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Claudia Wang: London Fashion Week June 2024

A lesson in Elegant 'Revival' Designs and Gentle Inclusivity


From a family of creatives, it is only natural that Claudia Wang is able to harness the true power of print and colour. The designer uses her space to channel a delightful harmony of textiles and, in the past, has portrayed herself as a true fashion activist. In the brand’s Autumn/Winter 2023 display at Taipei Fashion Week, for example, her collection ‘Civilisation of Love’ garnered critical acclaim for its focus on positive body diversity and forward-thinking developments in the production of fashion and AI. 



Her latest collection, shown in London recently, has maintained this sense of morality combined with an overt, playful artistry. In what is a noted movement away from her previous work, Wang has limited herself to a comparatively more muted colour palette. Previously a champion of all things neon, she has utilised tamer, earthier, and more naturalistic tones. We saw a lot of deep browns, burgundy’s, blues, and reds. With this, the designer has allowed her latest collection to establish its own space within the ever-growing clamour of luxury fashion houses.



Female model in cream and blue Claudia Wang dress
Photo by Holly Anderson

Wang is calling upon the classic traditions of the past, established by brands such as Chanel and Louis Vuitton, whilst simultaneously reflecting the current trends of modernising archival styles through the way each item is executed and tailored. An astute creative decision that marks a shift in the brand away from its colourful birth onto the fashion scene in 2021 and sets a clear intention of progressive, contemporary design for the brand’s future. 



A stunningly tailored cream-white dress is perhaps the flagship look for this intention. With precise draping, large oversized puff sleeves, and a gloriously exaggerated drop waist, the piece speaks to the timeless elegance that is the planar silhouette. Recalling the sleek benchmarks of 1920s fashion. Claudia Wang has built on this with an abstract royal blue floral and celestial print, dense horizontal lines, and stark black contrast piping. The piece is, as a whole, an easily wearable, refreshing design that would not look out of place at the ‘it’ wedding of the spring season or on an Italian Riviera holiday. It is truly stunning, wearable, and flattering.



Female Model in cream and blue two piece set by Claudia Wang
Photo by Holly Anderson

Another item in the collection that exists within the framework of a well-established silhouette is a floor-length two-piece that again recalls the loose fits and drapery of the 1920s. In similar cream and blue fabrics, this design offers a distinctive perspective. Contrasting the blue florals with stark butter-yellow accents. The hem of the skirt and top each work to harmonise the outfit. The oversized pointed collar brings the piece into the 21st century. The excess fabric of the skirt and top respectively also lends itself to an ability to be both a high-fashion, ‘dressy’ moment or alternatively more casual and dressed down. In conjunction with the sharp triangular edges of the collar, the design provides an interesting mix between soft and sturdy, depending on which the wearer wants to channel. Wang offers a versatility in her designs that is commendable. 

Male model in tie-shirt by Claudia Wang
Photo by Holly Anderson





Speaking of this versatility, almost every one of her designs from this collection is unisex and can be worn by anyone of any gender presentation. This is a remarkable show of inclusivity that not all fashion houses adequately cater towards. The combination of traditionally masculine and feminine elements is clearly a conscious decision, aiming to bring the viewer along a journey of refined florals, soft drapery, and calmer colour palettes that artfully coexist alongside the deeper, harsher edges of Wang’s suit jackets and shirts, which have been done in coarser fabrics and stronger colours, like this shirt and oversized tie. 




Male model in blue jacket by Claudia Wang
Photo by Holly Anderson

Thick, textured fabrics like denim also show versatility in her work. This blue denim suit jacket, embellished with pseudo-tailors chalk, is a clear testament to not only Wang’s creative vision but her skill as a designer. A stand-out piece, the jacket is for me a personal favourite. It is simple enough to offer various alternate ways of styling, yet intricate enough that heads would undoubtedly turn. This collection clearly shows Wang’s talent across multi-media and multi-disciplinary areas of fashion. 




Male model in checkered two-piece set by Claudia Wang
Photo by Holly Anderson

The only look that falls slightly far from the mark, in my opinion, is this checker print shorts and long-sleeved crew neck matching set. Although I am a fan of the colours, the decision to use synthetic-esque materials may have been the wrong one. Paired against the other designs in thick, luxurious fabrics, this outfit feels slightly more of an afterthought. The cut of the shirt could have been more precise and the accessorising with a neckerchief felt almost costumey. I would have preferred each item to have been presented separately with different styling or, frankly, not at all.




This, however, against the wider backdrop of a stunning collection, is clearly the natural growing pains of a developing brand. Wang’s designs are thoughtful, elegant, and creative. She artfully expresses her new and improved viewpoint and keys into the current trends of the fashion market whilst maintaining an integrity and ingenuity that is not easily emulated. The choice to pare back her approach to colour with this latest collection is a smart one, as well as the choice to build on well-established silhouettes of the past. In doing so, the designer has widened the scope of audience reception for her designs and has, one can only hope, opened the door for only bigger and better things to come for the fashion house. It seems that the designer has found her voice. Claudia Wang is undoubtedly a brand to watch.

 

Written by Daisy Packwood

Edited by Fashion Editor, Holly Anderson

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