Reinventing the Cheongsam

5/13/2019

Adrian Gan is one of Indonesia’s most respected fashion designers. His detailed craftsmanship using beautiful and vintage materials expedited his rise in the fashion industry in the last few years, and his incredible pieces of clothing inspired by the Orient have captured the world audience. Recently, Adrian released ConQuerence, a couture collection inspired by the east and west.

After decades of experience as a fashion designer, what are some of your biggest fashion inspirations in your daily life?

Personally for me, inspiration can be found in anything, from my day-to-day life to my time travelling. But if I have to admit, art and antiques from all over the world as well as unique architecture mostly inspire me. Sometimes I get ideas for motifs from the patterns on a building window. That’s why I think as a designer, going to museums and appreciating other designers’ and artist’s work is very important.

How do you stay updated on the latest trends and how much do you follow these trends when designing new collections?

I always try my best to stay updated and informed in new and upcoming trends. It’s very important to always be well informed in the fashion industry. I also love looking at new and upcoming inspiring designers that are innovative. I think that as a creative, we should always strive to evolve and become a better designer. There is always room for improvement.

What is your current style aesthetic?

My designs usually have strong structural silhouettes while keeping it feminine and elegant. Although for this collection, ConQuerence, I tried designing outside my comfort zone and designed more organic silhouettes instead of structural ones to create a more romantic and whimsical collection.

How do you prepare for every collection you release?

ConQuerence in particular took us half a year to prepare for. But it depends on every collection. During those six months there were a lot of aspects we had to take care of. It takes a lot of time and hard work, as a lot of the details are made by hand and sometimes finding the materials we need takes quite some time. The fabric would sometimes need to be made from scratch or hunted down in different countries, depending on the inspiration of the collection.

You are well known in the fashion industry for your expertise in designing cheongsams and clothing inspired by the Orient. What makes this year’s ConQuerence collection special and what was your inspiration?

I really appreciate and love the culture of the Orient. The works of art and motifs from each region are very fascinating. What makes ConQuerence different is that I was inspired by two very different cultures, and fused them into one collection while keeping everything cohesive. I was inspired by the romanticism of the Regency era intertwined with the beauty and purity of the Qing Dynasty.

What kinds of techniques did you use in creating this collection?

We did a lot of different techniques of embroidery for this collection. I’m really happy that I was able to train my in-house team to embroider beautiful work, so I didn’t need to send the fabric outside of Indonesia to get embroidered.

What motifs, patterns and fabrics did you use?

The motifs and patterns I used were inspired by Chinese shadow puppetry as well as the romantic and elegant patterns found in the Regency era. As for materials, we used a lot of vintage and antique fabrics made of jacquard, tulle, velvet, silk, and crepe plus vintage lace and lace trimmings.

How did you decide on the colour scheme?

The colour choices kind of became a scheme gradually. I love using a vintage colour palette but this time I also mixed it in with more vibrant and rich colours, which are mostly secondary colours.

After every collection you always leave us wanting more. Can you give us any hints about other projects you are working on?

I’m currently working on a new project for Dewi Fashion Knights, which will be released near end of this year.

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