Generally heralded as one of the most flamboyant designers in the Netherlands, Fong Leng made a name for herself in the late 70s and early 80s when she designed creations characterized along the lines of excess, glamour and striking exoticism. Notoriously known for the fashion show she held in 1983 at the PSV football stadium in Eindhoven (NL), she’s not one to shy away from a little sensation. On view from the 4th of June, Morren Galleries will be presenting a spectacular solo show of her abundant extravaganza—made up mostly of recent works—which you cannot only admire but also purchase. (Don’t expect them to come at an easy price…)
The Dutch-Chinese fashion designer’s monumental creations are often adorned by ornamental applications taking on shapes of animals found in the thickly forested jungles from afar. Plissés, bold colours and whimsical, decorative patterns generally drew influences from overseas as Fong Leng spent her upbringing in the harbour city of Rotterdam. Studying photography at the local art academy, she developed a creative eye for detail and a unique visual language. However, it was only through her part-time job as a designer for a fabric manufacturer that the designer made a gesture towards the world of fashion—and a grand one at that.
Set up in 1971, Fong Leng Studio produced intricate designs seemed with foreign tales and imbued with detail and craftsmanship. The abundant work generally spoke to the avant-garde crowd parading the PC Hooftstraat in Amsterdam at the time. Mathilde Willink, the spouse of Dutch surrealist painter Carel Willink, was her greatest and most eminent fan. Although Fong Leng hasn’t been working as a fashion designer under her own name for over 20 years now, her signature techniques such as pleating, quilting and smocking applied to luxurious materials including leather and silk still influence and inspire the work of young and upcoming designers alike.