The past year has been a time of reflection for many; none more so than Bówén Zhèng. ‘I see making these garments as a healing process. I realised that my body and my brain were rejecting and trying not to face my adolescence; the collection is like problem-solving for my psyche.’ Titled 7140-, Zhèng’s graduate collection explores the darker recesses of the mind; combing for the shadowy cobwebs of repressed memory.
Within 7140-, the cobwebs enter the physical plane; great swirls of knit fabric forming faux-crinolines, suspended from the Knitwear student’s striped underlayers. Trousers distort and bulge at the knees, warping the silhouette of the wearer into satyr-like proportions; while slinky criss-cross dresses cling to the hips and drape across the thigh.
After months of concept, design and final construction, Zhèng’s therapeutic collection has succeeded. ‘It’s been good to reanalyse. I have to say, after I did all of this, I just feel like, the healing is over. I don't need to heal anymore.’ In performing her own therapy, Zhèng has created a wealth of garments that offer the wearer the same through their sheer execution. Healing has never been so stylish.
Ollie McCabe, BA Fashion Journalism