Sandy Liang’s Spring Summer NYFW Collection Takes Us To Ballet Class

Sandy Liang’s Spring Summer NYFW Collection Takes Us To Ballet Class

Sandy Liang’s Spring Summer NYFW Collection Takes Us To Ballet Class

True to form, Sandy Liang reignites her infatuation with childhood nostalgia through her newest line.

True to form, Sandy Liang reignites her infatuation with childhood nostalgia through her newest line.

Text: Henry Chandonnet

New York-based designer Sandy Liang may be downright obsessed with nostalgia. Whether it be her 2021 Vans collection featuring SpongeBob SquarePants characters or a retail location decorated in floor-to-ceiling white and pastel pink, Liang has never failed to embrace her childlike play. This sense of whimsy returns with Liang’s Spring/Summer 2023 collection at New York Fashion Week.

Inspired by the ballet classroom, Liang’s collection features detailing and structuring fit for a dancer. The collection is still mature and styled, though. Liang was inspired to bridge the gap across the desk, between teacher and student, and even the after-class recital. The result is a profoundly playful collection that can still maintain its elegance. 

Photo courtesy of Rodin Banica
Photo courtesy of Rodin Banica

In terms of styling, Liang’s collection embraces the visuals of the ballet studio, translating these iconic colors and patterns into fully formed garments. The collection is primarily built in shades of white, beige, and muted pink. Garments tend to feature ruffling and pleating, layering fabrics to structure the look. 

Also featured in the collection is gingham, a pattern that visually screams of youth. In one of the collection's stand-out garments, Liang builds a dress of alternating squares of black and pink gingham, frequently bordered by an extended white lace. The garment is then cinched in at the leg and flairs out at the base. Adorned with a matching pink and black gingham hood draped over the model’s back, the look evokes images of youth while maintaining a certain sophistication. 

Image courtesy of Rodin Banica
Image courtesy of Rodin Banica

One consistent theme in Liang’s creative direction has been her use of hand-drawn prints. These prints are not your average repeated pattern; they are intricate and feature deeper meanings in their artwork. You may remember her homage to the city of New York, a repeated fruit print with hidden lighters. 

In this collection, Liang returns with a new print of consideration. Featured in multiple garments is a drawing of a bouquet of flowers lit aflame. The bouquet is tied with a glowing pink pointe shoe strap, reintroducing that ballet motif. The image stands to signify the marriage of light and dark, embracing both the dainty and the daring. In a collection built out of both flouncy ruffles and harsh dark tones, the print seems to embody Liang’s creative vision. 

Image courtesy of Rodin Banica
Image courtesy of Rodin Banica

New to Liang’s collection is her use of self-designed shoes. Liang debuts her first footwear offering, the Mary Jane Pointe, on the feet of many of her models. The new shoe line may be most clearly seen on one of the collection’s most extravagant garments, a pure white wedding gown cropped just above the foot to reveal her Mary Janes. 

With audience members like Bodies Bodies Bodies’ Chase Sui Wonders and Myha’la Herrold, as well as Japanese Breakfast’s Michelle Zauner, the show was certainly a high-profile event. That’s not surprising – this sense of whimsy and play is not only exciting, but it’s inviting. We all love to relive our childhoods, to soak back in that nostalgia. Sandy Liang invites us to do this, without forgetting beauty and elegance at the door.

Image courtesy of Rodin Banica
Image courtesy of Rodin Banica
Credits: Images courtesy of Sandy Liang

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