Costume from Madama Butterfly, 2005

Han Feng

Location: New York, New York
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From a black cashmere coat that opens to reveal a red silk floral lining to a coiled glass vase that appears to have just been removed from the furnace, Han Feng’s works identify her as a twenty-first-century lifestyle designer. She puts her unique stamp on everything she designs, including fashion, product design, stage costumes, place settings, installations, and jewelry. Her aim is to be one of China’s first global lifestyle brands.

Born in Nanjing, China, in 1962, Han Feng launched her first ready-towear collection for women and men in New York in 1993. Her fashion designs are characterized by their materials: beautifully colored silks, fine wools, and diaphanous fabrics that are minimally styled, much like her furniture. As she notes, “Today, it is all about fusion…I play with the materials…as I am trying to make something very simple.”

Han Feng designs everything: richly savory meals made from a fusion of fresh ingredients, the place settings in which they are served, even the furniture and environment in which the dining takes place.

In 2004, noted director Anthony Minghella asked Han Feng to design the costumes for his original staging of Giacomo Puccini’s opera Madama Butterfly, which premiered to great acclaim at the English National Opera on November 5, 2005. Han Feng’s creations are an astonishing mix of fine detailing, unexpected patterns, and rich materials. They reflect a unique vision, hinting at traditional Japanese fashions, now updated for the twenty-first century. International critics raved about the “coloristic riot” of her “ravishing costumes.” Madama Butterfly, with Han Feng’s costumes, opened the Fall 2006 season of New York’s Metropolitan Opera.