Uma Wang brings fabric to life

Translated by
Benjamin Fitzgerald
today Mar 2, 2018
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It was a trip in time offered up on Thursday by Uma Wang at the Lycée Henri-IV. The former royal abbey, in particular the 18th-century library where the show was held, was the ideal backdrop for the timeless ready-to-wear autumn/winter 2018 collection, oscillating between Medieval reminiscences, monastic austerity and Victorian style. 

Uma Wang, autumn-winter 2018-19 - DR

Indeed, the models seemed to have descended from some attic, dressed in grandmother's clothes - cotton and lace dress, in big peasant headdresses and the binocles of an old uncle. The outfits fell to the ground, at times playing with volume through layers of material and pieces of cloth recut into deconstructed items; draped and asymmetric buttoning adding to this idea of movement.

Behind each look, one felt the precision and delicacy from the designer, who seemed to leave her intentions as in suspense.

"As if it was made by accident, the fruit of an error. It could be sometimes masculine or feminine. It's undefined," the designer, who likes to deprive her clothes of their internal structure so they adapt to the shape of people, told FashionNetwork.com backstage.

In this collection, Wang notably worked on the concept of 'double', using two-tone fabrics or two different ones completely. So, a jacket arrived in silk on the right and velvet on the left, the two sections joining at the back and roughly sewn.

Uma Wang, automne-hiver 2018-19 - DR

Elsewhere, a striped woollen jacket came extended with a white linen sheet buttoned along the hem. Another style came made in a jacket lining, of which only the collar, the front and the pockets in silky cashmere, remained. A coat was woven in the same block, in a light cotton at the bottom and in a tweed with beige-rust tones in the upper part. 

As always, Uma Wang's work with textures was impressive, achieved with worn effects and special dyes. The fabrics were made exclusively in Tuscany, namely from the company Lyria de Prato. It's also in Mantua, Italy, that Uma Wang oversees the production of her line, while she has her studio and two monobrand shops in Shanghai. 

Trained at China Textile University and London's Central Saint Martins School, the designer launched her own brand in 2009 after working for 10 years for a large Chinese knitwear company. Now 46 years old, Uma Wang is distributed in some one hundred multibrand stores in Europe, China, America and Japan.

Uma Wang, automne-hiver 2018-19 - DR

Wang first began showing her collections in Milan, then she moved to Paris in 2016, to increase visibility and tap the French market. With her talent, Uma Wang has not usurped her place in the capital's calendar.

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