Interview: Ning Wang, one of the fashion designers at GSA's Graduate Degree Show

Interview: Nina Wang, one of the fashion designers at GSA's Graduate Degree Show

The Masters graduate specialises in oversized, hip hop, surrealist silks

Ning Wang studied fashion design in Beijing before coming to Glasgow to do her Masters in fashion and textiles. She’s about to show her silky collection of saturated colours and gold chains as part of the GSA degree show. Claire Sawers caught up with her for a chat

Can you describe your collection in five words?
Surrealist silks, oversized, hip hop.

What do you draw inspiration from?
My vivid dreams and imagination, and my kitsch collection of toys, including My Little Pony, Hello Kitty and fashion dolls from Monster High and Bratzillaz. Also illustration, graphic novels, zine culture, hip-hop and surrealism. My partner Zhang Liang is an illustrator and we both share a passion for the same things.

What items from your collection will you be wearing yourself?
If the garments were in my size, I’d love to wear them all. I would mix and match the pieces, perhaps pairing my colourful illustrated bomber jackets with hot pants and stockings. I would also wear my snapback caps, adorned with laser cut badges of my characters and complete the look with my printed bandanas.

When you’re designing, what man and woman do you have in mind?
My collection should be fun to wear. My ideal customer/client would be Pharrell Williams; someone who appreciates the richly patterned silks and a casual silhouette.

How do the Beijing and Glasgow street styles differ?
Glasgow is a fusion of different styles and cultures, combining vintage pieces with new. The fashion industry is developing fast in China and people in Beijing are embracing styles from America, Europe, Japan and South Korea.

Can you describe the drawings on your silk bomber jacket?
Imagery is drawn from the unconscious mind. Usually following a vivid dream, I try to capture the essence through ink drawings. These initial drawings are developed into pattern combining hand-drawn elements with illustrator software. This software allows me to explore scale and placement, containing and mirroring the narrative within each pattern piece. I explore clashing colour through printing tests to obtain an intense, ultra-saturated colour palette.

What would be the dream outcome of this collection?
Creating an intense aesthetic, and encapsulating my love of the kitsch and the surreal.

What’s next?
A week in Berlin to recharge my batteries and explore the city’s diverse culture and underground scene, then return to the UK to develop new textiles for a new collection.

Graduate Degree Show, which features work by all the Masters students graduating from the GSA this year (including a section on the ten MDes Fashion designers), runs from 14–28 Sep 2013; The Lighthouse, Mitchell Lane, Glasgow, Mon–Sat 10.30am–5pm; Sun noon–5pm, free entry. 

Ning Wang’s collection will be shown in three Fashion Promenades at The Lighthouse, Thu 26 Sep at 7pm, 8pm and 9pm. Tickets are £10, and on sale at the GSA Shop, or from

Glasgow School of Art Graduate Degree Show

Work from across the GSA's range of Masters programmes, from Architecture to Animation via Graphics, Fine Art, Design Innovation and even Medical Visualisation. There's also the MDes fashion show, where you might spot the Jonathan Saunders of tomorrow.

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