Ziggy Chen on his SS18 Collection

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Hues of indigo, clay red, and a spectrum of shades from khaki to olive green form the rich colour palette of Shanghainese designer Ziggy Chen’s SS18 collection. Constructed in Chen’s Shanghai atelier the collection celebrates cotton, linen, and silk with comfortable and free flowing shapes suited to the city native and holiday retreater alike. 

The SS18 collection features Ziggy Chen’s characteristic themes of east meets west and new meets old, in a collage of Chinese and European influences and snippets from the past. Lightweight jackets with a contrast sleeve, layered outerwear, and asymmetrical fastenings are stand out traits, whilst subdued pinstripe, mandarin collars, and cropped trousers are signature elements of the menswear label. Stiff cottons compliment feathery linens and silky natural blends in this versatile collection, which treasures foremost the comfort of its wearer.

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Since the brand’s debut in 2012, antique motifs and ancient patterns have played a central role in Ziggy Chen’s steadily evolving collections. Crafted carefully through the lens of bygone eras, the designer’s distinctive narratives come to life each season in the form of understated pieces. Look closely and you’ll find meticulous attention to detail and an exquisite use of fabrics, which are developed exclusively for the brand. A muted film of mysterious symbols and beastly creatures adorn the natural fabrics in the designer’s collection this season, as if to have a voice and a story to tell. We asked Ziggy to share the philosophy behind his new collection.

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Can you tell us about the story and inspirations behind the new collection?

It’s not our custom to set a seasonal theme for collections, but if there is one thing that has been in my mind since the last winter collection, it’s antique markets; how objects from different domains and timelines are collected together, and create a strange but unique aesthetic – a sort of chaotic beauty.  


Your fabrics seem to take on a life of their own. How would you describe the process and the personalities of the fabrics used in the new collection?

I’ve always been fascinated by the objects with the traces of time, including textiles, fabric, and everything that we use in our daily lives. What is called “old” is a kind of the beauty in imperfection. Naturally I want the clothes I create to convey the same kind of aesthetic. When an idea comes to my mind, the first step would always be fabric. I am not a fabric designer who is specialized in the technical side of fabric making, so I always work closely with specialists in order to realize my ideas in fabric. In our collection, there is usually a part which we modify the existing fabric of suppliers, while the other part is developed from scratch based on the mood of each collection. For the past two seasons we played with different ideas of printing techniques, which turned out to be quite interesting. 


When creating the new collection, did you have a wearer in mind?

Yes, I tend to imagine myself wearing the collection and walking down the streets. In fact, I wear all prototypes myself, and make adjustment of every details.

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Special Thanks to Mr. Hiroki Osuka and Mr. Ziggy Chen.