics laboratory, as seen in their newly released photos; the sloppily leaked images and videos, which initially only appeared on Bulgarov’s personal social media; and the mysterious nature of Hankook Mirae Technology, a company that didn’t even have a website or any web presence until just recently are just a few of the eyebrow-raising issues that have been pointed out over the last few weeks.

有机器人专家对整个项目的真实性持怀疑态度,并列举了很多原因:首先,设计师 Vitaly Bulgarov 参与了好莱坞电影拍摄的工作,譬如即将上映的电影《攻壳机动队》,这部电影讲述了一个发生在后赛博朋克(post-cyberpunk)世界的故事,主人公是一个半人类半机械的改造人;其次,在韩泰未来科技公司新发布的照片中可以看出,这家公司的机器人实验室竟然干净得一尘不染;还有,那些随意泄露的照片和视频。在最初,这些照片只出现在 Bulgarov 的个人社交媒体上;最后是韩泰未来科技公司的神秘背景,这一家公司直到最近才慢慢出现在互联网上并建立属于自己的网站。在过去的几个星期里,对于这个人型机甲,外界类似上面这样的质疑还有很多。

Photo of an earlier prototype from inside Hankook Mirae Technology
A pilot inside the cockpit of a shell-less robot suit at Hankook Mirae Technology

Bulgarov has insisted these robots are authentic while Hankook Mirae Technology has remained silent, unresponsive to our media inquiry. Whether these robot-powered suits are real or an elaborate hoax remains to be seen. Either way, Bulgarov’s conceptual 3-D sketches are quite impressive to look at.

Bulgarov 一直坚称那些都是真真正正的机器人,而韩国韩泰未来科技公司则一直对此保持沉默,也未接受我们的媒体访问。至于这些人形机甲到底是真实存在,还是只是一个精心设计的骗局,让我们拭目以待。无论怎样,Bulgarov的3D概念草图看上去仍然很震撼人心。




Contributor: David Yen
Video & Images Courtesy of Vitaly Bulgarov




供稿人: David Yen
视频与图片由Vitaly Bulgarov提供

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Designs by Nhu Duong

April 19, 2016 2016年4月19日

Nhu Duong is a Swedish Vietnamese fashion designer whose work blends sparse minimalism with traditional Asian craftsmanship. Her style is an intriguing mix of futuristic lo-fi with primarily androgynous forms, but at the same time, feminine characteristics are subtly highlighted in all the details. The daughter of a kung fu master and a tailoress, Nhu was born in Ho Chi Minh City and later immigrated to Sweden at the age of seven. After studying fashion in Florence and Stockholm, Nhu went on to work at Acne Studios. She has debuted her work at fashion week and won numerous emerging talent awards. Neocha recently spoke to Nhu as she prepared for her new Spring/Summer 2016 collection.

Nhu Duong là một nhà thiết kế thời trang người Thụy Điển gốc Việt với phong cách kết hợp chủ nghĩa tối giản và nghệ thuật truyền thống châu Á. Phong cách của cô là một sự hài hòa say đắm giữa âm thanh của tương lai cùng những chi tiết nữ tính và lưỡng tính. Là con gái của một thầy dạy võ và cô thợ may, Nhu sinh ra ở Thành phố Hồ Chí Minh và di cư đến Thụy Điển khi mới 7 tuổi. Sau khi học thời trang ở Florence và Stockholm, Nhu đã đi làm ở Acne Studios. Cô đã ra mắt ở tuần thời trang và giành được nhiều giải thưởng cho tài năng mới nổi cho các sản phẩm của mình. Chúng tôi đã có dịp nói chuyện với Nhu khi cô chuẩn bị cho mùa Spring/Summer 2016.

Neocha: You have a unique background being Vietnamese, Swedish, the daughter of a kung fu master and a tailoress. Did all of these factors come together to form the backdrop to your work? What do you think you would be doing if you were not a fashion designer?

