Yuzhen Wang: Stylist, Photographer and Collector
Yuzhen Wang: Stylist, Photographer and Collector

Yuzhen Wang: Stylist, Photographer and Collector

Words by Sophia Loughrey

HI Yuzhen, it is so lovely to chat with you. Could you please tell us a bit about yourself and what you do?

Sure. I was born in Beijing and moved to Australia around 8 years ago. I am a Business Analyst and a freelance stylist and photographer who is based in Sydney. And I recently joined the ballroom scene in Australia as the newest member of Kiki House of Luna. I am also a self-proclaimed fashion collector. I have been collecting vintage/archival pieces for years with a collection from Maison Martin Margiela, Comme Des Gaons, Jean Paul Gaultier, etc. My styling work has a variety of references, from personal stories to mythology and culture, and references from music and film.


Yuzhen Wang


Are there any current projects you are working on or any exciting projects in the works? Can you tell us a bit about them?

I am currently working on projects with several artists and planning some shoots. One of the most exciting ones currently in the works is based on my personal experience, with a lot of dark humour and satire.  It may be controversial, but it is interesting and definitely something that I have wanted to do for ages.  I want to express myself through images.

Do you have a dream project that you would love to be a part of? Any person or company in particular that you would like to work with?

Styling Heartbreak High would be ideal! I definitely am confident in my way of styling and would love to work with everyone in the show. Creative scene wise, Choi Gi-seok would be my absolute dream to work with, I’ve also been following work from Zhong Lin, Alton Mason, Jamie Hawkesworth and Hugo Comte. Locally, I really would love to work with photographers such as Myles @mylespedlar and Jun @pc__pan. When it comes to artists, Rihanna is one of my biggest inspirations in fashion. Solange and Rina Sawayama would be a dream come true for me. I’ve also dreamt about working with Frank Ocean or Yoo Ah-in as they have great taste in fashion and they just look so fine (I’m being shallow, sorry not sorry). In terms of the company, I would be supporting the ones with ethical purposes with my whole heart. Let’s just make this industry a slightly more environmentally friendly, fashion is all about circulating these days anyway!

Do you have advice for anyone looking at starting a career in the industry?

Do not put all of your eggs in one basket. It is not easy being a creative with no connections or resources. And there is a lot of ongoing exploitation. Most of my friends who work in this industry have multiple jobs. I work 9-5 weekdays so that I have a stable income to support my interest. Also please take Lucy Liu’s advice about “F**k you money” seriously, you will definitely live a much easier life, I swear.


Dior Gaucho Bag and Yuzhen Wang dressed as Rei Kawakubo


You have such great personal style. What is your most beloved vintage piece from your personal wardrobe?

As someone who regularly purchases vintage pieces, my favourite pieces always change as my personal style shifts from time to time. But I always come back to the Dior Gaucho Saddle Bag I purchased around a year ago. The Gaucho saddle bag was built based on the original Saddle Bag debuted in 1999, which is released in 2006. Unlike the original Saddle Bag, the Gaucho has multiple layers to store different things. Like a Telfar bag, it is spacious, and it goes with any look; I’ve tried so many and so far, it has not failed me yet! I prefer the used ones over newer because it gives another layer of stories. Plus, it suits the inspiration of Gauchos, who are were nomads on horseback.

Could you give our readers some advice on how to style vintage with contemporary pieces?

Firstly, just because it is vintage does not mean that colour coordination does not apply. The basic rules still hold their ground! Secondly, give those vintage pieces more modern, personal takes.  Most importantly, have fun and experiment with it! Layering with different materials or different colours is always a fun idea.


Yuzhen Wang


Who is your favourite designer at the moment? Is there anything on your wish list?

Glenn Martens! If I sit down and talk about how great he is, this interview might be too short for me to articulate. I definitely keep my eyes on the Y/Project and Diesel S/S 2023 collection for now. Also I wish I could get the GMBH Fur coat from 19fw collection which is inspired from Princess Di’s revenge dress. Speaking of vintage pieces, Maison Martin Margiela x H&M’s belt jacket is on the top of my wish list, also anything from Celine's S/S 2018 collection would be a must-have for me.

In your personal opinion, who has better fashion style, people from Melbourne or Sydney?

As much as I love Sydney, I will have to admit that the fashion scene is more interesting in Melbourne. Firstly, the weather is slightly worse which means people are more likely to wear layers which is exactly what I am obsessed with. Secondly, I feel like people in Melbourne express themselves through what they are wearing rather than following trends. Thirdly, the op shopping experience in Melbourne is definitely better than Sydney. It is easier to find cool vintage or archival pieces in Melbourne as people there recycle their clothes more often than people in Sydney. A lot of cool pieces that I own are from op shops in Melbourne.


Yuzhen Wang House of Devine Leo Ball


We recently saw photos of you on the runway at the Leo Ball and you looked incredible. Could you describe what inspired your look?

The inspiration comes from Leslie Cheung. This look is inspired from one of my favourite movies – “Farewell My Concubine (1993)”. And this is a particular look from a role called Consort Yu in Beijing Opera played by him in the movie. When I was young and exploring my sexuality. In the movie, there’s similar moments for the characters exploration of their gender identity and sexuality (which is debatable because he is living in the female role he played). Leslie himself is a queer icon and truly an artist that I admire and respect so much. And I wanted to pay tribute to my hero.

What has been your favourite runway look from the Balls that you have participated in so far?

It is absolutely Prince Alexander @rhanjellv ’s Latex look as Ibis a.k.a. Bin Chicken at West Ball 3 earlier this year! The theme of the runway (with a production) was Western Parkland and the moment when the intro of “Planet Earth: Bin Chicken” was out I knew it would be something iconic. Prince was cover with all Latex with a long beak wrapped with black duct tape, and the walk was absolutely everything! He truly was the moment that evening.


Follow Yuzhen's creative work at @yuzhen.winfo

November 03, 2022