Helen Lee is a Shanghai-based designer who has a very personal take on fashion. It may not be uncommon for other younger Chinese designers to look to European and Milanese trends for inspiration to construct their collections. Lee, however, takes inspiration from the cosmopolitan city of Shanghai; tapping its past, present and with her designs, sets and creates its future.

For years after graduating from Raffles Design Institute, Lee honed her craft, working for 2 years with Japanese Fashion houses. Lee then ventured into starting her own denim brand, before finally making her mark with INSH seven years ago.

While others strive to mimic, Lee’s designs give an international voice to her Shanghainese background and influence, making it fashion that is more than just an extension of the colonial and communist eras. Her designs become something modern and unique to herself and her followers.

Her latest collection, OPEN BLACK, is largely monochromatic. The name is derived from the use of black and white, which is said to open a spectrum of colours. This colour theory is accompanied by a comforting message: We emerge from darkness, from tribulation. Into light.

Inspired by sex appeal and whimsical fun, the collection showcases openness using several techniques. Among these are body fitting designs, sheer fabrics, bold metallic details and perhaps the best part; a streak of bright red through the entire collection.

The launch will coincide with the grand opening of the new Helen Lee boutique located at 172 -1 Fuming Lu.

- Jolin

View the runway stills of her show below.