It’s midnight in Wellington. The night is cold and the wind is shaking the trees. Overcome with emotion and inspiration, he begins to conceptualize a series of looks. The inspiration comes in waves. From the fashion illustrations of David Downtown and the black and white photography of Mert & Marcus, to Calvin Klein ads from the 1990s—monochromatic and enticing—the final layer that ties it all together.
This was the creation process Wei Jiang went through to bring his “Midnight” collection to fluid fruition. The seeds of this work were planted from strong contrasts and lighting techniques used to create mood and feeling within shots, a common thread that winds through both Jiang’s photographic and fashion inspirations. “Adding all these elements together is what created by ‘Midnight’ girls—high contrast of static and dynamic, yet strong and soft at the same time,” he shared.
Jiang started conceptualizing and researching around Christmastime. He dissected fashion illustrations, studied the photography and translated advertisements. Once everything made sense, the collection was shot in February. Thanks to a solid core team, it looks like it was effortless and a stunning experience.
“Jock Robson is an amazing photographer and has a strong hairdressing background,” shared Jiang. “He understands hairdressing competitions and has a good eye for fashion trends. Emma Bainbridge is one of my best friends who does great makeup. I trust her skills implicitly. She understands my creativity and is always my rock in terms of understanding my thoughts and pushing them further. Maxine Woodridge is a talented fashion designer in her own right and she owns her own brand. She works like a magician and I love her styling.”
Yes, a solid core team is crucial in the execution, but so are models that just “get it.”
Models who know exactly what is expected of them who do more than just show up on time.
“Models are the most essential element,” he added. “They are the soul of the collection. I make sure my models’ hair have the right colour and texture. Good skin and a good attitude are paramount.”
The end result? Stunning to say the least. Hair shapes are intentionally asymmetrical and endlessly textured. Hair color is full of high contrast, synonymous with the black and white photography and ads that inspired the process. The makeup has strong lines and rich color. Its fashion is flowery and haute couture. It embodies and evokes Jiang’s complete vision and can translate into the everyday.
“‘Midnight’ is quite a commercial collection,” he ends with. “The main key is texture. I think if we transfer the right texture into our everyday look it will make hair more interesting.”
Hair: Wei Jiang
Photographer: Jock Robson
Makeup: Emma Bainbridge
Fashion Stylist: Maxine Woodridge
Models: Talia from Bintang Models
Grace from Clyne Models
Phoebe and Kenz from Unique Models