Vancouver Fashion Week FW 24 Interview with Wen Pan (London)

Wen Pan will be showing their new collection on the runway at Vancouver Fashion Week FW24 on Sunday, April 28th at 6:10 P.M. Purchase tickets HERE!

From the VFW website - 

WEN PAN FW24 finds delicacy and femininity in fragility and roughness. By translating the unpredictable effects of natural dyes into rich textures and patterns, this collection aims to capture the fascinating trace of nature. The whole collection uses raw materials, such as natural linen, cotton and silk blend that are hand dyed with loquat leaves, which come from a unique plant raised in the east. By blending flowing shapes and asymmetric cracked constructions with faded colours including light beige, apricot, and different tones of pink, WEN PAN FW24 celebrates imperfection, and strength in softness.

Interview -

Please share a bit about your journey to embrace fashion design as a career.

I have been interested in drawing and art since very young. When I was in high school, I read an article about Seven Sages of Bamboo, a group of scholars in ancient China. It only described what they wore, but I could picture their unique lifestyle and the cool, careless, ‘anti-social’ attitude they had 1000 years ago. That was the time I realized fashion, or clothes, could say many things. After graduating from Central Saint Martins womenswear course, and working in other brands for 3 years, I started my own label.


How did you learn your skills? 

I went to fashion school and got a degree of fashion design womenswear. In Central Saint Martins, I learnt the whole idea of how to work as a fashion designer and how to create collections from a concept. During the work time, I learnt the real fashion industry, not only practical techniques, but also the whole business from a product to the batch production, and from managing budget to the sales campaign.

Who are you as a designer? Aesthetic? Customer? Brand?

I describe my brand’s aesthetic as ‘understated romantic grunge with a Chinese twist.' The brand expands on the content of ‘Poetic Resistance’ that exists in my vision of Chinese aesthetics. By using raw fluidity and layers of textures, WEN PAN evokes characters in a balance of femininity and roughness. 

My design journey always starts from human traces, and ends with deconstructed pieces which translate brokenness into delicacy. The brand shows an image of quietness in chaos, and celebrates imperfection, and strength in softness. with a focus on unconventional cuttings and natural materials, WEN PAN appeals to people with a similarly strong sense of individuality. I aim to produce garments that nourish customer’s fashion needs on an emotional level. My designs are a way for people to project their strength of character and translate an attitude through a piece.

What comes easiest for you as a designer? What is hardest?

I have strong desire to deliver messages through garments, and I am always inspired by nature, time and my surroundings. So, using endless inspirations, doing research, and developing designs would be the easiest part for me as a fashion designer.

Controlling budget is currently the hardest. There are so many aspects I need to spend money. I always chose to focus on the good ones, especially the organic materials, and the finest techniques of my products, which can be quite expensive.


Where do you find inspiration for new collections? How important is color to your design process?

WEN PAN FW24 continues to find delicacy and femininity in fragility and roughness. By translating the unpredictable effects of natural dyes into rich textures and patterns, this collection aims to capture the fascinating trace of nature. The whole collection uses raw materials, such as natural linen, cotton and silk blends that are hand dyed with loquat leaves. The leaves come from a unique plant raised in the east. This technique leads to a range of beautiful faded colors including light beige, apricot, and different tones of pink. 

In terms of color, it has an essential place in my design process. Making a color palette is the very first step of each collection. I prefer faded colors in my collections, as I found them represent the traces of time in a beautiful and delicate way. And I love how flowing shapes and raw finishings blende with these soft colors, which can be seen as a signature of my designs.

Readers would love to know more about the new collection you will be showing at VFW FW 24.

Asymmetric cutting is a key element of WEN PAN. In FW24, I explored more on this cutting technique, so you will find every piece is constructed asymmetrically with a fit and flare shape. This cutting technique and silhouettes shape the body, while they make people who wear them feel free and relaxed at the same time - especially when moving. 

Furthermore, I studied a new natural dyeing technique in FW24. Almost everything piece is dyed in loquat leaves and tea leaves, but by using different techniques, I created different colors. I love the uncertainty of natural dye, which leads to something beyond we can imagine. Sometimes the result is not traditionally ‘perfect,’ but it can be seen as special gifts from nature. Just like people and lives, imperfection is everywhere. Accepting it is a way to confidence, and that meets my brand’s philosophy: Imperfection is a new perfection.


Do you have a favorite look in this collection?

A duster that mixes of different pinks on a hand-dyed silk, with crinkled texture. I paired this 
duster with a boots. I like this look because it shows the key message of my FW24 collection and it represents WEN PAN’s understated grunge aesthetics. Silk is a delicate material. Uneven hand-dyed surface with raw edges show the harmonious conflicts between delicacy and roughness. I dyed each pattern in small lots, so colors varies differently on each pattern. Different tones of pink combine with asymmetrically structured shapes, representing a signature look of WEN PAN FW24.

Where can readers purchase your designs?

To pre-order any pieces from my collections, people can email us or just simply leave a direct message to our Instagram account. People can also visit the boutiques we are working with. Each shop has a certain selection of my collections. In the near future, we will have our own online shop to ship worldwide in order to service costumers any country and district more easily.

What's next for you as a designer and your brand?

I will keep my own pace, which might be quite ‘slow’. I will keep creating pieces that can really study people, natural materials and cutting techniques further and further, and can be applied in real peoples’ lives. I’m also working on a new project where I will introduce some classic silhouettes with plant dyed organic materials, not only expanding the artisanal aesthetics of WEN PAN, but also exploring a more sustainable way to express the trace of time and the beauty of imperfection.

In closing is there anything else you'd like to share with readers?

I would love to introduce my new project in near future. I’m already really excited about. It will have a reasonable price range and more simple garments for daily life. The good quality and classic shape will support them to be life-time pieces. I believe it provides an alternate way for people to try wearing something artisanal, but with a reasonable budget. So please stay tuned!


Links -