Wang Peiyi, the 'goddess maker'

Wang Peiyi, the 'goddess maker'
Best known for his couture creations and wedding gowns, Chinese designer Wang Peiyi (center in left photo) put together his ready-to-wear and couture lines in his 2015 spring and summer collection.

Known as the "goddess maker", Wang Peiyi has dressed everyone from Gong Li, Zhang Ziyi and Fan Bingbing to Cindy Crawford.

He showed his 2015 spring and summer collection in Beijing recently as part of China Fashion Week. Best known for his couture creations and wedding gowns, Wang for the first time put together his nascent ready-to-wear line Alex Wang and the established couture line Wang Peiyi in one show, as he seeks to build a more accessible brand.

"I never thought my designs should be collected in museums. They are only enlivened when worn by someone," says Wang.

Named Shape of the Shadow, the two collections explore the dynamic beauty of light and shadow, which came into his vision when he was on a vacation in the tropics during summer.

"You see shadows countless times in your life, but it doesn't grab you each time. And at one particular moment when I saw the shadows of the leaves on a plant, I was suddenly struck by its beauty," he says.

The ready-to-wear line is inspired by the shadows in the day, with short dresses, leather jackets and sporty sweaters. While it retains the delicate handicraft details of the label's tradition, it has simpler lines and is more wearable and comfortable for a regular day.

The Wang Peiyi collection, meanwhile, reflects the shadows of night. Long dresses are adorned with sequins, beads and crystals to create a mysterious effect.

"The couture collection is to achieve dreams. It has to be beautiful, and it has to be different."

Together, the two collections make up the perfect wardrobe of a modern woman who moves between a fulfilling day to a glamorous night, he says.

The palette runs from Wang's signature black-and-white to green, red and blue, which are taken from his tropical vacation and echoes the spring-summer feel.

There is also a lot of mix-and-contrast of materials. Leather and knitting are cut into irregular shapes and layered on lace and tulle to create the illusion of shadows.

The show came to a finale with a white wedding gown made from layers of fluffy gauze.

This is the second season of Alex Wang; the 2014 autumn and winter collection is already in stores.

Trained in fashion design in the top-notch Central Academy of Art and Design, now known as Academy of Fine Arts of Tsinghua University, Wang worked for several large apparel companies before launching his eponymous made-to-order label in 2005.

The custom service runs from wedding gowns and evening dresses to everyday apparel. For clients who are not good at matching, the studio offers the whole wardrobe from daywear to eveningwear.

While the clientele has remained stable for the past decade, more are willing to spend on wedding gowns, Wang says.

"People are gradually realizing the importance of wedding gowns. They used to rent one or borrow one, as it is worn only once. But now, whether or not they are wealthy, they would at least make it part of their wedding budget."

Wang was invited to show his couture collection at Milan Fashion Week last year. He is also the chosen designer for established brands such as Omega, SK-II, Vidal Sassoon, HP and Emperor Watch & Jewellery for their crossover projects.

He was the first Chinese designer to be selected by Atelier Swarovski, the designer line of the jewelry label, to work on a new range of products for the brand.

In October, Wang, along with Masha Ma, another up-and-coming Chinese designer, was selected by Shanghai Tang to create a line for its 20th anniversary that was shown in Shanghai in October.

Wang combines his trademark style and original prints with Shanghai Tang's roots in tradition. The collection, which includes glittering evening dresses and sporty daywear, will be sold in the global stores of Shanghai Tang.

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