Self-Portrait’s Autumn/Winter 2016 collection paraded a colour palette of Francis Bacon-inspired hues along a classically romantic lineup of modern guipure lace dresses and separates — a testament to the Malaysian-born Han Chong’s ability to weave unexpected elements with accessible designs. Always one to create an extra-special dress destined to grace the Red Carpet, the Central Saint Martins alumnus rolled out this season’s offerings with something we haven’t really seen in the label’s lifespan so far — attitude.
Only Chong’s second presentation, his take on A/W 2016 presented an unfussed approach to lace in a way that appeared fresh, cool and graphic; and in details that could easily have been showcased by a designer several years his senior, Chong’s multidimensional use of lace appliqué across fluid silk and edges of lace across uneven hemlines added texture to a collection far narrower, more slim-fitting and drastically edgier than seasons previous.
While I might have originally been aboard a train of thought concerned with the potential limitations of lace-only creations, Chong’s lace bombers, appliquéd parkas and lace trousers demonstrated the full extent in which this traditionally feminine and delicate fabric can be exploited. And I’m certainly not the only one interested in what he’ll do next: The industry is watching Han Chong and his Self-Portrait quite closely, and I suggest you all do the same.
Photos: Courtesy of Self-Portrait.