Backstage with Christine Phung on her Liquid Dilution-themed Spring/Summer 2014 Collection
As the title—“Liquid Dilution”—suggests, this collection explores the possibilities of water, with stories exploring the patterns of diffracted light and the sensations one feels when beneath the surface. Recognizing the graphical lace qualities that the sun and its shadows cast on skin underwater, designer Christine Phung decides to translate these shapes into fluid, Rorschach-like waves, which are then digitally printed onto maxi dresses and low V-neck jumpsuits in lightweight fabrics such as silk crepe.
Phung worked with William James Thurman to create another motif of thin lines that represent controlled waves on belted shirtdresses. Intricate geometric patterns are woven into reversible jacquards and large geo shapes are strategically paneled onto oversized, boxy jackets with cropped sleeves, culminating in the sheer grid-like material resembling pool tiles seen in the second half of the show.
Swarovski crystals mimic droplets, plasticized lace has been sculpted into liquid explosions and injected resins created in collaboration with jewelry designer Tsuri Gueta look like coral. Metallic fibers spun by the Maisons Malhia Kent and Sfate & Combier are also used to great effect to mirror sunray bursts on skirts, bomber jackets, and full-length dresses.
Maison Lognon’s precision pleats add a structural dimension to maxi dresses while floaty, gathered layers on midi dresses and tops exude a soft, feminine volume. Leather and silky separates create wet-look surfaces; and monochrome, indigo blues and black are lightened with white grey tones.
Arguably the statement piece of the collection, a mini flared party dress with a beautifully scalloped neckline, side cut outs and a spaghetti-strap, dissected open-back clearly demonstrate Phung’s abilities as a designer. She seems to effortlessly marry a seductive yet modern style with a delicacy that is somehow boldly architectural.
It is a skill Phung will surely continue to expand in her next collection, which she hints at as being of “Jungle Spirit” with further exploration into liquid explosions, this time in the form of volcanic magma.