HOUSE OF VW: in conversation with Victor Wong
Shiny metals, voluptuous contours and eccentric designs encapsulate the house style of Victor Wong. Since the launch of his first fashion eyewear collection in March 2015, he has graced London Fashion Week twice.
Over a matcha latte, Victor talks about the launch of his second collection, “Animal Eye”.
Victor is on instagram @itsvictorwong
OC: Hi Victor, I'm your fan girl. (Emphatic smile) (Can I have a pair of sunglasses).
VW: I do have a pair that would suit you...
OC: Can you see my metaphorical tail wagging?
Now changing the topic to prevent hyperventilation and instant derailment of this conversation.
Tell me more about the choice of theme, “Animal Eyes”?
VW: I wanted to play with animal features and particularly the hypnotism in their gaze. It was a tough decision process but I'm satisfied with the final cut: lion, owl, crow, queen bee and snake.
OC: I really love what you did for snake eyes. A crown of serpents. Medusa.
VW: Exactly, a little nod to the Mother of Snakes and her petrifying stare.
OC: And the owl design too - what elegant eyebrows. Maybe I just need one of each, I’ve been searching for an acceptable outlet for my multiple personality disorder.
It's always been a battle between Medusa and Aslan.
VW: And it makes me so happy to think that people would wear my creations to self express. Sunglasses require low levels of commitment, versus a head to toe fashion outfit. But they can deliver such a big impression!
OC: Right, they inject an acceptable level of costume drama. Much more accessible than the latest ombré sack dress confection.
And can we talk about your sources of inspiration more generally?
VW: It's usually what I dream about. Not very scientific! I dream a lot and after I wake up, I usually can't remember all of the story. Just small pieces. I sketch whatever I do remember and then combine the different fragments into complete designs.
OC: That's very beautiful. It is lovely to think that wearing a pair of sunglasses is just the same as wearing someone's dreamscape.
Do you think that sticking to eyewear limits your creativity?
VW: I love sunglasses because the spatial delimitation actually spurs greater creativity. But this is just the start - I want to master this and refine my style before eventually trying different things.
OC: Which would be very exciting. There aren't many - any? - young Chinese designers who have made a name for themselves on the global stage...
VW: And that is exactly what attracted me to London, and why I chose London Fashion Week over Paris. Not only do they respect your uniqueness here, it is also the globally acknowledged launch pad for new fashion.
Becoming a global fashion brand is attractive of course, but the bigger dream is to redefine the concept of Made in China. I want people to hear that phrase and think of design, quality and luxury. No more cheap, mass, tacky.
OC: I mean, I was made in China. Wink.
VW: As were fireworks, the compass, paper, the printing press...there's such a rich artistic history that the world has overlooked and that China has forgotten to take pride in.
OC: So perhaps your mission is to restore rather than to redefine...
I'm going to pause for breathe here because the sands of time are against us and we've had five matcha lattes between us.
May I ask a crucial closing question though?
VW: Wish granted.
OC: What do you eat for breakfast?
VW: Honestly - noodles.
- interview by Ophelia Cai
Two of the sunglasses from Victor Wong's third season are available for purchase from Autumn 2017; find them here.