Sihua Chen, London College of Fashion Jewellery Design BA
Student Statement: It’s inspired by fusing of Daniel Beltra’s artistic response to the environment and nature through his aerial shots of 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, with my personal take of the society and mind-sets of people of my generation to environmental and social cause.
The style of my collection is of a dark irony of the concept of toxic waste turned precious jewellery. The forms are organic, asymmetrical with iridescence thick black fluid from oil spill being the key colour and focus point that binds the whole collection.
I’ve always wanted to design with sustainability in mind, be it through used of materials or concept to create innovative textural interest and forms to reinterpret how jewellery can be wore to tell a story through texture and materials, how it evoked the wearer senses.
Trendstop: Signature Piece/s:
Sihua: Goggles, mouthpiece and earphones. They are made to represent the “see no evil, speak no evil, hear no evil” of the society mindset to the environmental crisis. The other pieces, hairpiece, ear cuff and neckpiece represented the various after effects from the spills.
Trendstop: What Kind of Person Do You Have in Mind When You’re Designing?
Sihua: Someone who is fashion forward, adventurous and independent. I want my pieces to be visually intriguing to them as it was intriguing to me during my research and design process. I hope it makes them want to know more of the story behind the concept.
Trendstop: Describe Your Collection in Five Words:
Sihua: Iridescence toxic sheen turned beauty.
Trendstop: Collection Highlight:
Sihua: Material juxtapositions, beadworks w/Swarovski and mixture of various hard and soft materials and techniques involved.
Trendstop: What Designers/Labels Do You Most Admire?
Sihua: Maison Martin Margiela and Vivienne Westwood, for their distinctive style and contribution to social causes. Iris Van Herpern and Hussein Chalayan , I am always impressed by how combining handwork techniques with digital technology always ends up with such visually powerful pieces.
Alexander McQueen for bringing sense of fantasy and rebellion to fashion. Mary Katrantzou, a young but v successful brand which is an inspiration to young female designers like me. Alexis Bittar for his strong and creative approach in his jewellery designs.
Trendstop: What are Your Plans/Hopes for the Future?
Sihua: As a designer, I want to be able to keep pushing the boundaries and mixing unexpected materials and colors together bring forward different creativity and artistry. I’m considering getting a Masters in the future, but for now would like to gain some more valuable job experiences and opportunities. I hope to continue doing what I love, designing and making. Ideally it would be great to work and be part of a big fashion houses while at the same time planning and trying to get a slow steady work on my own brand of jewellery – I hope people will like them as much as I do!