Editor’s Pick: Qinglin Chen

Since she was a small child, Qinglin Chen has always been passionate about fashion, so she enrolled in Massey University to gain a broader professional knowledge of the industry and kick start her career. Her time with the institution gave her a deeper understanding of the industry, as well as awakening a more sophisticated and innovative designer within herself. “Besides learning all the fashion foundation skills from my lectures and studio classes, I learnt to get out of my comfort zone, take risks, and always challenge myself.”

Chen implemented this new-found enthusiasm into her graduate collection, which included four completely realised looks. “My collection explores the significance and meaning of ‘face’ (In Chinese, ‘Mian Zi’) in Chinese culture,” Chen said. “This word represents a person’s reputation within multiple spheres. My research design discussed the invisible cage of Mian Zi, and how people change themselves to gain ‘face’ from others.” Chen’s collection was highly conceptual, and she implemented her diverse technical knowledge to bring the concept to life. “I created different sized undulating outer ‘bubbles’ as cocoons or cages for garments. I used fragile fabrics, hanging threads, and abstracted visual illusions to contour my concept of face.”

"I have learnt to get out of my comfort zone, take risks, and always challenge myself.”

Combining her own unique vision with techniques and concepts she admired from other designers. “The tulle face in my collection is inspired by the artist Benjamin Shine. I like the way he presents art portraits using fabric, so I adapted this technique to create my own collection.”

With a strong graduate collection under her belt, Chen is eager to continue to make her mark on the industry through strengthening her presence in the marketplace. “I want to have my own clothing brand, and I’m also planning to start an online store,” said Chen. “I already have an Instagram called Undefined700. I use this account to exhibit my designs, people can find out about my store and my current t-shirt designs.”