Jie Wu and the mesh of identity, emotions, and fabrics
Words by Matthew Burgos
The poignance of Jie Wu's individuality transpires into her artistry. It forms imagery of self-exploration unveiled through the exposition of her inner thoughts. The cadence of her representation and reflections shape the admirers of her designs. Once an onlooker locks their eyes on her creations, they may find themselves ruminating over their emotional journeys, manifesting a thread of connection between the maker and spectator. The gush of consciousness in her craftsmanship and the confidence in her identity keep her creative ethos and strong will to design.
The dedication to staying conscious of who she is has allowed the London-based designer to experiment with various methods to unleash her character. The seams, the threads, and the churn of the machine poking holes into the fabric a mile a minute pave the sanctuary to Jie, where you will find her nestled in with her musings.
She introduced her pioneer collection in 2019 entitled Me, Myself, and I. The anthology looks back to the designer's hardships and precious times throughout her life. For the collection, she dabbled in the spectrum of emotions she had felt during her voyage as a creator, an artist, and a student, plucking out the most vivid and vibrant ones before puncturing the garments with these influences. Through the collection, Jie allowed her creative and emotional flows to spill unhurriedly and unjudged.
The prowess of her handiwork pours infinitely. In 2020, Jie has curated her second collection bearing the title "Through My Crystal Ball." Her inspiration in designing the successor mirrors the plethora of sentiments she burrowed in herself before the commencement of her Master's Degree in Fashion Design Womenswear at Central Saint Martin. Plunging into the unknown before she could even step inside the university ushered in a dash of hesitancy and a scoop of excitement in her mind. To unshackle the repressing thoughts that hinder her headway, Jie sought her muse from a persona she revered with an immense fondness: Marie Antoinette.
As she rifled through the lush and grand visuals of the penultimate Queen of France and permitted the catchphrase "let them eat cake" to run her fashion designs and patchworks. Jie grounded her footing in identifying why she cradled against the warmth and frost of her reluctance to foreign endeavors. She molded her collection as a vessel to paint her ideal future self. Like Marie Antoinette, she dips into a mindset of enjoying the present instead of ruminating what might happen next. Thanks to the French Queen, her ideology revolves around taking the reins of ruling her life the way she envisions and desires it. No longer will she crawl in the corner of her safe haven, but dash towards her nostalgic past, wistful present, and uncertain future.
"Since I wanted to narrate who I am, I adorned my collection with a tinge of oriental heritage and details as an ode to my roots. The influences drawn from my life experiences unraveled. The bit of my story as someone originating from China before moving abroad was portrayed through the elaborate silhouettes and the transition in the details of the fabrics, signalling my journey to change," Jie tells Blanc Magazine.
Such a string of ethos appears vivid in her anthology of Jie-meets-Marie-Antoinette. Both personas' lustful eccentricity erupts into deep shades of purple, pale hues of pink, beige and blue, sultry black, and vibrant red. Androgynous models don the ballooned and draped silk-like fabric meshed with chiffon, dainty, and see-through materials.
With such elegance crafted for anyone, no wonder Jie's law follows designs and aesthetics that communes with romance, beauty, and inclusivity. As she tells Blanc Magazine, garments know no gender and age in her wonderland as they hierarchize the practice of staying true to self. By such a theology, personalities evoke diversity.
When she attempts to depict the person she is, Jie explains that she is direct, shy, and impractical. For a designer whose quotation to self encompasses "the most difficult thing in life is to know yourself," she captures the virtuosity of her intuitions. She cultivates them to bloom as outfits that exhibit her true nature. Even though she might point out the collision of reflections that seem to muddle in her heart and mind, she knows what she strives to demonstrate and how to bring it forward. If anyone feels unsure of their identity or questions themselves on how to wield their past, present, and future, Jie Wu sweeps in to haul them out from their stupor and fine-tune the identity they possess to find their answers.
Photography & Direction - Oscar Lindqvist
Styling - Kazami
Hair - Moe Mukai
Makeup - Machiko
Yano Talent - Poppy
All Garments Kindly Provided by Jie Wu