Fashion Designer Blooms in Beijing
Monika Meng’s recent art exhibition – featuring colourful dresses, painstakingly crafted with delicate fabrics – was much enjoyed by students and teachers. Surrounded by striking multi-layered gown displays at Yew Chung International School of Beijing (YCIS Beijing), IBDP student Monika discussed her inspiration and work.
Can you start by introducing yourself?
I’m Monika Meng from Year 13, and I’m half Chinese, half Bulgarian. I came to China at the age of two, and I started studying at YCIS in the second semester of Year 8.
Have you always been interested in fashion design?
Ever since the age of six, I knew that I wanted to do something related to fashion. This exhibition is about gowns because gown making is one of my favourites.
What inspired you to make the dresses?
My inspiration came from nature, more specifically, the beauty of flowers and their colours. As I am interested in fashion, I decided to combine fashion with culture and nature. If we take the pink dress as an example, it represents the rose, Bulgaria’s national flower. The colour and the patterns symbolise the beauty of nature that brings life and vitality into our lives. Without nature, I wouldn't have had these ideas.
How long did it take you to make the dresses?
It took me two years. I started in Year 12, and I continued to work on the gowns until two weeks before the exhibition to make everything perfect!
Can you share more details about some of the dresses?
The miniature model, ‘Red Garden Fantasies’, was my first one, and it is where it all started. I decided to experiment with some dried flowers, and I liked the idea of including the concept of nature. So, I decided to incorporate this concept into my other dresses.
I created the green dress at the beginning of spring. Spring is when everything wakes up and when everything becomes green again. I also really like spring rain and wanted to include this in my design. That is why I removed the original straps from the tank top and used beads to represent raindrops instead.
Meanwhile, the blue one is called ‘Aquamarine’. Even though this is not a flower, it still comes from nature and means ‘water of the sea’ in Latin. So, I used different textures and colours to symbolise waves and the ocean.
Which one did you enjoy making the most?
I think ‘Red Garden Fantasies’, because it was great fun using the glue gun to stick the dried flowers and petals onto the gown. It took me about a week to complete it, and I’m very proud of it.
Which one makes you most proud?
That’s really hard. I would say the rose one because it represents Bulgaria, and I’m half Bulgarian.
Do you have any other thoughts?
I’m just glad that everyone gets to see my artwork because I put a lot of time and effort into it. I hope that everyone will like it.
We are extremely proud of students like Monika Meng, who work hard to achieve their dreams. Our belief at YCIS is that each child has innate talents and gifts that should be nurtured to the fullest potential, and we support students, like Monika, to develop these further at the school.