Design

Design Diary: Sandy Liang Shares her Essentials

Cultured presents Design Diary: a series focused on getting to know our favorite rule breakers, risk takers and art makers. Every week, we present these questions to someone new, whether it be a New York Fashion Week icon, an emerging jewelry designer or a ceramicist shaking up fashion. Get to know the people changing the creative world from the inside out.

Callan Malone

Sandy1
Sandy Liang and Her Grandmother, 2019, Courtesy of Sandy Liang.

Some say Sandy Liang rules downtown Manhattan—and I agree. Her Instagram, @sandyliang, features a healthy mix of her most recent designs; her family’s restaurant, Congee Village; dinners with Danny Bowien of Mission Chinese renown and her adorable pup and boyfriend. My relationship with the Parsons graduate turned NYFW mainstay began two years ago with my mom and I scheduling appointments to visit the designer’s Lower East Side showroom/studio. We tried on every piece in the collection and each walked away with our favorite—both looking strikingly similar to no one’s surprise. My mom and I have always shared taste in fashion and Sandy Liang’s hyper-feminine prints and athletic, androgynous silhouettes were no exception.

A few weeks ago, I received a message from Sandy asking if my mom and I would be interested in being a part of a two-generation photoshoot for the line. Jumping up and down for joy, literally, my mom booked a flight to New York within minutes. We happened to be visiting my grandmother and I was reminded of one of Sandy’s first campaigns where she photographed her own grandmother in her signature fleeces. I suggested my grandmother come along and the following afternoon the three of us were cooped up in the Roxy Hotel anxiously awaiting our modeling debut. Sandy styled us in matching dresses and floral print skirts as we traipsed through a friend’s apartment entirely unable to contain our giddiness. I kept telling my mom not to smile because, “models never smile.” She couldn’t help herself and ended up stealing the show as you can see below. I am so excited to present Sandy Liang as our first Design Diary feature.

What were you doing before sitting down to answer these questions? Packing for Paris and cleaning the studio! Leaving tonight! I dread going to Paris.

What did you eat for breakfast? I did not eat breakfast but I had coffee with oat milk from Eli Zabaar’s Broome St. bakery that just opened around the corner from me. They have PB&J sandwiches wrapped to go for sale, and I adore any place that does something like that.

What’s the first outfit that you remember loving as a child? I had this pointelle tank dress with a floral or fruit pattern all over it. I loved that! I also had a Beauty and the Beast nightgown that my mom got for me from Disney World when I couldn’t go. It smelled so good and to this day I still get so happy if I happen to smell that somewhere random.

Whose art is inspiring you right now? Katie Stout. I feel like her art is what I want to express in my clothes sometimes.

Sandy Liang Fall 2019 Collection.

What neighborhood do you live in and what is the most important thing to know about that neighborhood? LES. My whole heart is in this neighborhood.

Where is the best place to go dancing? In my living room.

Your go to spot for a post show cocktail is: Anywhere close to my apartment! Forgetmenot, Dimes, Short Stories, etc etc.

If you could only wear one outfit for the rest of your life, what would it be? Such a hard question! My first instinct was to go with something comfortable, so there you have it. I worry that if I go into further detail I’m going to go on and on and then get indecisive.

Last book you read? The John Adams biography by David McCullough. I’m trying to finish it before the end of summer, but also have been re-watching/binging on Friends, so let’s see.

Sandy’s boyfriend Dorian and their pup, Tim Tam.

Who is your design icon/icons? Ina Garten, Miuccia Prada, Sofia Coppola. I love when people produce work that is very genuine to them.

If not design, then… Architecture. I actually went to grad school for architecture for a whole three weeks before realizing I was crazy to try and do that plus my line. I’m dating an architect so my dad is happy that there is kind of an architect in the family.

Sandy’s Pre-Fall 2019 Collection, Oona Dress.

What’s today’s worst trend? Snarky fashion people. I don’t think that’s a trend, but I do feel like people love to hate on people and things (and love to be vocal about it), which is really just a waste of energy and so exhausting to see on social media. Maybe social media is today’s worst trend.

If you could only eat one thing for the next three weeks, it would be OMG!! I’m sweating just thinking of an answer for this. Maybe white sushi rice wrapped in seaweed? That’s my phase I’m in right now.

Where do you go to wind down? Probably Maine for an actual wind down. For a day to day wind down, it’s watching TV (Big Little Lies!) and watching movies at the new Regal on Essex.