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Saloni Lodha and Victoria Tang-Owen on their Lunar New 12 months Capsule Assortment

Saloni Lodha and Victoria Tang-Owen on their Lunar New 12 months Capsule Assortment

Just in time for the Lunar New Year, fashion designer Saloni Lodha collaborated with Prestige Woman of Power Victoria Tang-Owen on a stunning capsule collection, entitled The Voyage of the Dragon, which, while celebrating the rich and enduring Chinese culture, also fits within the cosmopolitan lifestyle of a modern woman.

How did the collaboration come to be? 

Victoria Tang-Owen: It was quick because both of us had a lot of other projects on hand. I don’t miss chasing the calendar, so I thought this was an opportunity to develop a long-term partnership. So, this Chinese year would be the first launch, then we’ll have the high summer and holiday collections. We wanted to do things differently because brands tend to celebrate the Chinese year with lots of reds and dragons. It’s too much. 

Saloni Lodha: Me and Vic have always spoken about doing something together. And because Vic loves the Saloni dresses, this light bulb went in my head, and I thought the Year of Dragon would be the perfect time for a collaboration. We both instantly fell in love with the idea. Vic and I are both inspired by culture and heritage. At the same time, we didn’t want anything too literal. So, Vic would come in and say that the dragon print should be hidden, and then my team would go and develop the prints. So, the collection is very much the Saloni language with a beautiful Victoria Tang flair. 

Could you walk me through the process of creating this collection? 

VT: Saloni and I travel a lot, and we’re both moms. So, we had a few sessions over Zoom with her team in London, as well as herself in Bangkok to come up with initial ideas. It was very much: I do this, you do this. Divide and conquer. Then, we met in Hong Kong and looked at the archives and beautiful silhouettes, edited it and distilled the colour palette. 

What was on the mood board for this collection?

VT: You see, the dragon has a strong and masculine connotation, hence I didn’t want to be too literal with it. So, we looked at some Qing- and pre-Qing dynasty paintings on vases. These porcelain silhouettes contain such beautiful stories, so we studied them and extracted the elements we wanted to use. And the colour palette of this antique Chinese porcelain was the anchoring inspiration for the capsule. Then we modernised these references and hid a dragon slithering through a flowerbed upon the dresses to give them a sense of movement. And, in Chinese culture, the colours during the Lunar New Year need to be bold and loud. The reason behind this was historically to scare away the mythical monster who comes and attacks the village. And, to protect themselves, the villagers would also put up these banners with  Chinese words that symbolise protection. 

SL: We don’t follow a traditional way of doing things, like the fashion shows and stuff like that. Vic put the mood board together and gave us incredible references for artefacts and porcelain. That was the starting point. We hand-painted all our prints in-house from every motif. We want this collection to be a meaningful addition to everyone’s wardrobes. I try not to exaggerate things because you should be able to pull these a few years later and have fun wearing them. And, I designed Saloni dresses so that you can build your wardrobe. If you love that shape, you can have 10 of these dresses. And our customers shop like that. I think of the dresses as canvases, so that you can have fun with different colours.

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What are the collection highlights of the collection? 

VT: We didn’t want to use heavy materials. It’s still very all-rounded. You can wear it in the spring and the summer, but in the winter you can wear it with a jacket. There are these high and low pieces, which you can dress down or up. You can also imagine the whole set like vases beautifully displayed in an exhibition. We have coral red, sprout green, plum blossom and midnight green colours that paint the picture. I like our hidden dragon print dress. It’s flowy and elegant and makes you look statuesque. You can just imagine wearing it and approaching someone to say hi, and this print becomes this delightful surprise – a conversation starter. Plus, Saloni’s silhouettes work well with vibrant prints. There’s also this lime floral dress, which I wore, which symbolises the coming of spring since that’s the actual meaning of Chinese New Year. 

What message did you want the collection to convey? 

SL: We wanted it to feel festive. Quality has always been important for us. And here, I think the craft comes in prints and our core shapes. We design with a purpose. No matter when you wear it, it’s a beautiful print and a beautiful shape. You’ll always enjoy wearing it. So that’s also an underlying part of the way we design. Otherwise, you’ll never get the longevity of it if things are right off the moment.

Source: Prestige Online

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