Thursday, April 1, 2010

Interview with Fashion Designer Angela Chen

Photo credit: Ingrid Mida 2010

After seeing Angela Chen's collection at Toronto's LG Fashion Week, I had lots of questions for this talented designer. Although she probably has not yet caught up on her sleep after such a hectic week, she kindly agreed to be interviewed.

Ingrid: How would you describe the woman who is the target customer for the Orange collection?
Angela: I want all women to feel confident, comfortable and stylish in my clothes. They are timeless pieces for every woman’s closet.

Ingrid: How do you begin your design process? Do you sketch out your collection first or work directly from fabric and a mannequin?
Angela: Each season is different. I may begin a season by drawing inspiration from things around me and then incorporating these ideas into sketches. Another season I may draw inspiration from fabrics.

Ingrid: What was your inspiration for this collection? Was there a particular mood or feeling you wanted to invoke?
Angela: This season’s collection is titled Contrast. It’s very much East Coast meets West Coast as I have lived in New York for the past seven years and I just recently decided to live bi-coastally between New York and Vancouver. My FW2010 collection reflects the hard, sophistication of New York and the soft, organic feel of the West Coast.

Ingrid: What was your favourite piece in the collection?
Angela: It’s really tough to pick a personal favourite as I have been looking at them all for so long. They all are like my babies! They are all my creations. But if I had to pick one, perhaps it would be the hand-knit chunky sweaters because they are so cozy and warm.

Ingrid: Are the knits a new exploration? Do you knit? 
Angela: Actually I hand-knit all the chunky sweaters myself! I always admired the art of knitting and the cosiness of knitted wear. I thought warm, cozy kits would be ideal for the Fall collection.

Ingrid: The softly draped skirt like pocket on the pant was a detail that I especially enjoyed since I often wear dresses over pants. Do you think this type of garment would work on all figure types?
Angela:  This collection was designed with classic silhouettes meant to make all women feel confident and beautiful. I think if you exuberate confidence and wear the clothing and not let the clothing wear you, then any type of garment will work for you.

Ingrid: The two embellished pieces in the collection (skirt and dress) seemed to be new elements in your work. I could not tell how this was done. What type of fabric did you use for these pieces and/or were the embellishments added afterwards?
Angela: The embellishments were hand-knit from shiny yarn mixed with sequence yarn.

Ingrid: If you could model your career after any designer, whose career path would you like to follow?
Angela: I love Givenchy for the classic elegance, and the fact that nothing extra is added for no reason. Stella McCartney’s clothes are so polished, and she has great attention to detail. She mixes soft and hard aspects the same way I do. And Sonia Rykiel always shows beautiful textures, she plays with volume. She is the Queen of Knits!

Ingrid: If your dreams come true, where will you be in ten years?
Angela: I hope to have the Orange by Angela Chen brand internationally recognized and hope to own an Orange flagship store in major cities all over the world.  

Ingrid: Where can the FW 2010 collection be purchased?
Angela: Check out my website.