Nhu: When you move to a new country as a child – as I emigrated from Vietnam to Sweden, you naturally try your best to adjust to new surroundings and to a certain degree reinvent yourself. Fashion can be a very direct expression of that, taking things you know from one cultural context and putting them in another. I wanted to be a fashion designer and started playing with clothing from an early age – for me, it was a form of role playing. I think that both the performative and the bodily aspect of my dad has been an influence to me, as well as the craft and improvised approach of making clothes that my mother goes with. If I didn’t choose this path, maybe I would have become an actress.

Neocha: Chị có một nền tảng khá độc đáo là người Việt, đồng thời cũng là người Thụy Điển, con của một thầy dạy võ và một cô thợ máy… liệu tất cả những yếu tố này có kết hợp với nhau để tạo nên nền tảng cho những tác phẩm của chị hay không? Chị sẽ làm gì nếu không phải là một nhà thiết kế thời trang?

Nhu: Nếu bạn từng di cư đến một đất nước mới khi còn là một đứa trẻ – như tôi đã di cư từ Việt Nam đến Thụy Điển – hiển nhiên bạn sẽ luôn cố gắng để thích ứng với môi trường mới và đến một chừng mực nào đó, sáng tạo nên một con người mới của bạn. Thời trang có thể là một sự diễn đạt rõ ràng nhất về điều này, đưa những thứ mà bạn có thể biết từ một ngữ cảnh văn hóa và đặt nó vào một không gian khác. Tôi đã luôn muốn được làm một nhà thiết kế thời trang và thích chơi với quần áo từ sớm, bởi đối với tôi nó là một dạng của trò chơi đóng vai. Tôi nghĩ rằng cả hai khía cạnh biểu hiện và cơ thể của Bố, cũng như nghệ thuật và những cách may quần áo sáng tạo của Mẹ đã có ảnh hưởng đến phong cách của tôi. Nếu tôi không chọn con đường này, có thể tôi đã trở thành một diễn viên.

Neocha: What are your influences in fashion? How should one feel when wearing your clothes?

Nhu: On the one hand, I often directly experiment with clothes and materials on myself. In this regard, styling becomes an important part of my process. The ability to change garments by mixing and matching them is intriguing. On the other hand, I get a lot of inspiration from my friends around me – especially the ones who do not work directly in fashion, such as artists and musicians. I like to look at how other people actually wear my clothes and integrate them into their own wardrobe. I am interested exactly in this transformative power of fashion.

Neocha: Ai là người đã có ảnh hưởng đến chị trong lĩnh vực thời trang? Một người sẽ có cảm giác thế nào khi mặc quần áo của chị?

Nhu: Một mặt, tôi thường tự mình thử nghiệm với quần áo và vật liệu. Xét về khía cạnh này, tạo mẫu phong cách đã trở thành một phần quan trọng trong quá trình của tôi, thay đổi trang phục theo cách phối đồ. Mặt khác, tôi nhận được rất nhiều cảm hứng từ những người bạn quanh mình, đặc biệt là những người không làm việc trực tiếp trong ngành thời trang như các nghệ sĩ và nhạc sĩ. Tôi thích nhìn ngắm cách mà mọi người mặc quần áo của tôi và tích hợp chúng vào tủ quần áo của họ. Nói một cách chính xác, tôi rất quan tâm đến sức mạnh chuyển hóa này của thời trang.

Neocha: Are there any new directions you are exploring, or what are some of your current obsessions? What do you look at or immerse yourself in for inspiration?

Nhu: The most fascinating thing about fashion is that it is positioned at the crosspoint of many cultural fields – ranging from art and music to architecture and business. I think this is where the aspect of collaboration becomes important in my work, it allows me to open up my process and question the limits of fashion. It’s rather fascinating to see how context can change the perception of your work. In my opinion, the principle of collaboration challenges or rather extends traditional notions of the fashion designer.

Neocha: Liệu chị có đang khám phá hoặc ám ảnh với một chiều hướng mới nào không? Chị thường xem hay đắm chìm vào một thứ gì để tìm cảm hứng?

