Wearable Art Beyond a Concept Lies a Reality
Over the past few years, fashion has turned to art in search for an inexhaustible source of inspiration, shaping a new concept of clothing: wearable art. Wearable art refers to the idea that a certain type of fashion can be closely associated with art, and become art.
Here at MENG, we think it takes a little more than that. Beyond a simple, abstract concept, creating “wearable art” relies on a completely different approach to creating fashion.
I founded my eponymous luxury lifestyle label MENG, from my desire to create art, first and foremost. I didn’t know what product category I wanted to develop. My only requirement was that my creations would have to be beautiful enough to be their own piece of art – to look at home hanging on the walls.
Our design process starts with the print, with the same approach and care artists put into their work. Only much later do they become elaborate ornaments that adorn our womenswear, menswear, homeware, accessories and stationery. We’ve used so many techniques over the years – watercolour, acrylic, gouache, oil, pencil – before taking anything to digital.
Our prints are painted using traditional techniques before they are applied onto our various collections. This approach allows for our intricate designs to effortlessly lend themselves to different formats and mediums, which we are still experimenting with as we have recently launched our debut menswear collection and an exclusive stationery line.
We have received a very warm response as our collections were picked up by prestigious department stores such as Selfridges, Harrods and Neiman Marcus from the very first season. The reaction was unanimous as buyers had never seen anything like this before, especially not in product categories such as lingerie and menswear.
Art lends itself to the tales told by our different prints – Cherry Blossom was our very first print. The delicate illustrations are feminine and tranquil for an instant air of romance and relaxation. Zodiac and Phoenix draw inspiration from the Chinese Zodiac – the symbolic animals are cleverly entwined as if they were painted onto porcelain. Watercolour Blossom celebrates and draws its inspiration from ancient Chinese watercolour paintings of cherry blossoms and natural landscapes, with a modern twist. These are only a few of our print families, as we never cease to translate what inspires us into original design to feature on our different product categories.
The concept of “wearable art” takes on a new dimension as we truly attempt to turn art into items for modern luxury living.