From The Straits Times    |

Susan Fang is not interested in creating something ordinary. In her collaboration with & Other Stories, the Chinese designer based her designs on the concept of dreams. Aptly titled “Dreams Unleashed”, Fang’s desire was to design pieces that evoke happiness and romanticism. 

In an exclusive interview with Fang in Shanghai for the launch of this capsule collection (pictured above), Fang explains in detail about the concept of dreams. The London-based designer (pictured below) says: “We always want to make collections that have elements that bring you abstract memories or moments of joy whether it’s nature, an abstract art piece, your happy colour, the sunset and so much more.” 

“We always want to make collections that have elements that bring you abstract memories or moments of joy whether it’s nature, an abstract art piece, your happy colour, the sunset and so much more.” 

Susan Fang, Fashion Designer

One of the best things that transpired from this collection was the joy she experienced while working with her mom. She revealed that for most of her eponymous collections which she launched in 2017, she would create prints and patterns from scratch but for this collaboration she was inspired by her mother’s existing art prints. 

[For this collab] “I just wanted to use some of my mom’s random drawings. She’s been helping us with craftmaking – and she’s such a great mental support.” Fang’s mom is not an artist (she’s a farmer), but loves painting and drawing in her free time. In fact, the blue flower petal dress was actually her mom’s hand drawn flowers which Fang decided to repurpose digitally to create these floral prints for & Other Stories. 

“I just wanted to use some of my mom’s random drawings. She’s been helping us with craftmaking – and she’s such a great mental support.”

Susan Fang

In an exclusive interview with Her World in Shanghai, Fang opens up about dreams and the importance of self-love.

HW: How did you maintain your unique design voice while collaborating with another brand?

SF: Firstly, the brand’s DNA must resonate with us and with & Other Stories I have always been a fan of the brand. We share a very similar vision. For this collab, our strategy was choosing a lot of pieces that were our showpieces that were very popular, but still wearable. Some examples of the pieces seen on celebrities is the petal blue dress. We made for Blackpink’s Jisoo (Pictured below: Credit @sooyaaa_) a green version for her “Flower” music video. So for the collab, we made a lightweight commercial version in blue.

For the oversized transparent flower choker, Danielle from NewJeans (Pictured below: Credit @susanfangofficial) wore it on the cover of V magazine. Hers was pretty heavy but for this collection we made it lighter and more wearable.  

HW: Is it tough to be a young designer?  

SF: Yes, I think the stress is definitely there, but I think the passion supersedes it. I don’t want to be totally stress-free because I feel positive stress is good. It is a very competitive industry so to keep our feet on the ground the most important thing for us as a team is to keep our vision genuine from the beginning. Otherwise we will lose our sense of direction. But I believe in luck, blessings and positivity. 

I have experienced a lot of anxiety, growing up in different countries and experiencing cultural differences but I feel what keeps us going is love from one another. Whether it’s my mom’s love or my friend’s love. That keeps me going.

“I have experienced a lot of anxiety, growing up in different countries and experiencing cultural differences but I feel what keeps us going is love from one another.”

Susan Fang

HW: Who’s your favourite surrealist painter? 

SF:  I’m a huge fan of art. My favourite artist is Alexander Calder and Rene Magritte (Pictured below: Credit @reneemagritte_art “Oasis” (1925) By René Magritte). I don’t feel super emotionally connected to him but I love his creativity and his abstract use of colours –  how he beautifully brings different images that seems separate together and make them connect. I really really admire that and maybe that’s why in my collections I always have an element of fantasy.

HW: In a sea of designers who have done collaborations, what do you hope people will remember from your collaboration with & Other Stories?

SF: I hope they feel connected to our theme –  “Dreams Unleashed”. I hope they remember the sense of fantasy. Even though every piece seems somewhat intricate and embellished, I think it’s still easy to style it with their own personal style as every piece is very wearable. I hope it stays in their wardrobe forever.

“I hope it stays in their wardrobe forever.”

Susan Fang on her & Other Stories co-lab collection

HW: Are there some pieces that particularly resonate with you in this collection, if you had to splurge on one item, what would it be?

SF: I think it might be this flower necklace. I think because I love having dreams – because when you dream, you forget the rules of society, then anything seems possible. 

It was like my dream of a transparent flower blooming. I thought if I can imagine and draw it, then I can make it real life. So okay, let’s make some transparent flowers. That’s how this necklace was conceptualised.

The & Other Stories x Susan Fang Co-Lab Collection is now available at www.stories.com