Months ago, I participated in a regional design competition. The contestants had to interpret “Youth” on a given white T-shirt on the contest day, but we could make plans beforehand and bring materials we need to the venue.
I wanted to do something symbolic but also easy to understand, something that represents my youth.
I first thought about my memories: the cheerful ones, touching ones, outraging ones, and some mournful ones that I would never want to experience again. What make these memories meaningful are the feelings involved. Thus, I decided to use emotions, often presented in the form of “threads” in Chinese literature, as the main element in my work.
The red stood for passion, while the blue meant frustration. Though dreams and efforts weren’t recognized as “emotions,” I display them as yellow and golden threads because they were just as important as those feelings.
By rolling the yarns randomly on a piece of sticky greige, I created a fabric sheet covered with colored threads (which showed basically my current state of mind.)
To be clear about my theme, I just did a YOUTH cut-out on the garment and sew the fabric underneath.The blue-green blend around those alphabets also enhanced the sentimental and naive images of the youngsters.
On the back, I did a radial cut-out that outlined a heart shape, the symbol of my mind, in the center, and sewed glittered tulle on the inner layer to highlight the image. It was connected with the cut-out in the front by the threads, and the chinese phrases for passion, frustration, dreams, and efforts were written next to each color to make my interpretation more specific.
Finally, writing the brief intro for this piece actually took me quite a while, but I thought it gave the whole garment a refined finish.
Youth is a life journey interwoven with tens of thousands of emotions. The reddish passion and golden dreams have my back, whereas the yellowish efforts guides my steps onto the stairs to the future. There will always be some frustrating blues along the way, but I believe that they’ll make me grow. I am exploring and progressing, gradually constructing my spirited mind, my spirited youth.
xx, Winnie WYC
Wearing: "Youth" by Winnie Chen
Model: Joyce Wu
Photographer: Winnie Chen
Makeup: Winnie Chen