Last Sunday I went up to London for an event organised by Favotell, a company promoting emerging designers and at the same time creating a dialogue between art and fashion. The theme of their pop up exhibition in Woolff Gallery was based on artworks by a Chinese artist Guang-Yu Zhang, and all of the garments and accessories displayed alongside them were using themes from Guang's works and reworking them into something wearable. There were actual fish swimming around Pale Turquoise biker jacket - maxi skirt ensemble, or more abstract orange Koi fish outlines on Ewa Bernardska's dress. Chinese characters and other references to Chinese culture also appeared in the works of Incomplete or L.Yunjia.
Moreover, Sunday's sub-title was 'Make Up Your Day,' and the make-up artist and co-founder of Lin&Lo Alina was there to complement the works in the gallery, creating three make-up looks inspired by the garments on display. Her newly launched make-up brand Lin&Lo specialises in mineral make-up that is long-lasting and easy to apply. I had the chance to be one of Alina's models for the day and I can testify that my make-up didn't budge until the evening, and at the same time it was very light and felt like I was not wearing any make-up at all. (See the end of this article for the look Alina created on my face.)

When I was chatting to Lynjun Park, the designer behind Pale Turquoise, I found out he was born on an island, and the jellyfish tattoo on his neck, too, gave away his fascination with the sea world. At first sight, his inspiration seems to be more abstract - hues of dark green and blue on a glossy fabric. However, if you look closer, there are actual fish swimming through his garments, and what's more the maxi skirt and leather jacket you see in the picture above are made out of eco-friendly fabric, creating a deeper connection with not only the sea world, but nature in general.

Incomplete are a Chinese accessory brand whose references might not be so obvious to someone not familiar with Chinese calligraphy. The red square with a single black brush stroke above is actually a sight familiar to anyone learning Chinese - the different parts of the square denote different parts of a Chinese character. But even if we put cultural references aside, Incomplete just seem to have a knack for a minimal yet witty aesthetic, and theirs were one of my favourite pieces in the exhibition space.

One of the fascinating features of Guang's artwork was its interactive design. Some of the artworks came with a mysterious QR code, and after scanning it with your smartphone, you unlocked a video that made the artwork come alive (blood flowing, fish swimming around and all). Apart from that, some of the other artworks were digital prints that completely transformed if you viewed them after inverting their colours with your smartphone camera. I thought it was a smart (in both senses of the word) way to make the audience interact with the works using technology.

L.Yunjia's pieces explores the way Chinese culture is translated in different contexts. The sentences written on the back of this particular piece are taken from fortune cookies, one of the famous icons of Chinese culture, which paradoxically originated in the U.S. I personally found L.Yunjia's pieces the closest to my style - the fabrics and cuts just hit the spot, and I really liked the way they reworked familiar wardrobe staples into something new and unique.

February First

 Made by ZA

Alina, the co-founder of Lin&Lo

Big thanks to the Favotell team for having me around! You can check out more of what they do on their website or follow them on Facebook or Instagram.

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