Air Flower. Susan Fang SS22

After a week-long blog pause caused by a major computer crash, I’m back! I planned to write about Susan Fang‘s enchanting spring-summer 2022 collection a week ago, but then my Mac’s hard drive went dead… luckily, it all ended well. Fang is a highly emotional designer in tune with the tenor of our times. Shown on a lightly misting runway in Shanghai back in October, the collection took texture to extreme and radical new places: she’s created a new material technique of folding tulle she calls “air flower” inspired by broken flowers and sliced fruits that repeats across the body in open-weave, netlike dresses, tightly latticed minis, and explosive, ombré poufs. The pieces are instantly appealing in both a visual way and in a sensory one, thoughtful to the bodies inside them and the observers taking them in. The exuberance and joy in each of Fang’s pieces belies an underpinning of sadness, though; like the best Dutch still life or memento mori, her frilly garments mark a passing of time or encapsulate the multiplicity of time itself. She quotes Einstein’s Dreams, a 2004 novel by Alan Lightman about the creation of the theory of relativity: “Suppose time is a circle, bending back on itself. The world repeats itself, precisely, endlessly.” Her work is almost precise, marked by engineering and repetition, but it’s never without a thoughtful touch. When she speaks about regenesis, self-love, and progress, you get the sense she operates in that special place between science and art. Place Susan Fang on your fashion radar!

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.