Since bursting on the scene in 2003, innovative designer Chrissy Wai Ching has been captivating the fashion world with fiercely unique clothing and custom bridal couture. Her brightly colored dresses, usually dripping with cascading organic embroidery, have been the envy of many engaged girls looking for something beyond traditional and white for their big day.
An international artist hailing from Seattle via Chicago, Hong Kong, and Nice, Chrissy’s designs embody a beautiful blending of cosmopolitan cultures and luxurious fabrics, often with an explosion of color and texture refreshing in its boldness. Her dresses not only employ a range of custom dye and sewing techniques, but often employ free flowing machine stitching that is as unique as each dress itself.
Today, Chrissy joins us to talk a little about the influences and techniques that bring her dresses, embroidery, and textiles to life.
Tell us a little about your background …how did you get into textile and fashion design?
I was always sewing since my grandmother is an avid quilter. I have many artists in my family, so I was inspired to bring the two together in high school and started making my own clothing around the same time. In college, I decided to study textile technology and art and design, then went into fashion.
You seem to have a wonderful focus on fabrics and textures in your designs. Do you find a fabric influences a design? Or does the design lend itself to choose certain types of fabrics and textures?
I love to design as I work and have a spontaneous process, so the fabric definitely influences the design. It can go both ways, though, because I also sketch and plan some designs.
What goes into creating the beautiful textiles you use?
The textures and fabrics define my designs. I embroider, handmix and hand-dye the textiles, so they are all unique. Parts are dyed prior to construction and parts are garment dyed. I also do collaging, applique, and ruching, among other things.
Tell us about the beautiful free flowing machine embroidery often found on your designs.
The embroidery is done freely and is a handguided process, so each piece is completely unique.
It’s often common to find embroidery on dresses, especially wedding dresses, but never like the way you use it. What influences it?
My embroidery is influenced by traditional Chinese painting.
In Hong Kong, I studied traditional Chinese art forms, such as calligraphy, seal carving, and inkwash painting. It has impacted my design aesthetic, and I wanted to mend that with fiber arts.
Since I found Wai-Ching on the bridal boards of Offbeat Bride, I’ve been lusting after one of her custom designs something fierce. If you’re like me and would like to see more of her gorgeous work, you can check out the entire line at www.wai-ching.com, or find her on facebook. It’s so wonderful to see machine embroidery being used in such new, innovate ways, especially in fashion, and I can’t wait to see what the next year brings for this crafty designer.