Nhu: Một điểm thú vị của thời trang, là nó được đặt tại giao điểm của rất nhiều lĩnh vực văn hóa, từ nghệ thuật và âm nhạc đến kiến trúc và kinh doanh. Tôi cho rằng đây chính là điểm mà khía cạnh hợp tác trở nên quan trọng trong công việc của mình, cho phép tôi nhìn bao quát được quy trình của mình và đặt câu hỏi về giới hạn của thời trang. Việc chứng kiến cách mà ngữ cảnh có thể thay đổi nhận thức về công việc của bạn thật sự rất thú vị. Theo quan điểm của tôi, nguyên tắc hợp tác sẽ thách thức, hoặc chính xác hơn là mở rộng các quan niệm truyền thống của một nhà thiết kế thời trang.

Neocha: In this era of fast fashion, cult brands, and information at one’s fingertips via the internet, what are the challenges of being a fashion designer today? Who do you look up to?

Nhu: The internet has made fashion much more accessible. Now everybody can check fashion shows online and look through archives of imagery, which creates a heightened awareness about the history of fashion. At the same time, it was never this easy to reach a global audience and this has allowed me to experiment with different methods of producing, presenting and distributing fashion. I’m hoping to develop a sustainable model to produce fashion that’s beyond seasons and in my own pace. On one hand, I respect Rei Kawakubo for her creative approach towards branding; on the other hand, I admire Azzedine Alaïa for his timeless dedication to craft beyond season.

Neocha: Trong kỷ nguyên Internet, thời trang ăn liền và các thương hiệu được tôn thờ, các thách thức mà một nhà thiết kế thời trang phải đối mặt ngày nay là gì? Chị có thầy cô giáo hay ai đó hỗ trợ phát triển sản phẩm của mình không?

Nhu: Internet đã giúp thời trang trở nên dễ tiếp cận hơn bao giờ hết. Giờ đây, tất cả mọi người đều có thể xem các buổi trình diễn thời trang trực tuyến và tra cứu hồ sơ hình ảnh, tạo nên một cảm nhận cao hơn về lịch sử của thời trang. Cùng lúc đó, việc tiếp cận khán giả trên toàn cầu chưa bao giờ lại dễ dàng đến thế này và nó đã cho phép tôi thử nghiệm với các phương thức sản xuất, trình bày và phân phối thời trang khác nhau, hi vọng sẽ phát triển được một mô hình bền vững để sản xuất thời trang, vượt qua giới hạn các mùa và theo nhịp độ riêng của tôi. Mặt khác, tôi tôn trọng những người như Rei Kawakubo vì phương pháp tiếp cận sáng tạo của bà đối với thương hiệu; tôi cũng rất ngưỡng mộ những người như Azzedine Alaïa vì sự tận tụy không ngừng nghỉ của ông đối với nghệ thuật vượt quá giới hạn của mùa

Neocha: What has your experience as an Asian female designer in the fashion world been like? What advice would you give to young designers fresh out of school today?

Nhu: My background influences me personally. You may even recognize different cultural influences in my work. However, this is not really something I really think about or try to thematize. I think it is more important to reinvent yourself, to break away from classical stereotypes of gender and race as my own points of reference are actually way more complex and fragmented. I think one should question one’s own motives for creating fashion in the first place, and in doing so, foster a critical dialogue on the role of fashion and its history.

Neocha: Trải nghiệm của chị với tư cách là một nữ thiết kế gốc châu Á trong thế giới thời trang? Chị có lời khuyên nào cho các nhà thiết kế trẻ mới tốt nghiệp ngày nay?

