Who at Shanghai Fashion Week (SFW, October 8-18) presented an SS21 collection with a serious boost of “put a spell on us” piquancy? Pungent in their precision, sharp in their edge, and biting in their aftertaste… Take Five with these Temper Tasties!
Designer Xiang Gao deconstructs and reconstructs old-fashioned patterns from West to East.
Gao grew up in Wenzhou, in a family of clothing manufacturers. She studied fashion design at the China Academy of Arts before eventually moving to New York to enroll in Parsons’ MFA Fashion Design & Society program, graduating in 2016. With Penultimate, Gao hybridizes two approaches: design as a sort of drawing, but it manifesting itself more as a collage — drawing with imagery rather than a pencil.
Developing her nonchalantly-slouched silhouettes, Gao fits her toiles on differently sized and gendered bodies. As for materiality, she eschews the traditional knitwear process, wherein the designer machine-knits panels of fabric to scale and then assembles the garment without any cutting. Many of the details — crocheted red dots or moments of top-stitching — are artisanal creations by the hand of Goa herself.
Hangzhou-born designer Shi Chang graduated from Parsons’ New York and in 2017 founded the NOSENSE brand. A brand made for the streets, NOSENSE is a designer label perfectly balancing the eccentric and the essential.
The designer hopes to express his attitude towards life and fashion through his playful design. The simple silhouettes and comfortable fabrics with details, make NOSENSE’s collection wearable and not lose the edge of high fashion. From bringing to life the essence of growing up during the height of the 1990s gaming culture to a reference to the early 200s athletic wear, the brand recalls the simplicity of being a teenager.
No muss, no fuss.
“ANIMA SANA IN CORPORE SANO.” World-renowned sports brand ASICS joined the LABELHOOD SS21 Pioneer Fashion Art Festival and joined forces with 8ON8 resulting in some retro-futuristic beats. Together with artist Mao Haonan, they created a visual feast with the theme of evolution, bursting with vitality.
Starting from the perspective of a period of time, using daily life as a reference to construct an idealistic world, this sums up the 8on8 brand aesthetic. The ASICS x 8ON8 collaboration extended the brand’s unique sense of humor and understanding of the retro-future concept, extending it to the ASICS brand prototype of mainstream running culture.
ASICS is translated from the Latin motto “ANIMA SANA IN CORPORE SANO,” translating as “a strong spirit in a strong body.” Designer Gong Li hopes to hereby pass on this powerful slogan to anyone and everyone in the simplest and cleanest way possible.
Honorable Mention: Uma Wang X China’s Three Gun Underwear
Recalling the retro spirit, overlapping the past, and repping the present is a parallel space belonging to DAMOWANG. As a designer, Han Lei believes that people live in fragmented ways, and each fragment will eventually become a memory. Therefore, in his SS21 concoctions, he used the memory fragments relating to martial arts and the 1980s yuppie chic scene to form a new series that combines the dimensions of both eras.
DAMOWANG SS21 uses jacquard, silk satin, nylon, mesh, and other materials, combined with contemporary retro printing, animal textures, mixed-color plaid, and large-area high-saturation colors, creating a trendy, avant-garde, and retro vision.
Design techniques such as pleating, hollowing, the outer-wear of under-wear, and changes in details of the waist are extremely tightly fit. Combined with the heavy use of headscarves and hats, retro is back.
Honorable Mention: SHIEH LYU
Wanbing Huang is a London-based womenswear fashion designer. She launched her eponymous label in October 2016 at emerging designers showcase platform Labelhood during Shanghai Fashion Week and soon gained traction from both the Chinese and international fashion audience.
Born and raised in China’s southern Guangzhou City, Huang is no stranger to water and its reflection. She uses custom transparent weaving to create a unique shining aquatic quality that perfectly encapsulates the mood of a ghastly mid-day boat trip, haunted by the otherworldly silhouette. With an expertise in textile innovation, the Wanbing Huang studio spends months developing the perfect composition to achieve the desired alienated underwater feeling. For SS21, Huang went with the AT-ONE-MENT feel.
The word AT-ONE-MENT means “return to square one.” The designer here believes that only after a person’s consciousness gradually unfolds and embraces the light, he or she can truly understand and find the true Self; everything is integrated, and the spirit is fully redeemed. Huang’s SS21’s concept –“A Touch of Light” — hones in on the touch, shape, and texture of light.
Often seeing fashion design as a form of storytelling, Huang utilizes special textiles to showcase her observation and opinions on social issues, intimate feelings, while simultaneously amplifying the beauty of the female form.
Honorable Mention: SHUTING QIU
FEATURED IMAGE: PENULTIMATE at not SHOWROOM. Photography by Elsbeth van Paridon
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