SOPHIA JARAMILLO WRITES – Chinese American fashion designer Sandy Liang has designed the ‘quarantine collection’ of a lifetime for Spring-Summer 2021—overflowing with childhood and familial nostalgia and bringing the designer back to the not-so-basics of her signature styles.
Sandy Liang was raised in Queens, New York, and graduated from Parsons in 2013. Her designs are heavily inspired by her cultural roots and often feature direct nods to her family members. For example, she frequently includes her grandmother as a model for several of her pieces. Each and every piece from any Liang collection radiates nostalgia and intimate familial relationships, giving off a warm and familiar vibe to her clothing. Many of the silhouettes of her pieces evoke memories of early childhood, such as comfy fleeces with Limited Too-inspired daisies adorning them. The designer’s photoshoots often take place in Chinatown because of her familiarity with the spaces rather than trendiness. Liang told Style from the South China Morning Post that rather than falsely drawing inspiration from architecture as her classmates did, “I always thought about my own life.”
While this season would have allowed Liang to have accomplished her third fashion show, the world had other plans, due to Covid-19. And as it turns out, the designer was thankful for this. She moved back to her childhood home, from Manhattan to Queens, and created this collection from the comfort of her old bedroom. This collection features a character print inspired by Studio Ghibli’s Ponyo, as well as nods to her early-2000’s-esque aesthetic—with baby tanks, midi skirts, and a very lived-in vibe consistent in all of her collections.
During a time when Asians and Asian Americans are facing increasing racial attacks and prejudice due to the onset of the pandemic, it is notable that such disturbing and tragic events have not put a damper on the designer’s loving embrace of her heritage—if anything, it has brought her even closer to it.