Nhu: Nguồn gốc của tôi đã có ảnh hưởng cá nhân đến phong cách của tôi. Bạn thậm chí còn có thể nhận thấy các ảnh hưởng văn hóa khác trong những tác phẩm của tôi, tuy nhiên đây không phải là một điều gì đó mà tôi thật sự nghĩ đến, hay cố gắng chủ đề hóa. Tôi nghĩ việc quan trọng hơn cả là hãy sáng tạo lại bản thân bạn, để thoát khỏi những quan niệm rập khuôn cổ điển về giới tính và chủng tộc, bởi các điểm tham chiếu của tôi luôn phức tạp và phân mảnh hơn thế rất nhiều. Tôi nghĩ rằng một người trước hết nên đặt câu hỏi đối với động lực học thời trang của chính họ, và qua đó phát triển một cuộc hội thoại thiết yếu về vai trò và lịch sử của thời trang.

Website: nhuduong.com


Contributor: Jia Li
Photographer: Marie Angeletti
Images Courtesy of Nhu Duong & Marie Angeletti

Trang mạng: nhuduong.com


Người gửi bài: Jia Li
Nhiếp ảnh gia: Marie Angeletti
Ảnh do Nhu Duong & Marie Angeletti cung cấp

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Between The Past and Present

February 23, 2016 2016年2月23日

The Miao is an ethnic minority in China that do not have their own language, but their culture and history remains well-preserved through the distinct designs of their clothing. They have over 200 different clothing styles, all created through batiking and embroidering. The Miao people’s use of geometric patterns is one of the most striking features of their clothing. Between the Past and Present  is a collection created by designer Zeng Lu, and shot by photographer Esa Kapila. The collection is a reimagining of traditional Miao apparel. The design manages to exude elegance through an air of simplicity, while still maintaining the cultural characteristics and charm of original Miao clothing. From design to photography, traditional to contemporary, Asia to Scandinavia – this collection is a balancing act that manages to delicately tip-toe between all these different elements with perfect equilibrium.

苗族这个没有自己文字的中国少数民族,得名于将自己的文化和历史精美地展示在他们的服饰中。在他们200多种的服饰里,蜡染、刺绣、几何图案都是其中最为显著的部分特点。《Between the Past and Present》是设计师曾璐是对中国苗族的图案制作传统进行了一次新的工业尝试,并由Esa Kapila摄影呈现的服装系列。这个系列简洁精美,散发着独特的文化魅力。不管是在设计,还是摄影上,传统和现代、东亚和斯堪的纳维亚碰撞的趣味,都在这个系列中达到完美的平衡。

Zeng Lu is an avid fashion designer that only recently moved back to China. In her eyes, the fusion of contemporary and the traditional design is a projection of the globalization evident in our modern lifestyle. Her concept asks the question: “how can we preserve our cultural roots in the current fast-paced societal progression?”

Esa Kapila is a Helsinki-born photographer, who previously studied interior design in Finland and Japan. He has traveled around the globe, and lived in Japan as well as Indonesia. Through his travels, he has attained a better understanding of foreign culture and a refreshed perspective on aesthetics. Esa found Zeng Lu’s project to be very interesting, and was impressed by her professionalism as well as the entire concept behind the collection. After formally introduced through a mutual friend, they collaborated together to present her Between the Past and Present collection in a visually stimulating photoset. Through Esa’s clean photographs, the essence of the collection was captured – revealing the subtle exchange between static and dynamic moments while placing emphasis on Lu’s intricate designs. The clothing and the photographs flawlessly complements one another.


来自赫尔辛基的Esa Kapila,曾在芬兰和日本学习室内设计。在世界各地的旅行和随后在日本和印尼的居住,给了他了解异域文化和美学的激情。自然,他对她作品的主题热情高涨,而她也认可他的职业和对这个设计系列的理解。于是这两人经友人介绍后便一拍即合,用干净的画面,捕捉静与动的氛围,重笔表现精美的图案,与设计本身相得益彰。

Neocha: Can you tell us about how this collection came about?

