Undeterred by the global pandemic, Taipei Fashion Week is back and better than ever. Utilising both in-person and online events, the week showcased the finest in local design for a global audience for its Spring/Summer 2021 season, all centred on the theme of “re:connext” — to fashion, to the world, and to each other. From its interactive opening party, captured above, to its large variety of events, Taipei Fashion Week showed Schön! and the rest of the world why this relatively small land is carrying a growing influence in the industry. Here are some of our favourites from the week.
DOUCHANGLEE continued their tradition of blending retro and cutting edge elements to deliver a refined collection. The label has been around for a number of years, started in 1995 by Stephane Dou and Changlee Yugin, and this year, they delivered a minimalist, largely monochromatic collection with splashed of character throughout.
Several publications have previously christened Gioia Pan the “queen of knits” — and during this season’s Taipei Fashion Week, we rediscovered why. Working almost entirely in black, Gioia Pan presented deconstructed and reconstructed knitwear pieces alongside a diverse range of other works all based around a central theme of “weaving”.
According to its website, INF makes clothes for “the rebels, sociopaths, kinkies”. For this season, INF toyed with those themes, simultaneously showcasing how people relate to media through the use of in-hand smartphones (thanks in part to a collaboration with instant communication app Line) and casual rebellion, emphasised by its streetwear influence and heavy use of harnesses.
Luxxury Godbage, a sublabel from JUST IN XX, showed us a whole new side of upcycling and reusing. After considering how the fashion industry could reduce its waste and pollution, label founder Justin Chou settled on the idea of repurposing old materials and vintage finds into new designs. Through his interest in the stories surrounding these found pieces, him and the label worked to reclaim those tales while telling some of their own — all with sustainability in mind.
Designer duo Orbit Lin and Chi Houng are the lead minds behind oqLiq, and in their crafty hands, the label has produced a range of looks with a minimalist aesthetic for maximum impact. The collection is called “Feng Tiao Yu Shuen – nature’s blessing” and features designs based on the four heavenly elements from Chinese folklore. Every look is windproof, rainproof, functional and comfortable, creating the perfect look for a “post-pandemic era” as envisioned by the designers.
“Circular Journey” is the name of the latest collection from Shiatzy Chen, one of the biggest players in the Taiwan fashion market. As the opener of the week, Shiatzy Chen treated viewers to a collection inspired by the story of Mulan in an effort to “expand on the richness of Chinese culture”. While the collection may be highlighting local tales, the breadth of influence cannot be ignored; label founder Wang Chen Tsai-Hsia says she utilised “techniques and advantages of European court garments, Suzhou embroideries, Miao embroideries, and more” to create this collection.
SILZENCE men‘s new collection looks to bridge “Eastern and Western cultural sensibilities”. Augmenting its works with draped high collars, embroidery, asymmetrical plackets, slanted cuts and more, the label uses locally-sourced textiles to create futuristic pieces inspired by cultures all around the world — a reference to Taiwan’s position in the global textile industry.
Womenswear label Syzygy, co-founded by Yuan Lung Kao and Katrina Yu Wei Lee, made its first ever appearance at Taipei Fashion Week to show its SS21 collection “Dream of the Star Gazer”. This dreamy collection imagines a journey to the edges of the universe and back, embodied by the label’s use of sky-like colours and flowing materials.
Next is Weavism. Collaborator Chang Chia-Jen began his journey as an industrial design student interested in motorcycles. As he continued to learn more about design, however, his interest shifted into fashion. In discovering Weavism, the label created by HerMin Textile, he found a perfect match, and the two set to work creating this SS21 collection. The collection seeks to “encourage consumers to step out of their comfort zone and explore the unknown,” a task it accomplishes through its digitally-influenced prints and unique layering of fabrics.
Presenting as both a static exhibition and an in-person display, ALLENKO3 showed a collection designed around a human figure named “Cole”. Highlighting the texture and form of muscles, the collection offered a series of works featuring natural textures and elegant design.
C JEAN looked to dreams to create this collection. Orienting the collection around the title “Starry Starry Night,” the works blended a dreamlike aura with the feeling of casting one’s eyes to the heavens in search of inspiration or simply to bask in memory.
This themed exhibition entitled “Virtual Escape” showcased works inspired by our digital world. Involved in this exhibition were a series of pieces that reckon with our cyber-linked reality.
Much like the theme of the week itself, WEIYU HUNG looked to reconnect people to both each other and their clothing. Utilising various traditional handcrafts, such as Taiwanese Tapa, Hmong Shinning Dye and Dutch embroidery, the collection was an intercultural display set to bring people together once more.
#DAMUR designs garments in partnership with textile manufacturers and chemical plants to create waterproof clothes that are simultaneously light, foldable and graded for medical protectiveness at a P2 level. “Designing a piece of garment is actually about designing the language of a society,” says label founder Damur Huang — and with this collection, the brand has created a vocabulary linked inexorably with the present moment.
Beginning as a menswear label in 2011, Dleet has since expanded to be a comprehensive brand filled with highly wearable, sleekly designed pieces for people regardless of gender expression. This collection continues this new path, featuring trademark elements like distinct layering and uneven sleeves.
In these harsh times, many are missing the simple pleasures of vacation. if&n sought to capture those pleasure in its collection “Summer Breeze,” based on jacquard fabrics with details like butterflies, flowers, and light fabrics for an airy feeling.
Envisioning an apocalypse, Seivson imagined the following days of a world-ending event, bridging sportswear and streetwear with a post-apocalyptic blend of outdoor attire with indoor aesthetics.
Closing out our coverage is the themed exhibition “PRIMITIVE SENSE”. PRIMITIVE SENSE joined two design teams, SABRA ANDRE and Paru Cunuq — selected as representatives of aboriginal viewpoints. The two teams created pieces influenced by themes of sustainability, traditional craftsmanship and the various ecosystems of the world.