Sophia Chen



The meaning of saccharine is excessively sweet or sugary, and that is what I wanted to do with this collection. “Saccharine” is an excessive, sugary sweet, performance of femininity when it isn’t meant to serve the male gaze. 
The male gaze permeates through every aspect of our lives, from the beginning as young girls to the day that we die. Every glance, every action, every interest that girls and AFAB people take on has to serve a cis-heteronormative patriarchal society in some shape or form. There is no room to breathe, no room to exist. Drawing from my experiences as a queer woman of color, I aimed to create a collection that inflates the so-called ideal feminine image to the extreme. With a color palette composed of whites and bright pinks, and silhouettes that purposefully take up space, “Saccharine” is a sugary, hyperfeminine dream that embraces a world removed from the male gaze.


Sophia Chen is a New York based Chinese-American artist and designer who

originally hails from Illinois. Her art often reflects themes of nostalgia and the bittersweet

atmosphere of Midwestern suburbia. Alongside these motifs, she also incorporates topics

surrounding feminism, mental health, and Chinese-American identity.

With a love for aesthetics and all things beautiful, her interest in the arts and

design began when she first started ballet. Despite loving dance, she loved the costumes

more, admiring the level of detail and artistry that goes into bringing a story to life

through design. She brings this love for costuming into her designs, with strong attention

to detail and storytelling, aiming to create an air of fantasy around her work.

Her passion for art and design remained steadfast throughout her life, and as her

artistic journey evolved, she hopes to tell stories with her work and create a platform for

social commentary and a change for the better.