Lu: I am from the southern part of China, but lived in Finland. I was inspired by the Scandinavian lifestyle a lot. I saw the way people respected traditions there. Moreover, living so far from China allowed me to observe my culture from a different angle. It made me passionate about creating something based on my own experiences. The first fabric I made myself was a piece of wax-resistant dyeing swatch. It’s the starting point of my design career. I decided to combine my traditional techniques with my understanding of Scandinavian culture. The juxtaposition is exciting to me. On one hand, it’s the style famous for industrial simplicity. On the other hand is a culture that admires extreme exquisiteness. I’ve always been interested in traditional culture and how they work in a modern context. This collection was an experimental project that tries to bring the old traditions into the modern world.

Neocha: 这个系列设计的创意从何而来呢?

: 来自中国南方的我深受斯堪的纳维亚生活方式启发。我注意到他们对自己传统的尊重。而距离也让我有机会从不同的角度去审视自己的文化。这让我非常想对此做点什么。第一次给自己做的布料是蜡染布样。这是我设计职业的起点。于是我决定要融合这种传统的技术和我理解的斯堪的纳维亚文化。事实上,这两者所产生的冲突是非常激动人心的。一来,这种风格得名于工业上的简单易行;二来,这是种尊重极度精华绝妙的文化。他们共同组成了我的经验。我总是对传统文化有着浓厚的兴趣,也担心在现代社会中他们的情况。我想用这个系列作为一个将传统带进现代社会的实验。

Neocha: How did you decide on a suitable visual style for her collection?

Esa: After seeing Lu’s collection and hearing all of her ideas behind it, we were immediately on the same page on the atmosphere of the photos. Lu showed me the models we were going to work with, and then we looked for the right location that would allow us to use natural light and have ideal textures on the floor and walls. The white cubes emitted the feeling of simplicity, but in a modern way. At the same time, those cubes allowed us to play around with model placement – to effortlessly make the compositions more alive and playful. I understood Lu’s vision on the clothing and how she wanted the girls to showcase them. It was really fun to shoot the collection.

Neocha: 是什么让你决定以这种形式进行拍摄呈现呢?


Neocha: Can you tell us about some of the challenges you faced while working on this collection?

Lu: The working process is actually a process that involves solving all kinds of problems. I’d say the most challenging part was the early research stage. Although I’m from China, what I understood about Chinese folk wax-resist dyeing wasn’t in-depth. I needed a deeper understanding but I was staying in another country. This made the work more difficult. At the same time, since my intent was to bring the traditional into the modern world, I needed to figure out how to translate this kind of time-consuming manual technique into highly efficient industrial work. That was when I found out about this ethnic group that didn’t have their own language. Their designs alone communicated plenty – it reveals culture, history, religion, and so on. So I decided to focus on digging up their stories and patterns, to try and create my modern take on it – while also still keeping the essence of their culture. To bring the traditional culture into the industrial world, I decided to employ a modern creation process. Though the collection was finished, it was only the beginning for me.

Neocha: 这个系列中你们遇到最大的挑战是什么?


Esa: When working with a new team and designer you haven’t worked with or know before, it usually takes some time to get to know one another’s style and ways of working. With Lu, I was surprised how quickly we found common ground and figured out the direction we wanted to go. In these photographs, the biggest challenge for me was to have both natural light and supporting lights to work together. We had a limited amount of equipment, but this also reinforced the simplicity we were looking for. Another funny difficulty was the language! I was the only non-Chinese speaker in our team, so sometimes I found myself in the middle of a brainstorming session in a language I really don’t know


Neocha: What do you enjoy about the collaboration process?

Lu: I enjoyed all of it. The most exciting part for me was the tryouts. We had a lot of ideas, tried many different styles, and discussed how to improve on our ideas. I enjoyed the feeling of being on the same page, working on the same thing, and we basically had no difficulties understanding with one another. Esa worked in a professional way and treated details very carefully.

Esa: This collaboration had all of the elements I love working with: a talented designer with a great point of view, a concept with many strong cultural ties, an inspiring atmosphere, and a friendly team. I learned a lot from Lu, through her aesthetics and approach on directing models. For example, she noticed small details like arm placement.

Neocha: 这次的合作过程中有什么是让你们觉得最为享受的?



