In a studio with mint-green walls tucked into the back of West Division’s Casa de Soul, designer Cyndi Chan is rifling through silky swatches of fabric and black-and-white photographs of diamonds. It’s the little pile of inspiration for her next collection, which will be hitting stores in February of 2007.
“My process is pretty random,” she says of her creative m.o. “I find which fabrics I’m going to use, then I think about shape, then I may see a picture in a magazine and it all comes together from there.” Though it’s not even Christmas when I stop by her studio, spring has already come together for Cyndi, and she lets me pore over her sketches to get a little taste of what’s to come.
In Chan’s fashiony drawings, sparkly buzzwords like “square sequins!” are scrawled alongside suits, dresses, skirts and flowing tops. The collection features variant shades of pale blue and pearly gray, with colors layered on top of each other in wisps of chiffon, charmeuse and shantung silk (much of the fabric for the spring collection was made by Cyndi herself). The effect is collage-like, and the different shades of blue catch light in the same manner as a multifaceted diamond.
But even before her gem of a spring line hits the racks, Cyndi has a treasure box of jackets, skirts and dresses ready for the perusing (and perfect for New Year’s Eve). “The look of my clothing is classic and chic, with a twist in fabric and cut,” Cyndi says, holding up a fitted satin jacket to illustrate her aesthetic. On the jacket’s cuffs, pinstripe fabric is overlaid with a velvet paisley design and a brooch is used for the closure. The jacket comes with a satin pencil skirt that flaunts a pleated train in back. White Victorian jackets and satiny trench coats (all seen on the runways during fall’s Fashion Focus) are also available. And there’s also a little something for the mister. Cyndi’s custom-made line of men’s clothing, Exclusive, is hand-stitched and, as she says, “Absolutely tailored.” (Jennifer Berg)
Ori’en by Cyndi Chan is available at stores like Macy’s (111 North State) and Casa de Soul (1919 West Division).