Feng Chen Wang thought about the word “half” and what it means for human connection.
The show started with an opening of the curtains, which streamed sunlight into the dark space and emphasized the collection’s vivid color palette, which Wang said was meant to convey a range of human emotions.
The opening looks came in an icy blue gradient — sad — and progressed into an iridescent green and a warm hot pink — happy. Things ended with shades of black and gray, which Wang said played on black and white and the idea of half, or yin and yang.
The garments were amalgamations of sportswear basics. Wang placed double collars on long trenchcoats and pieced together two Levi’s jackets to make one. She did the same thing with Converse sneakers by adding an extra sole and merging two sneaker halves together. An extra leg was added to jeans and the more dramatic pieces consisted of collared shirts and trenchcoats that were draped on top of each other and fell down to the floor.
Some of these pieces revealed the heart, another means to depict feelings. Wang discovered that different sentiments lead to different body temperatures and she presented PVC pieces to highlight the area of the body that is ignited by shifts in mood.
Hands were a big component of her half concept — joining hands can represent two halves coming together while combative hands signal two halves breaking apart. Those came through in cartoonish 3-D hand backpacks and cross-body bags that have become a Feng Chen Weng signature.
With a fitting collection concept, she debuted women’s looks — a cropped trenchcoat, swimsuit and oversized anorak — to counterbalance the men’s pieces.
It takes skill and a sharp eye to break down, build up and reimagine basic garments the way Wang does. It’s also impressive the way she pulls together multiple ideas, or different halves, to create one clear message.