TAIPEI (The China Post) – It may sound funny, but Wang Liling is both a humorous and practical person. Although she appeared somewhat laid-back, when asked about her popular designs and even the opportunity to rise to fame, she shrugged and smilingly said that they never made any deliberate arrangements.
She also directly said that she should know how to hide her imperfection as she is more of a backstage person. Nevertheless, when Wang talked about designs and brand management, the firmness in her eyes showed her character in solving problems with ease.
How to apply “light” to garments after the brand was established? Despite the current advancements in LED, Wang Liling decided to start from fabric materials after considering the comfort, practicality, and even the convenience of storage and usability in combining technology with clothing. The fabrics do not only glimmer, but they fascinate everyone by emitting spontaneous, bright iridescence under light-rays and during photo shoots.
No wonder Wang Liling is also loved by children as she recently tried parent-child outfits that immediately became highly popular. “The children call me a magician.” Wang Liling likes children, and this gives her a satisfying sense of accomplishment.
Speaking of the use of oriental elements, Wang frankly admitted that she did not pay much attention to it either. It was not until she traveled to London to study did she experience a culture shock from foreign teachers and students. As Wang described, “They think Asians are strange for having English names and always wanting to learn about foreign cultures.”
Since then, Wang Liling has reflected on her own culture, and observed and even compared the differences between the East and West. “I believe that it takes time to experience oriental aesthetics; it needs to be more implicit and capable of blending into the life culture.”
Instead of explicitly applying traditional images or characters on garments, “the concepts need to be converted.” In Wang Liling’s “The Gestures of Water” series, she collaborated with friends and designed text t-shirts by using water ripples to produce the imagery of Chinese landscape paintings. The force in Chinese calligraphy characters was demonstrated within the ups and downs.
Inspired by “fog watching” in Yilan’s Guishan Island, Wang Liling associated “playthings” with “animals,” and featured water ripples in another successful interpretation of the 12 new totems of Chinese Zodiac animals.
To illustrate the concept of ties, Wang selected Chinese knotting as the technique and combined it with the most complex backbone of human joints to create a revolutionary look that was never seen before.
She even abandoned printed graphics and really knitted corset-like items to be worn outside a long dress as accessories for the garment. Every piece of work by Wang Liling is comprised of countless associations that contain hidden and delicate meanings deep inside. These fascinating elements have become impressive characteristics.
Designs often originate from an idea, a scene, or even trivial thoughts in the mind. Life is filled with countless inspirations that continue to supply Wang Liling’s brain-burning philosophy. Seemingly irrelevant elements can be grouped together through her unique eye.
In addition, Wang Liling’s designs cannot be defined by a single style. Her diversely integrated and flexible wonders are demonstrated by extremely romantic gowns, avant-garde “war robes” with a strong structure, clear and elegant elf costumes, as well as street trendy camouflage totems.
In a crossover project with Pili glove puppetry for its 30th anniversary “Lian Hua Dan,” Wang designed the main character Su Huan Zhen’s modern style. By using a white long suit jacket as the contour, Wang built a modern style that features a glimmering purple light. This design precisely illustrated the color that represents Su Huan Zhen, while the “Qilin” horn armor further highlights the aura of a king. This design received a lot of positive response.”
By adopting the idea of “a glimmering light” as a principle and applying it to designs, Wang has always persisted in her pursuit of light. However, a thorough investigation revealed that Wang Liling cared more about keeping a low profile and being self-effacing. Wang talked about the many positive responses that she received since starting the business, and how she endured the bitter times of taking a break from school and going through a retina surgery.
Wang does not run away from upcoming challenges and sees them as opportunities to take a chance. With a trendy look, Wang Liling calmly commented that she only goes with the flow and tries her best. Other than luck, efforts are an essential element. Wang concluded by saying, “I think this is all destiny.” Surprisingly, she accepted her fate and was very modest.
After the close-up interview, we see Wang Liling’s persistence in producing “wearable clothes” with her unrestrained creativity. Just like her designs, there is an unforgettable light in her undisguisable candidness.
By Hsiao Hanyun 文／蕭涵云
Photo by Wang Liling 圖／Wang Liling