Graduate Designer Angela Shan – Revolutionary of the Month


Emerging Designers 2019

Fashion Design Graduate Angela Shan was recently awarded TAFE SA’s Student Excellence Award for Advanced Diploma of Applied Fashion Design and Technology 2019. As we’re champions of emerging designers, we’re chuffed to say the award was presented by one of our own! We spoke to Angela about how she caught the “design bug” and what her design is all about!

Angela Shan design details

How did you catch the “design bug”?

I grew up in an artistic environment. I’ve studied music froma young age and my mum was a designer in her early career years so that had really influenced me.

My sister was a student specialising in fashion photography at TAFE SA.  At the time, I had the opportunity to work with her and the process of styling and photoshooting really intrigued me. That’s  when I decided to take up the Advanced Diploma fashion course at TAFE SA.

Describe your “design aesthetic”.

Modern, minimalistic, edgy, sleek, sophisticated, abstract and darkly romantic. My designs mainly focus on innovative shapes and silhouettes.

Angela Shan Design

What’s your “least favourite” aspect of design?

 I find pattern making the most difficult as I am very particular with the fit of the garment and every small detail of the design which can be very time-consuming.

Some of your designs are incredibly innovative. Where do your design ideas come from?

Creating a statement is a goal I go towards when designing. For each design I try to create something that is unique and one of a kind. I want to create designs that are more than daily clothing, more like an artwork that people can appropriate. Most of the time my inspiration comes from artworks, photography, nature, contemporary and traditional architectures and cultures.

For my recent graduate collection, I was inspired by traditional Chinese architecture and clothing.

Angela Shan's Graduate collection on the runway

Like all emerging designers you must have a favourite designer?

There are many designers I look up to. One of my favourites is Alexander Mcqueen.

McQueen always expressed his emotions and feeling through his designs, creating a story and message. He had an unapologetic attitude towards breaking the norms and creating his vision without boundaries. This has inspired me to stand up for what I believe in, going beyond my capabilities to explore the unknown in fashion.

Emerging Designers Design details on a drawing and on a model

If you could meet one designer, who would that be and why?

There are so many designers I would love to meet. Alexander McQueen of course, but also  Yves Saint Laurent, Coco Chanel and many others. It would be an absolute honour to learn from them about their growth as designers, their story and the process behind their masterpieces.

Details of Angela's garment design

As one of a number of emerging designers, what’s your unique point of difference?

I don’t go with the norm. I take on challenges in order to create my vision and go beyond what’s expected. I try to create a strong sense of personal style or character in all my designs to create something that is innovative and never seen before.

What do you love about what you do?

I love fashion because there is no right or wrong. Everyone has a choice in what they wear. I see fashion as something psychological, which allows us to either express or disguise ourselves, making us who we are at the moment.

emerging designers graduate collection

Is there anything that you can’t see yourself designing ?

I’m interested in all kind of designs as I get bored easily and don’t want to limit myself to a particular category. I’m open to designing for all genders, age and races. Fashion and clothing  give me an extreme boost of confidence, self-esteem and empowerment. So, I would want to help others to feel the same way in the clothes that I’ve designed.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Hopefully I would be working for a fashion brand that I like and starting to build my own brand. For this to happen I would need to continue to learn and develop my skills to a professional level.

On Emerging Designers Angela Shan checking her graduate collection

All photos: Naomi Shan Photography.   Follow Angela on Instagram, at @iamanzy.


Love to see what the newest fashion designers are up to? Check out the designer behind D-Tribe and more emerging designers in our Revolutionary of the Month series.


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