In 2002 Kaisik Wong was rescued from the pits of obscurity that almost all California based American designers find themselves in at the end of or beyond their careers. Balenciaga’s Nicholas Ghesquire used the San Franciscan’s work as a key reference for his spring 2002 collection. Wong’s ornate use of patchwork and collage was so inspiring the esteemed wunderkind was even suggested to have copied the late designer.
Wong’s designs have come to embody a fiercely avant-garde strain of American fashion that has for the most part kept to the west coast. If American fashion is continuously mocked for producing drab and and boring sportswear it is a lack of demand and not supply that is to blame. Wong worked strictly in his own fantastic realm, reimagining the lives of Atlanteans, Lemurians, and other mythic civilizations, all through the lens of the pacific rim and its multi-cultural synergy with the far east (which is ironically occidental to California). His unusual shapes were just as odd as his colors and materials: alien, ancient, and artificial all at once. Most notable however is his use of extremely detailed and laborious handwork, developing a framework for couture that is not dependent on Paris, but on the crafts and traditions of China, India, Korea, Japan, etc.