Emerging Designer Robert Wun by Aybuke Barkcin


Dear Shaded Viewers,

Robert Wun is a Hong Kong born, London based fashion designer who captured everyone’s attention with his famous Orchid Dress. He graduated from London College of Fashion in 2012 and his career soon grew quickly as stars like Lady Gaga, Celine Dion, Cardi B. started wearing his designs.

When we think of pleated skirts, tulle dresses, floral… perhaps first we think of them as classic representations of femininity, innocence and fragility. But there is nothing fragile in Robert Wun’s designs, but only of strength. His exaggerated silhouettes and constructed architectural shapes present a bold and futurist take on elegance.

When women wear his designs, he wishes them to feel, “Empowered, feminine and graceful. I would like to imagine they can live in their sci-fi fantasy while they are wearing my clothes. With these empowering emotions which can represents also their own life stories, as a strong independent individuals as they are walking in the real world.”

For Robert Wun, his Hong Kong heritage presents an endless source of inspiration as the juxtaposition of natural and artificial are the central element of his designs. He rejects to use stereotypical East Asian motifs of dragons, Chinese characters, qi pao’s… but instead chooses to create a more indirect dialogue with his audience which stimulates even more curiosity towards his source of inspirations.

In his SS19 collection, the designer studied the legendary story of Hua Mulan, a Chinese fictional folk heroine who takes her aged father’s place in the army by disguising herself as a man, the story is one of the earliest representations of strong women in fiction. In Mandarin Chinese, Hua Mulan’s name means flower, wood and orchid. The designer expresses that he chose to work with the orchid because “its shape is powerful, feminine and elegant, and I continue to include this motif throughout all my collections thereafter.”

The fashion industry can sometimes feel greatly oversaturated with brands and their products, but when you come across a feminist designer like Robert Wun, you regain your excitement towards the industry again and hope for the future of fashion.

You can find more of Robert Wun’s work at his website: https://www.robertwun.com/

Aybuke Barkcin

Aybüke Barkçin is an art director, photographer, curator and writer that looks at fashion through the lens of political and societal dynamics. She completed her master's Creative Direction in POLIMODA, Italy and has a background in International Relations and Graphic Design. Her work can be found in her website: https://www.aybukebarkcin.com/