I was fortunate enough to be the recipient of LGFW tickets to see OR by Angela Chen courtesy of Lotus Leaf Communications.
Chen’s Fall Winter 2011 collection “The Art Of Knitwear” is created with textured yarns in neutral tones all handknit by Chen herself.
As a “regular” person – meaning I’m not a fashionista – I found Angela Chen’s designs to be absolutely beautiful and quite wearable. Here are some exclusive photos from her collection courtesy of Jakki at Lotus Leaf Communications:
Aren’t they gorgeous?! I’m in awe of all the detail and I was very excited to attend the show and see the pieces in real life.
I was also given the rare opporunity to have Angela answer some questions I had for her.
Here’s my Q&A with Angela Chen:
EA: What inspired you to pursue a career in fashion design and what is your earliest childhood fashion memory?
AC: For as long as I can remember I have always been interested in fashion. Initially it was my mother who first influenced me, I remember when I was younger she hosted a fashion show with her friends and that was how I first became inspired. It was after high school that I decided to go to Parsons The New School of Design and pursue a career in the fashion design industry.
EA: I read that you knit every piece in this collection by hand! When did you first learn to knit and who taught you? (or were you self taught)
AC: I did knit everything by hand! In fact 90% of my FW2011 collection is made from knits. I learnt how to knit at Parsons. I took one semester of knitting and I instantly feel in love! There is an art to knitting that allows me to play with shapes and silhouettes; the class influenced me to continue to knit after the semester was over.
EA: How do you want a woman to feel when she is wearing your clothes?
AC: I want women to feel confident, stylish and comfortable when they are wearing my clothing. My designs are very structured and timeless, so women have the opportunity to look fashionable season after season.
EA: I love that your pieces would suit the lifestyle of an “everyday” girl like me. What are the 5 essential pieces you feel that every woman should invest in?
AC: I would say women should invest in:
1) A classic feminine dress
2) A cozy knit sweater
3) Structured jacket
4) Pleated or draped skirt
5) Light and airy silk organza top
I believe these pieces are essential for a woman’s wardrobe because they are timeless and sophisticated. To create a more dramatic effect with your clothing, I would suggest incorporating contrast within your outfit. A bright white top played against a black pleated skirt creates a classic look which is very eye-catching.
EA: When designing how do you take into account the many different sizes and shapes of a woman?
AC: I enjoy playing with different shapes and silhouettes in order to create a look that women of all sizes can find appealing. I use a lot of texture in my designs to play with shapes and lines. My FW2011 features minimal and abstract pieces which I have created through my use of knits.
EA: In my case I’m a petite woman (under 5’2″!) – from your point of view, what should the focus of a petite woman be in terms of dressing? Are there any particular fabrics or silhouettes that would work best on a petite frame?
AC: I’m petite as well; I am 5’4”. I believe my classic silhouette dresses look good on everyone as long as you have the confidence to pull it off. Also, for your height, I would suggest wearing a blouse with simplistic detailing on top to draw the eye upwards, pair it off with a pleated skirt that is above the knee because anything longer will make you appear shorter!
EA: I read somewhere that you would love to dress Natalie Portman. I’m a huge fan of hers and she’s petite like me! What is it about her that stands out for you?
AC: I am a big fan of Natalie Portman too! She is talented, beautiful, and incredibly intelligent. The fact that she was able to juggle schooling at Harvard and a busy acting career makes her a great role model for younger generations. Natalie always seems to carry herself with confidence and grace which is why I admire her so much and would love the opportunity to dress her in the near future.
EA: What’s been the biggest challenge for you since starting your own line?
AC: I believe the hardest challenge most designers have when starting their own line is keeping a positive attitude when they don’t achieve instant success. Fashion design involves a lot of time and dedication and it is because I love what I do that I am still in the industry today; you must overcome the negatives and have a faith in yourself in order to see positive results.
EA: You must have learned a lot through all the experiences you’ve had. What advice would you give to your younger self, looking back now? Any advice for others looking to pursue a career in fashion design?
AC: I have had some amazing learning experiences throughout my career as a fashion designer. Looking back on my younger self I don’t know if I would change anything, because if I did I wouldn’t be in the position I am today. I am a designer because I love what I do and I am confident in my work. I would tell people wishing to pursue a career in the fashion design industry that you have to have faith in yourself and love what you do because a designer’s life is not all glamorous; there are a lot of sleepless nights.
EA: What’s next for your brand?
AC: I hope to have the OR by Angela Chen brand internationally recognized. I would like to open a flagship OR by Angela Chen store in countries all over the world, starting with Canada!
I will finish this post off with more pictures of the runway show provided to me by Lotus Leaf Communications. I do have (terrible) pictures that I took myself, but I will save that for a future post talking about my personal experience at my first (hopefully not last!) Fashion Week Event.
(this was one of my favorites! Knit top and a tutu!!!)
(^I want that skirt!^)
Thank you again to Lotus Leaf Communications for giving me the opportunity to attend LGFW! A special thank you to Jakki for the great correspondence and providing me with all the amazing information and of course to Angela Chen for taking the time out of your crazy schedule to answer my questions.