Neocha: As you described, this collection “took a new, industrial approach to the traditional patterns created by the Miao people in China.” What do you think of the future of this kind of merging in fashion design?

Lu: We own such ancient and rich culture, but most of them are fading out due to modernization. However, I believe there will come a time when more and more Chinese designers will want to find out who they were and tell the world. I think it is a topic with potential. Currently, I can’t tell how this work will evolve. But I know that this conflict of the new and the old will have people thinking more about the relationship between culture and design. For me, my work is alive. Whether it’s the traditional patterns, or the shapes of collections. They seem to tell a mythical and ancient Oriental story. The way that viewers think about the work is precisely the communication. This interaction breaks through the limitations of time and space.

Neocha: 你说这个系列是“对中国苗族的图案制作传统进行了一次新的工业尝试”。在你看来,服装设计中这样一种结合的未来是什么呢?


Esa tells us, in addition to his current ongoing projects, he has plans of moving back to Asia. He wants to continue his visual exploration of people and culture through portraits and fashion. In the future, Lu plans to continue experimenting and attempt to modernize old Chinese traditions through different pieces of work. Even though the conflicting elements of her work results in unpredictability in the early stages of design, she tells us the challenging nature of her work has shifted her attitude towards difficulties. She now views these challenges as an exciting part of creation.


Website: Between the Past and Present


Contributor: Banny Wang
Images Courtesy of Zeng Lu and Esa Kapila

网站: Between the Past and Present


供稿人: Banny Wang
图片由曾璐和Esa Kapila提供

The Hats of Kumi Ding

December 24, 2015 2015年12月24日

Kumi Ding is a Shanghai-based hatmaker, fashion designer, and the founder of Kumi Shop. Originally a professionally trained musician, Kumi had worked for five years in the fashion industry before establishing her self-titled design label, Kumi Ding. Themes such as religion, music, classical aesthetics, architecture, fairytales, and Eastern beauty are often visible in her work.

Kumi Ding是上海的帽饰设计师,也是Kumi Shop的创立人。音乐科班出身的她,在服装行业品牌市场公关领域工作五年之后,于2013年创立了个人品牌Kumi Ding,开始了设计以及制作工作。在她的作品里,你能看到宗教、音乐、古典美术、建筑、童话故事等元素,以及东方美学的气质。

During the fall and winter of 2013, English designer Piers Atkinson’s dinosaur baseball hats made ripples in the fashion world. Both inspired by and seeking to improve on Atkinson’s designs from a more female perspective, Kumi began to experiment with designing her own custom baseball hats. For her, the brim of the hat serves as a platform on which extravagant scenes – such as flower gardens, rainforests, old battlefields, or parties, can be created. Through the process of designing and manufacturing hats, Kumi found a consumer market that was eager for something new and fresh, leading her to establish the Kumi Ding design label.

2013 年秋冬,英国设计师 Piers Atkinson 的恐龙棒球帽倍受欢迎。但在她,作为女性看来,其设计呈现很单一且有点“硬”,所以她开始尝试做创意主题棒球帽。她将帽檐看成一个干净的平台,并把神秘花园、热带雨林、远古战场或派对现场等各种立体故事场景搬到帽檐上。也是因为这些棒球帽, 一下子让她发现了帽饰市场的饥渴,并在同年成立了个人品牌Kumi Ding。

Kumi calls her design studio a “hat laboratory”, in which new hats are created almost daily. Her designs span a wide range of creative approaches, from simple commercial designs, to extravagant runway designs and upper-class millinery, to more experimental and futuristic designs. Many of the hats that Kumi designs are one-of-a-kind, or are in need of custom alteration upon order. “Rich, multi-layered, with attention to ideology and creativity” – these are the common traits and main driving concept behind Kumi Shop.

