I discovered Cassey Gan by accident a few seasons ago, one of those happy accidents that you note and seek to repeat on purpose. I was leaving a runway show at Fashion Scout and exited through a presentation space whilst a presentation was wrapping up, there was hardly anyone in the showspace and the models were occupying the space serenely, holding their poses, faces in bold, sullen model pose. The pieces themselves were bright and geographic and completely juxtaposing in texture. I stopped and whipped out my phone, I had the whole space to myself to get up close to the pieces, I remember writing down the name of the designer and deciding to find out exactly who Cassey Gan was.
Since then I’ve made it my mission to get on the list for Cassey Gan’s presentation at Fashion Week, whilst it’s a small presentation of only a few pieces she can definitely pack out a room. Occupying one of the longer time slots in the presentation show space, Gan’s work is admired from opening to close, unlike that first time I saw her which coincidentally was also her first show at London Fashion Week. Her work has a definite style and she’s stayed true to that, it’s easy to spot a Cassey Gan piece, the lines, cut and print are easily identifiable, but the textures and the fabrics change with the season.
Drawing inspiration from Tim Braden, Malaysian designer Cassey Gan has dissolved and reassembled her world in her FW19 collection, Pixelated. Vivid brushstrokes take the form of pattern heavy, non-form fitting garments that reveal a new layer of Gan’s evocative work. Known for loose fitting silhouettes, original prints, and lightweight textiles, Cassey Gan explores thicker fabrics for the first time. Her colour palette of blues, olives, maroons and mustards build on the collection alongside wool and padded fabrics, furthering Gan’s textured approach to her luxurious FW19 pieces.
The collection uses innovative shapes and heavy layering as with Gan’s previous collections, but shifts between representation and abstraction as if to hint at something new. Comfort and style are of equal importance for the label aiming for a timeless modern appeal, Pixelated will focus on metaphor and craftsmanship to achieve the collection’s goals. Influenced also by the impossible pace of the fashion industry and the inevitable changes rooted in the digital age, Gan harnesses her frustration at the speed which designers must now work, into a furious, and interconnected collection. Drawing from the incomplete and elided images of the collection’s verbal namesake, Pixelated comments on the love / hate paradox Gan sees in contemporary fashion. As speed increases, precision sometimes falters, leaving Cassey Gan’s Pixelated to recombine the pieces into a meaningful statement about the contemporary moment.
It’s a definite evolution for Cassey Gan, it’s a new shape, it feels more whole, like more of a collection and a more fruitful vision. What started off as a group of pieces and shapes, feels like it grew up and moved on, like it reached it’s teenage years and is deciding what it wants to be when it grows up. That’s as simple as it needs to be for these shows and is often all it takes for a designer to make things happen in the fickle world of fashion. In short, put your head in the game, know your style and graft.
I’d love to see more from Cassey Gan, and eventually a runway show in the vestibule of Freemason’s Hall, the pieces and the inspiration is there, the vision is there, the progress is definitely there. In just a few short seasons this young designer has come a long way, she’s one I look for on the schedule and if I’m around I’ll be there watching, seeing how she’s grown. Definitely a one I watch with curiosity and interest.