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Cool girl looks for models from designer’s neighborhood

Renee Minus White | 9/28/2017, 11:56 a.m.
Designer Sandy Liang continues to celebrate her brand’s downtown roots. For NYFW, she chose her models from a select group ...
Spring/summer 2018 designs by Sandy Liang

Designer Sandy Liang continues to celebrate her brand’s downtown roots. For NYFW, she chose her models from a select group of cool women from her neighborhood. A New York-based designer, Liang grew up in Bayside, Queens. With new, playful interpretations of nostalgic narratives and elevated experimentation, she focused her details on shirting and transitional outerwear. Liang also introduced color-blocked oversized knit polo shirts, floaty eyelet and lace paired styles with her hallmark statement leather jackets and neck-cuddling collared shearlings.

Liang’s presentation was cleverly developed through the strong lines in her collection. These clothes revealed the designer’s consistent understanding of her customer. For spring/summer ’18, the collection plays with tensions in material and embellishments. A Bayside fleece topper updates the classic outerwear that layers comfortably and elegantly with a luxury jacquard pocket.

In the collection, there were dress cuts that referenced updated school girl uniforms and strappy garter belts. Denim pieces were accented with clustered Swarovski crystals. Metal loops that originated from nipple jewelry offered a clever nod to punk aesthetics. Work and play combinations were artfully shown in the Corbin belt, which is part garter and part tool belt.

Liang’s tailoring is a central part of the collection. Obviously, she shows a talent for shirting. There were gaps with girly peeks of skin. A leather apron is closely fitted as a kind of spare outerwear designed with a kangaroo pocket. The wells denim jacket is designed artfully to hang from the shoulders.

Liang’s subtle references are woven throughout the collection. For spring, she customized her prints, featuring fruits and polka dots mixed with tiny hidden rainbow lights that wink at everyday people. For a touchable element of balance, there were ruffle and ribbon details. Oversized denim is designed with deep pockets that are marked with a subtle “xx”—referring to the way so many women sign off their emails.

This designer attended the Rhode Island School of Design and transferred to Parsons School of Design to study fashion design. Liang draws energy and inspiration from her childhood memories. Her creative fashion roots are firmly in the outerwear. “My grandmother used to shuffle along Canal Street in wide-legged pants,” she recalled. “I also watched chefs wearing white aprons stand behind the outside doors of restaurants for a smoke.” She works intimately with a small team in a renovated studio space that was once a storage room in her father’s restaurant, two blocks away from where he still works. She names her pieces after family and friends. Her designed memories have their own luxury, longevity and wit. The show was enjoyable. Her looks were sumptuous to touch, yet easy to appreciate.