Photography: Kathleen O’Neill
With the influx of so many brands embracing gender-fluid fashion, there’s few designers left just doing pretty. That is, except Sandy Liang, who’s sweet and delicate designs are the epitome of effortless femininity. For her latest collection, the designer moved from statement-making coats, to really focus on what goes underneath—and in the Sandy Liang world, that’s flowy dresses and fragile lace. Of course, Liang also debuted some of her killer outerwear, embellished with lilac fur and ’60s-style floral brocade. That’s the thing about the New Yorker’s clothes—even the heaviest pieces feel light and saccharine. And on top of that, they feel real. While a lot of other designers spend Fashion Week trying to make some huge, bold statement, Liang makes clothes for actual girls. She doesn’t need the drama and theatrics of some giant Alexander Wang-esque presentation—the simplicity and beauty of her pieces speak for themselves.
View photos from the presentation above, and read our interview with the designer, below.
Tell me about the collection. What inspired it?
The same girl that inspired this collection really inspires all of my collections—it’s more about the attitude and vibe of the neighborhood where I live. It’s very personal and of the moment. But I don’t think too much about what’s behind it—it’s an ongoing collection of how I feel and the thing I want to make.
How does this collection compare to last season?
We’re growing our ready-to-wear. But when I started, I was doing a lot of outerwear. Now, it’s more about transitional outerwear and really, what’s underneath. When I started, I only cared about shoes and bags and coats, and now I care about the pants, as well. I guess I’m just getting older and want to be more put together.
Describe Sandy Liang in three words.
Funny. Grandma. Furry.
Who do you see as the Sandy Liang woman?
Anyone who appreciates the clothes—I always say it would be killer if my clothes lived in a department store, never being sold. But I love that my friends and random people I meet love the. To me, that’s the magic—not just making the clothes, but seeing people wear them.
Do you think fashion should be political?
It can be—that’s really up to the designer. But I don’t believe that it should be used as a vehicle for press for the label—it should really be for the cause.
What do you see as your role as a designer, especially during this hyper-political time?
It’s so critical to put your opinion out there. At the same time, you don’t want your opinion to override the brand that you created. So it’s a fine line. Keep fighting for your cause in your special way—that’s all you can do.