Cassey Gan, Layering On The Talent by Ross Pollard
Autumn/Winter is all about layers, multiple pieces, textures and fabrics brought together to not only keep out the chills but to create looks of depth and contrast. With that thought bobbing around in my head I was excited to head into Fashion Scout for the Cassey Gan presentation. Back for a third season in the hallowed fashion centre that is Freemasons Hall.
Cassey Gan is the Queen of pattern and layer, her looks as contrasting and varied as they are stunning, the Malaysian designer has an eye for constructing prints that amongst the best in the world so I was eager to discuss the show with her. First up was what attracted her to keep coming back to London Fashion Week?
“For me it’s quite a sentimental reason because I studied in London for fashion and I’ve always wanted to come back. It’s such a vibrant city where they accept a lot of colours and different cuts, and it suits my collection, the whole London scene, so I thought I really wanted to come back”.
As we stood together looking at the models on stage, I was struck by the difficulty of what she does and how she creates the looks. There is so much going on. My ever curious nature wanted to learn more about the process that extracts perfection from possible chaos?
“Literally everything is on the floor and I just match everything around. I love working with colours and I always thought clashing colours attract me a lot, so that’s why in every collection I do its really a very wide palette”.
Though the eagle eyed amongst you will have spotted the yellow block coloured dress, with the pattern coming from the draping and pinching rather than print, over the last couple of seasons we’ve seen yellow used in all her collections, her favourite hue as it turns out, but why amongst the riot of changing prints is there a step change in every collection?
“I just wanted to break it up a little bit, because if it’s all printy printy printy then you don’t know where to watch, because sometimes when you have something that’s block in the middle it looks perfect”.
One of the questions that I’m always keen to explore is how designers perceive the change in the fashion hierarchy, I put it to Cassey that when I was a young man, (whisper it) nearly twenty years ago Europe was a huge exporter of fashion to the Asian market, and each year it’s become more and more pronounced that there has been a change, and now the dominant design region is Asia and there are a huge amount of designers not only selling in Europe but leading the way, what did she think was driving that change?
“In my country there are more and more people who appreciate design, and they’ve started to spend on good designs, so then you see when there is a small demand you start to see a shift, and even in China, look at the emerging Chinese designers, it’s crazy, it’s so competitive.
It’s great to have that opportunity, I think this is a great time for people discovering new designers and also with social media. I think that is a huge medium for people to discover new talent as well”.
For me this was her best collection yet, each season her use of print is surpassing the previous collection, I’m also a big fan of how she rejects the premise that the winter months mean more muted tones, after all when the trees are bare and the skies are lead grey, don’t we need colour more than ever. One of the great joys of this job is watching designers grow and I can’t wait to see what’s next.
Photo Credit Simon Armstrong / Pop PR