Vancouver Fashion Week SS19 - Interview With Fashion Designer Gaoming Chen of NABA (Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti)

All images provided by NABA unless otherwise marked. 

Image by Arun Nevader of Getty Images
Where were you born, where did you grow up?

I was born and grew up in a small city called Xinchang, in Zhejiang province of China.

What you like when you were young?  What were your interests in your teenage years?

I started learning Chinese traditional painting when I was a little child, I like drawing and writing the Chinese Calligraphy, also like reading the novels and watching movies.

Looking back, can you remember any early signs that you would end up in fashion?  A personal story would be great here.

My mother loves fashion a lot. When I was a young, almost all my clothes were designed and made by her. Also, we have many, many pattern making books at home. Maybe because of that, when I choosing the university I wanted to attend and my major, I chose fashion design without any hesitate.

Talk about when and how you decided to study fashion design.  Was you family supportive?

Like I said before, my mother loves fashion and she dreamed of being a fashion designer. Now her dream has become my dream. My parents are very support me

Why did you choose to study in the program at NABA (Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti)?

Firstly, Milan is my favorite city in Europe and one of the most fashionable cities in the world. Also, NABA has my favorite program - “fashion and textile design.” After learning so much about pattern making and stitching techniques, I wanted to learn more about textile design to improve myself. That’s why NABA was my best choice and yes it still is.

Talk about your time studying Fashion Design.  What was hard for you? What was easy for you? Are they any high, low or funny moments you can share?

While I am learning the fashion design, I think the pattern making has been the most difficult part for me. But I like draping and sewing and am good at them both. The happiest moment for me was when I heard my collection would be shown on the runway at Vancouver Fashion Week.

What was the inspiration for the collection you showed on the runway at Vancouver Fashion Week?

This collection was my thesis collection. My inspiration came from the movie “The Shape of Water.” I was so impressed with the love story between a deaf girl and a mysterious creature from the water, combined with my personal connection with the ocean. I do want to spread the spirit of harmonious coexistence between human and nature through this collection by the power of design.

Describe your collection – customer, day-evening-sportswear-separates-casual-luxury-glamour-stage-costuming-punk?

My collection is more day-wear, but with a lot sportswear details and an oversize silhouette, which is very my style.

What is the palette?  What fabrics did you use?

The mainly colors I used were white and blue to which I added some red as decoration. For fabric I use a lot plastic and washable-paper. I wanted to show a “plastic wave” to represent the growing problem plastic pollution.

Do you have a favourite look?

Yes, my favorite look is the jacket and skirt with ruffles on the jacket sleeve and skirt.

What do you think you can bring to the fashion world that is new?

I am pretty good at Chinese traditional paintings, it is already part of my design blood, and I think it can make me do something different from others.

Where do you go from here – are you going to work for others for awhile, launch your own line, take a break and travel?

I am heading back to china and to launch my own brand,

Please share a quote on what fashion design means to you.

"For me, fashion design is just like water. It is part of everyone’s life and gives us energy everyday."

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For more information on the Fashion Design or Fashion and Textile programs at NABA (Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti), please visit the website at