The sheer number of talented young graduates churned out from Central Saint Martins (thanks to Louise Wilson) never ceases to amaze me and Shao-Yen Chen, one of the knitwear graduates is certainly no exception.
There is no doubt that one of the key elements for success in such a competitive industry is innovation and his arduous experimentation has certainly paid off well. Using fine nylon threads, he creates volume packed onto cashmere and lycra where the delicate white strands are shaved into a bulbous formation which I find peculiar, yet harmonic.
What I enjoy of Shao-Yen's masterpieces is that he knows how to prevent his work from entering laughable territory. The density, the shape, the need to create curves; he knows how to make it work and I truly admire the thought and skill needed to pull off such a distinctive concept.
Chen's second collection "Skin" which can be seen as more of a continuation of his first collection "Waver" introduces leather as a new material in addition to subtle hints of nude and blue.
This collection is a lot more wearable and playful and the overall volume has been reduced dramatically allowing the girl to flaunt her figure instead of being cocooned inside a heavy structure. Although the shaven shapes are still present, I find they highlight specific areas of the body on the dresses which can be seen below.