Designer Susan Fang On Her AW24 Presentation At London Fashion Week

By Charlie Colville

3 months ago

Dip your toes into the world of Susan Fang

A regular on the LFW circuit since her graduation from Central Saint Martins in 2018, Susan Fang is known for her colourful, dreamlike collections that bridge the gaps between nature, technology and the human experience. The Chinese-born designer is also never one to shy away from current events, which she examines through a surrealist lens and hopeful optimism. Ahead of her AW24 show in London’s Yeomanry House – which was transformed into a dreamy underwater realm complete with bubbles and moving, prismatic sculptures – we sat down with Fang to talk about London Fashion Week, her collection highlights and collaboration plans for the upcoming year.

See More London Fashion Week AW24 Highlights Here

LFW Spotlight On: Susan Fang AW24

Susan Fang

Photo by Dave Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images for Susan Fang

Hi Susan, how’s life going right now?

Its the busiest period of the year for me, with the LFW show and preparations for the Paris showroom next week – and last week I got my marriage registered in London!

Oh wow, congratulations – what a time for celebrations! Before we dive into your latest collection, can you please tell us how you would describe your brand?

The depth of our inspiration is in nature, its connection to us and each other. I think I would describe our brand as a feeling of seeing something surreal; it’s craft-based and explores a lot of textile and design innovation.

Your work often revolves around the themes of mathematics, nature and beauty – how do these things intersect for you?

We are always trying to explore what is most meaningful in the period we are in now. While questioning the beauty of how we perceive differently as different cultures and individuals, we also examine how we are similar – primarily through our pursuit of beauty and happiness. We found the beautiful answer in nature’s formulas, fractals and how everything is connected, using this as our lens each season to explore in more depth of what’s happening currently; whether that’s covid, time, war or how we can free ourselves from this and find more positivity for ourselves and the world around us. That is why we also challenge ourselves to create the textiles and accessories each season to find a new way of perception and expression for clothing.

Models on runway

Susan Fang AW24 (c) Dave Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images for Susan Fang

As London Fashion Week approaches, what do you love most about this time of year?

London is such a hub for creative energy and people. I love how we can work with our stylist Phoebe Lettice, set designers Huilian and Xiaofeng, show director Amy Chan and with the amazing models casted by Emilie Astrom. This season in particular has been a lot of fun as we worked on a collaboration with Victoria Secret, a customisation with Nike and perfume scenting with Penhaligon’s – it’s been full of wonderful combinations that make what we originally designed become so much more. It’s really a unification of everything that builds our surreal world into reality.

Tell us about some of the inspirations behind your AW24 collection.

A lot of people have lost their homelands due to war, and it is so sad to imagine the pain they have gone through and the anger from lost loves and homes. I wonder how we can truly free ourselves from the continuation of war, so this season I wanted to dig into the concept of ‘home’; what does home mean to us, to other living species under the sea, insects, beehive and birds? Can we find a better answer through a different perception, can we free ourselves from home defined not by physical ground but wherever love is? We ended looking into the wonder of bubble snails, the glow and colours of sea creatures, the geometry of different species’ homes and transformed them into prints, textiles, bags, shoes and silhouettes.

Model in pink puff cape

Susan Fang AW24 (c) Dave Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images for Susan Fang

How did the design process come together?

Lots of little things came together to make this collection. For example, we used water wave prints for the puffer elements, using laser cut hearts and clovers petals stitched onto organic quilting – with the overall effect creating curves that imitated waves with floating floral fish scales.

We also introduced a new textile technique called ‘air-whirl’, which manifests as circular organza ribbons resembling a coral sea, encircling a tranquil island. Each wave showcases a three-color gradient organza, creating a vibrant and three-dimensional illusion inspired by the colours in our memories and fantasies. The 3D-printed bags in the collection embody nature’s wonders, drawing inspiration from honeycombs, lattice formations and mesmerizing water patterns. The honeycomb-inspired bags exhibit meticulous construction reminiscent of bee hives, capturing nature’s precision. Lattice structures showcase delicate patterns resembling leaves and branches, adding sophistication, while water-inspired designs simulate gentle ripples and textures.

What are your highlights from the collection?

We showed a lot of knitwear in combination with puffer jackets, alongside our hand-crafted air-whirl and air-flower dresses with our crochet tops and shoes. We have also styled in our soon-to-be launched Victoria’s Secret collaboration and have been really highlighting our heart embroidered and beaded lace bras.

One of my favourite looks for AW24 is the first to walk down the runway (pictured above), which is comprised of a butterfly puffer cape in pink water prints and transparent clover flower petal quilting, some Susan Fang x Victoria’s Secret lingerie and a water bubble belt and body chain, styled with a pair of honeycomb 3D printed boots that are fully hand-crocheted with beads to the knee. It was a combination of soft and hard warmth and transparency, to feel sensual and liberated.

Woman walking runway

Susan Fang AW24 (c) Dave Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images for Susan Fang

What’s next for you in 2024? (If you can tell us!)

All the collaborations! We are very excited for our Other Stories global collaboration to go on sale in April, as well as the Victoria’s Secret lingerie and homeware collaboration that will go on sale in China this April too. I’m also super excited to start new collaborations later this year; no big spoilers but they will be new categories for us which is super exciting.

And any parting words for our readers?

I really hope our collection can bring a sense of healing and hope. So much of the physical is based on the unphysical, on your mental space and energy levels. We are hoping for the wildest dream, that everyone’s home is anywhere as long as there’s love.

Images courtesy of Susan Fang – Susan Fang AW24 (c) Dave Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images for Susan Fang