Recent Parson's graduate Chen Wu's collection "Saving fish from drowning" was inspired by the Buddhists living in New York City. The focus of her initial exploration when draping on the form was the fluidity of the Buddhist monk robe. The inspiration for the fabric emerged during her trip to Wenzhou, the city where my family is originally from. She saw these fabrics suspended randomly on the drying lines of the old narrow alleyways and thought it was quite beautiful how they were accidentally collaged into tasteful combinations of colors and prints. This led her to consider the juxtaposition of different fabrics in a single garment. She collaged Chinese floral silk-linen blended fabrics to create new feeling prints.
She visited Shanghai, where the city has grown very westernized but at the same time it retaines a fundamentally Chinese character, with the busy streets, the massive crowds of people, and the chaos. Shanghai inspired her to incorporate highlights of western menswear shirtings and suitings that throw off the quintessentially Chinese florals. The result is a collection of clothing for New York Buddhists with the chaos of Wenzhou alleys and the cultural blend of Shanghai.
The following stunning photos are from Carmen's look-book:
During her junior year at Parsons The New School for Design Carmen was selected as the 2010 Geoffrey Beene Design Scholar.
Find out more about Carmen at her website: CarmenChenWu.com
Photos by David Wang
Model: Fatima Siad (NY model management)
Hair: Shingo Shibata
Make Up: KUMA