Kumi自称自己的工作室是一个帽饰实验室。从简洁的商业设计、适合秀场的浮夸设计,到复古的高端女士礼帽,甚至充满科技感和实验性的边缘帽饰,在她的工作室几乎每天都有新设计诞生,而且有很大一部分是孤品,或售出后需要手工复制定制的。丰富,多层次,注重意识形态与创意正是Kumi Shop的理念。

Kumi says, “I’m a free spirit, rebellious by nature and perceptive, with the hopes of being independent in thought and action. I want to create new things and ideas, in order to express individual values.” Influenced by her musical background, she is a lover of diverse artforms, saying, “Art inundates my life, and a good work of art is like food for the soul. Sometimes inspiration is more subtle, and other times more obvious.” Thus, from materials to form and design, Kumi’s works embody a strong sense of art and individual aesthetic.

Kumi说: “我是一个自由主义的崇尚者,骨子里面叛逆,感性并且希望特立独行。我想要创造新事物与想法,以此实现个人价值。 ”出生音乐之家的她,热爱并关注各种形式的艺术。她告诉我们: “这些内容充斥我的生活,一切好的作品都给予我精神食粮,给我灵感,只不过有些细微有些明确。”所以,完全不难理解为何她的作品在材料形式设计上如此天马行空。

Many times, Kumi will be inspired by designs from other hatmakers, which she may expand on using her own approach. Her exploration of materials and form, and a more progressive mindset has also led her to incorporate 3D printing into the design process of her flat brimmed baseball hats. According to Kumi, the process has been challenging, but has also been well-received by the public.


Kumi Ding is passionate about each piece that she creates. For her, creativity is a process of never-ending change. Her ideas and products change with the times, so much so that sometimes she is unable to replicate works from her earlier periods, especially her higher-end works. She is currently working to expand further her series of 3D printed hats, and she hopes to reveal a new design series in spring and summer of 2016.


Facebook: ~/Kumi-Shop
WeChat: KumiDing


Contributor & Photographer: Banny Wang
dditional Images Courtesy of Kumi Ding

脸书: ~/Kumi-Shop
微信: KumiDing


供稿人与摄影师: Banny Wang
附加图片由Kumi Ding提供

The Typography of Sabeena Karnik

November 17, 2015 2015年11月17日

Sabeena Karnik is a graphic designer and illustrator from Mumbai, who specializes mainly in paper typography. That is to say, she creates type and letters by hand using only paper, which is the primary thing that sets her work apart from other typographers. She says that this “evokes many reactions from the viewer, especially because it is all handcrafted by me and nothing is done digitally”.

Basically Sabeena creates the visual elements by combining typography and illustration made with paper strips, which she then attaches onto a base. She uses the paper to produce different types of effects with lighting and shadows. It is quite a long process which first starts with a sketch and many days of careful work manipulating the paper by hand. The drawing serves as a guideline for sticking on 5mm or 10mm wide strips of paper. She explains, “The strips are curled, curved, folded, rounded, beautified and then glued on the edges for pasting on the base.”

One illustration can take around 7-10 days to finish, with each day generally lasting 12 hours. The process requires a lot of patience, precision and careful handling of the paper, since it is very delicate and easy to crush. Once the art is ready, Sabeena then takes it to the studio to be photographed. She says, “The effect light produces when it falls on the paper art is quite magical and makes the art complete.” Finally in the end, it materializes as a three-dimensional piece of art.

Her interest in paper typography started three years ago when she started doing an entire series on the alphabet one afternoon. Initially there was no intention to make it a career. While in university, Sabeena studied graphic design with a special focus on typography. During this time, working with paper and hand lettering was always something that she was passionate about. A simple experiment one day led to her attempt to make the entire alphabet. According to her, this whole process gave her immense joy and the outcome was overwhelming. Soon after this, Sabeena started getting assignments and jobs from overseas which all involved paper typography.

