Designer Jonathan Liang launched his eponymous label in 2014 with the aim of creating clothes for women that were “adaptable, provocative but combative feminine”, he wanted to juxtapose his “dream world” with clothes that women could actually wear in the their daily life.
Although he launched his Paris-based label long before the current fashion industry shutdown in 2022, Liang didn’t have an easy time. For decades there has been too much fashion around the world. With new brands popping up on social media almost every day, being able to stand out, have a distinct creative voice, and make enough money to stay in business isn’t easy.
Originally from Malaysia, Liang has worked for a number of major fashion brands, including Givenchy and Surface to Air, and presumably this background allowed him to better understand the whims of creating an independent fashion label.
However, surviving for over eight years isn’t as bad in an industry as full of fashion failures as it is successes.
While you can describe the brand as international, it’s its links to Australia and Asia that have helped Liang grow a following outside of traditional European and American markets. Which is doubly useful now that the rest of the world is slowly eating itself alive due to the economic and social impact of the Coronavirus, Covid19.
In addition to this most unexpected of disasters, the entire world of fashion is slowly awakening to the themes of sustainability, ethical production, waste and the desire of customers to buy less and practice conscious consumerism more widely.
Sustainability and Covid19
So how does a relatively young and contemporary womenswear brand address these additional problems as it compares to global competitors? Liang says the impact of Covid19 has changed the way it designs and has even touched on some of the brand’s aesthetic concepts while keeping its underlying values intact.
“In terms of design, we have moved to prioritize comfort above all else. Ever since the pandemic, we believe that people are looking for something more comforting not only physically but mentally as well, “explains Liang.
“The way we create hasn’t changed, we wondered a lot, if this feels good on our skin but in [the] context of the new world us [are moving into]? The fashion business has definitely changed as a whole and we are constantly adapting while maintaining our core design principles. “
As for the growing movement towards more sustainable and ethical apparel manufacturing, Liang says he has always kept this in mind when designing and manufacturing the brand.
“We always think about sustainability, not only that [for] the environment, but also sustainability in the business as a whole along with governance “, says Liang.” We do everything possible to ensure that the smallest an [environmental] impact as much as possible, such as the control of the production quantity, the types of fabrics and the models that require very little waste, almost zero “.
Liang also says the company has always practiced ethical work, but ensuring that its creators and staff have a “strong standard of living from day one”.
A wild garden
Liang’s latest collections have all been influenced by nature, with the concept of a “romantically carefree landscape filled with dramatic creatures” visible everywhere.
Flowers are very present, not as gaudy patterns and prints, but more as an aesthetic backdrop for dresses that are soft, voluminous and romantic. Lace details combined with girl / boy cuts create a modern Edwardian vibe.
While cute and rather #cottagecore in concept, Liang’s current collection includes pieces that are perfect for the workplace; we should never go back. The clever use of more masculine fabrics cut into chemisier shapes with asymmetrical details blends the boy-girl aesthetic perfectly.
The Jonathan Liang Spring Summer 2021 collection preserves the romantic and carefree panorama of his previous work: “Each prêt-à-porter garment imagined by the label is not only inspired, but reflects the characteristics of this lively plane: from the common pansy, to the surprising flamingo: elements of natural natives are prevalent in Jonathan Liang’s work and collective history, amalgamated with his definition of expressive femininity.
The brand’s fabrics are a glorious explosion of all that is delicate and beautiful: organza, tulle, lace, silk, silk jersey and English broderie. Peach pink, white, soft lilac and grays are offset by black and white in the current season’s color palette for Spring Summer 2021. Quality detailing and craftsmanship ensure that the clothes are beautifully crafted with a sense of timeless craftsmanship. .
The future of fashion
The pretty, wearable dresses from the Jonathan Liang label manifest a nostalgic longing for the time before Covid19, when picnicking – or brunch at a trendy café – was an everyday occasion.
Where will we wear these delicate and feminine pieces in the future? Will we be willing to spend our dwindling money on them? I guess yes, women with a sense of romance, softness, and wishful thinking will gladly take Liang’s offerings to heart, if only for the nostalgic comfort they bring.
As for the brand, Liang agrees that the fashion industry has undergone some upheaval, but doesn’t yet know where the future will land.
“… It really depends on the mentality of each brand’s customers and also where they are … so we prioritize slower fashion that stands the test of time.”
You can buy Jonathan Liang online at company-a.com / brand / jonathan-liang /, or go to www.jonathan-liang.com/stockists.
For more interesting interviews with trendy creatives, go to our Style section.
The original version of the article was first published on nikibruce.com.