Wearable Art by an expressive designer Yi-Jun Ian

I spoke to Ian during a casual fashion gathering, he was wearing an amazing denim jacket with intricate detailing (which is featured below in the post). Ian is a cheerful, interesting and unmistakably fashionable person, who shared with me his love for fashion and, the need to push the boundaries of men’s conservative commercialised fashion trends here in Singapore! I decided that he should share his talented works with the fashion community at large!

Having come from a triple science background in secondary school despite being interested in Art, Ian said he cannot boast to have had an illustrious education in Art/fashion/design. It was only in Junior College that he took H2 Visual Art, which can only be described as the best decision in his life, ever. Since then, there have been many ups and downs in his search for a personal artistic style. It was in the last quarter in the first year of his stint in Singapore’s National Service that Ian became obsessed with the idea of wearable-art, kudos to the entrance of Lady Gaga into the pop stratosphere.
Ian exclaimed that he is still learning how to proudly wear his heart on his sleeve. He has confirmed his entrance to NTU (Nanyang Technological University Singapore) to study Art, Design, Media. He is very much excited about the skills he would learn, which would only serve to further his craftsmanship in creative wearable designs.

Here are his collection pieces and his take on them:

To me, the shutter shade, popularized by one Kanye West, was a canvas that could express so much more. The first shutter shade I ever embellished was inspired by the book-cum-animated-film Coraline. My idea that something as innocuous as a button could take on a darker, more subversive role, certainly strucked and stayed with me, leading to my creation of Coraline: All Buttoned Up.

Esoteric was inspired by it’s very namesake. Over the past 2 years, I became engrossed with the concept of symbols bearing a deeper meaning than meets the eye, but only to those who are in the know. Thus, though the design is simple – just an arrangement of triangular pieces – I hope to suggest that the surface value isn’t the only valuable meaning.
RoboVision 2.0 is the latest of 3 pieces centered on the evolution of technology and it’s gradual indispensibility in our lives. The first piece was made of casette tapes, the second shattered CDs whereas RoboVision and it’s current form RoboVision 2.0 are made of wafers and handphone camera parts. (What you don’t see is the brutality of the mobile phone’s destruction.)
Shutter shades have been a hit in our fashion lifestyle accessories, appealing to the fashion crowd, but they have only been available in plain designs, Ian’s creations has definitely revolutionised this accessory, pushing the boundaries of creativity to make avant-garde shades with unique and innovative designs.
S&M half-gloves is about the “pleasure-and-pain-ful” relationship artists/designers have with their Art/craft. Conceived for a designer friend of mine, it’s core message is about suffering for your work, yet wearing your scars proudly. Any Michael Jackson reminders are purely coincidental.
Holy Fool silk-screen paint T-shirt design stems from a personal desire to “feel” God. I am a Christian, but I’m far from being perfect. The cross-collared T-shirt, inspired by Lady Gaga’s ‘Judas’, is an adaptation of her lyrics; that I’m just a holy fool He (Jesus) clings to.
Unique detailing to the neck opening with contrast highlight details, hand print details create a creative touch to the tee shirt design.
Subway Kid embellished denim-jacket is made of pulverized unwanted jeans sewn onto a plain denim jacket. Also inspired by a Gaga lyric: subway kid rejoice the truth, the pins and badges are a representation of pop culture as we know it. Chanel star, eiffel tower miniature, dream-catcher.. but they all dim compared to the Truth as represented by a stylization of a cross meets the British Union Flag.
Amazing details on the jacket shoulder with multiple Gun flaps with pop culture accessories for an individual’s touch. The British Union Flag is a huge head turner with loud yellow colours!
That’s all for now folks! I am looking forward to see more of Ian’s collections in the near future!

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