She says that her creative inspiration comes from everywhere: “A lot of it is from nature, handicrafts, and impressionist paintings when it comes to usage of colours, architecture, people.” It’s very hard for her to pick a favorite piece of work that she’s made, but one project that has given her immense pride and a great sense of fulfillment was a promotional campaign she did for the Mysore Palace in India for Karnataka tourism. “For that, I had to create a miniature version of the palace with a lot of detailing in my own way using paper,” she says, “It had some typography but the focus was on the illustration. The advertisement was published across billboards and magazines in India and overseas. It still makes me emotional when I reminisce about it.”

Sabeena admits that, to a large extent, her work really reflects who she is as a person. She likes things to be precise and neat when it comes to what she creates, and this applies to her life as well. “Experimentation and taking risks is essential in work and in life,” she says, “There shouldn’t be any restrictions. There are days when I consider myself to be as delicate and fragile as the papers I work with.” After her paper creations are photographed, they are kept, cared for like babies, and stored away in boxes that she also makes herself. Sabeena says, “Someday I hope to exhibit them all under one venue.”

Instagram: @sabeenu


Contributor: Banny Wang

Designing Fangsuo Bookstore

November 14, 2015 2015年11月14日

Designing a beautiful bookstore has always been a dream for the Taiwanese designer Chu Chih-Kang. The inception of this dream came almost 14 years ago when Chu came across some interesting bookstore designs.


Chu has always been attracted and inspired by interesting bookstore designs because they are not simply commercial shops designed to sell books. They are also spaces that collect and share knowledge as well as being public spaces for relaxation and contemplation. For Chu, to be able to create such a place is the ultimate achievement.


When the opportunity arose to partner up with Fangsuo Bookstore on their latest project, Chu didn’t hesitate to leap at the chance. His initial proposal was centered around the concept of “The Secret Scripture Library”. Historically scripture libraries have existed in Buddhist temples for many centuries and also have an extended meaning of stored wisdom in Mandarin Chinese. This concept resonated deeply with the Fangsuo team and was immediately accepted.

方所书店最近恰好提供了这样一个契机,朱志康果断抓住了这个机会。他最初提出的方案是以“秘密藏经阁”的概念为核心。历史上,藏经阁在佛教寺庙中存在了多个世纪, 同时它在汉语中也有保存智慧及升华的精妙含义。这个概念得到了方所团队的强烈共鸣, 得以一致通过。


In the thousands of years of Chinese history, there have been many numerous and infamous quests for ancient scriptures and the wisdom that they hold. This spirit of exploration was something that Chu wanted to capture in the Fangsuo Bookstore. Moreover, Chu not only wanted people to experience this quest into the unknown, but he also wanted the bookstore to have the solemnity of a temple since books represent some of mankind’s most deep and profound wisdom.



Following on the theme of the cosmos, the entrance to the bookstore is through a sculpture shaped like a meteor. This mysterious tunnel is intentionally designed to feel narrow and confining for those passing through it. This near claustrophobic experience when you first enter is then followed by a sudden release into a large open space where you feel the pressure immediately ease. The initial journey through this meteor – this ark to knowledge, is designed to release tension and allow customers to enter the bookstore with a relaxed frame of mind, open to discovery and enchantment.

书店的设计是以宇宙为主题,其入口的隧道形如流星。这个神秘隧道故意设计得狭窄而幽深,从那经过的人首先会感到紧张和幽闭感。 初进书店会有近乎幽闭恐惧的体验,紧随其后的则是一个突然出现的豁大空间,这将让你的压力迅速得以释放。 这样一种星辰之旅的设计,让光顾者先高压后释放,得以用一种放松和开放的心态与意识去探索和发现。


The Fangsuo Bookstore Project was completed in 14 months. The bookstore was well received by everyone and continues to enchant people to this day. For Chu, the job of the designer is to help the dreamers of the world realize their dreams. While he is certainly grateful for the positive feedback for his designs, he feels that the ultimate success of the store should be credited to the ambitious vision of the owners. This project not only allows Fangsuo Bookstore to realise their dream, but it allowed Chu to fulfil a lifelong goal of designing a beautiful bookstore.




Contributor: Leon Yan
 Courtesy of Chu Chih-Kang



供稿人: Leon Yan

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