London-based Robert Wun offers high praises to his mentor Bruno Pavlovsky, President of the Fédération de la haute couture et de la mode and Chanel fashion president. “At our first meeting, thanks to the Andam Fashion Award, when I was asking him for advice, he said, ‘We need to do something concrete in action, that actually helps, not just talk,’” he recalls. Fast forward to January and Wun was showing on schedule in Place Vendôme.
His debut collection takes the idea of self-doubt and faces it head-on. “An image kept lingering in my mind when I was designing this collection. It was a picture of technicians all dressed in white coats with gloves on in an atelier, holding their breaths while handling the garments delicately. This scene captured the fear of damaging, staining, or breaking the precious work,” explained Wun. “This image has deeply resonated with my feelings at the time and instated questions I have had for myself: ‘What is a Haute Couture collection of the time? Who am I as a designer? Am I good enough?’” Confronting these doubts, he turned fear into the collection’s inspiration.
Fashion accidents like broken heels, drink stains, shattered pearl necklaces, and even rain and burns were incorporated with Swarovski crystals, pleatings, and 3D printing structures. Sometimes conquering fear requires a little help. With Pavlovsky’s support, Wun reveals he will now have the couture savoir-faire to support his ideas. “Mr Pavlovsky did not only sponsor our application to the Haute Couture calendar, he also introduced us to the prestigious Le 19M workshop, where we can work with the most incredible couture artisans for future developments,” he enthuses. Born in Hong Kong, Wun was discovered by Joyce Boutique for his womenswear graduate collection, which debuted at London College of Fashion in 2012. He launched his eponymous label in 2014 and became an International Woolmark Prize finalist in 2016. He earned the Grand Prix at the Andam Fashion Awards in 2022 and has dressed celebrities like Céline Dion, Doja Cat, and Lady Gaga.
Originally published in the May 2023 issue of Vogue Arabia