Photography Is Not only an Art but It’s Also a Whole New Perspective. To Make Things Clear, Xuan Fu Is Here!
Photographer: Yongqi Liu
Makeup: Wong Sha
An Asian fashion designer, Xuan Fu, is a woman who looks for feminine beauty in everyday clothes and subtracts from the original appearance. Xuan Fu graduated from Parsons School of Design with a BFA in fashion design and her recent work was nominated in both A Design Award and IDA. Specialized in designing ready-to-wear, lingerie, and knitwear, she is interested in the disintegration of feminine nature. She questions the elements in garments that helped build up the stereotype of an “independent modern woman”, such as a men’s suit refitted to a woman’s body. She believes women’s strength should not be abided by the elements that predecessors have provided.
Over the past 3 years, I have been working with intimate and shapewear brands like Fleur Du Mal and Alix NYC, where I get the chance to collaborate with many other designers.
When did fashion design come into your life?
Clothes were my shelter when I was a kid, they covered up my body, and provide the comfort for me that nothing else can. As I was growing older, I automatically gravitates into being a fashion designer. I always feel the need to create things that would bring comfort to another person. I was so lucky to meet my first mentor when I was only 17, and she introduced me into being an assistant at Shanghai Fashion Week. I started building my connection from the great fashion week platform and joined LVMH for a short time just a year later right before my move to New York.
Can you tell us more about your career?
Over the past 3 years, I have been working with intimate and shapewear brands like Fleur Du Mal and Alix NYC, where I get the chance to collaborate with many other designers. The hands-on experience in dyeing into designed colors, draping and adjusting samples and constantly fit and alter design has provide me with a different aspect in design.
Most of my designs translates my belief in the women power. Clothing for female is supposed to be a soft language.
What was it like living in New York City? Do you like where you live?
I have been away from my hometown for 5 years staying in New York. I arrived as a vigilant person, and throughout the years I gradually learned to drop unnecessary defence towards people and things around me. The state of laxity has been a big part of my visual language. New York City has endless dynamics in fashion industry outside of ready-to-wear. This inspired me into designing lingerie and cut and sew knit.
What makes you a storyteller of women power?
Most of my designs translates my belief in the women power. Clothing for female is supposed to be a soft language. Instead of creating a delusion for a new identity, I believe in people embracing their true selves. Women is like water, soft and yielding but it will wear away rock, rigid and hard. I always imbedded this paradox into my designs to encourage women to drop unnecessary defense: what is soft is strong.
I like the challenges I must face in this creation process. Part of the challenge was the design was finished during the COVID times.
What inspires you the most in your latest collection?
“One is not born, but rather becomes women”, is one of the foundation quotes when comes to feminism, and it’s the inspiration of my latest collection. While in the past, empowering women in fashion had a lot to do changing the fit to men’s garments. In the many arts and literature of modern women, I find a common capability amongst women, which is their keen mental perception and empathy on the human kind. I use these authors and how they dress up as an angle to cut into designs and research for the true femininity. When people think of clothing to empower women, they think of the power suits, which was copied almost directly from menswear. The “Disintegration of Women” collection aims to break the idea of a fierce women looking masculine. It translates feminine power back into a soft language.
What do you regard as the best materials to use in your designs?
There are only 3 materials in coherence to “her” minimalistic aesthetic. They are silk charmeuse, organza, and cotton satin. Both silk charmeuse and organza create space for the body to move in the form of cowls alongside pant legs and neckline. While silk satin provides the practicality, wearability, and structure the garments need to consolidate. I created biased pin tuck to play with space and embed them into the cotton to connect the two worlds together.
York City has endless dynamics in fashion industry outside of ready-to-wear. This inspired me into designing lingerie and cut and sew knit.
What do you find to be your most favorite part in the process of your work?
I like the challenges I must face in this creation process. Part of the challenge was the design was finished during the COVID times. The world around me was constantly changing while I am crowded in my studio for creation. The changes forced me to look at creative process differently, from the little things I had in my studio to find the romantic temperament that is non gender biased. I need to constantly question, where did the feminine charm come from?
What do you hope you’ll be doing in 5-10 years time?
I would really like to share my design philosophy with more brands, so I aim to design for more companies in the city. Also, I am gradually moving onto my own line in the upcoming years to building my own house brand.