This young London College of Fashion graduate’s fusion of yin and yang wins her the 2012 ITS Jewelry Award
Ingenious young Shanghai jewelry designer Xiao Zi Yang is deservedly basking in the glow of success after winning the SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS Jewelry Award at the 11th International Talent Support (ITS) competition in Trieste in July 2012. Impressing a stellar panel and triumphing over nine other worthy finalists meant that she picked up a prize of €10,000 and a six-month internship at Swarovski HQ in Wattens, Austria.
Completing her ITS entry was a labor of love. “The whole process was a challenge – it was hugely important to me to find a new way to create contemporary Chinese jewelry. There are so many great traditional Asian cultures we can develop into design – not just in terms of shapes, but also artistic spirit.”
Yang’s award-winning ‘Joinery in Jewels’ series was conceived while studying for her MA at London College of Fashion and is inspired by 7,000-year-old Asian joinery used in architectural timber-based designs. Working with metal, crystals, leather, resin and wood, she combines craftsmanship with silversmith techniques, 3D printing and lazer-cutting. By including removable components, she also ensures that each item can be customized, which partly accounts for why they take around two weeks to construct.
Copyright: EVE / Daniele Braida
All ITS entrants incorporated SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS into their designs, but Xiao Zi Yang was already familiar with their allure. “I damaged my favorite shoes in high school, so I fixed them by applying SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS, and they looked amazing. Now I see Miu Miu doing a similar thing!”
Her ‘yin and yang’ pieces manage to combine eccentric funkiness with timeless elegance. “I’ve loved fashion since I was little, but I always wanted to do something meaningful that will last for a long time.” We think Xiao Zi Yang can rest assured that she’s made her mark and taken a commanding lead in the latest crop of emerging fashion jewelry design talent.