At the 2021 Taipei Fashion Week, apart from the themes of dialogues of technologies, relationship between human and fashion in post-pandemic era, the organizers have created a catwalk stage with tailor-made stage hardware in this extravagant world-class fashion week.
Founded in 2011, Dleet started as a designer for menswear. Upon demands by female consumers after its initial success, Dleet launched its womenswear which rapidly became the main business for the brand. In the beginning, Dleet was a small label showcased in a friend’s boutique.
By chance, Dleet participated in a joint event for local rising designers at Eslite Tun-nan. In the 2-week event, the brand received overwhelming responses. Until this day, Dleet has a strong client base in the Eslite stores with loyal followers. The 2021 Spring-Summer collection takes the theme of dual personalities, interpreted by layering and mixing two individual styles, such as uneven sleeves and collars. His garments are known for sleek lines and high wearability, Dleet has very high aspiration for Taipei Fashion Week. He says: “I hope it would be very energetic and free from boundaries - an event that is not limited to local fashion and culture, but more global in its outlook.”
Stephane Dou and Changlee Yugin, a rare designer duo, is a brand known for many firsts in Taiwan, including a large concept store in the alley of Taipei’s Chung Shan North Road in 2003 and being the first to initiate gender fluidity in Taiwan’s fashion scene. Just as the simplistic style of the brand, the designers are also very understated in person. This year marks the brand’s 25th anniversary. For them, the brand is one that comes into maturity, becoming a brand that knows what it wants, what it does not want, and what responsibilities it has. DOUCHANGLEE’s 2021 Spring-Summer collection takes the palette of black, white, hemp, denim and neutral colors such as tones of stone, moss, and cement. “We like natural fibers and we mix them with high-tech materials to make our garments more comfortable and structured.” The play of sporty and luxurious elements symbolizes a mixture of values. For the collection, ribbons and opening details for protective medical gowns are used in designs to create adjustable closures. It’s an understated take on edgy designs.
Always open to challenges, Gioia Pan takes an uncompromising attitude to the craft of knitting. By doing so, she has established her knitwear empire. Pan grew up in a family in garment industry. With the expertise, she started her own brand. For her, knitwear is so much more challenging than cutting and tailoring garments. Her brand GIOIA PAN was founded in 2001. Since its beginning, the brand has received numerous awards. Details are the key to her success. Overall silhouettes, use of linings and stitching… nothing was left to changes for Pan. Outstanding craftsmanship must go hand in hand with original designs. That is why each collection is bestowed with different themes and looks. Wearing a piece of knitwear by GIOIA PAN evokes a sense of individuality rather than normal everyday garments. The 2021 Spring-Summer collection takes the theme of “weaving” and starts by examining the relationship between the nature and human. It’s an imaginative journey on fashion.
Founded 7 years ago, the brand if&n stands for the designer’s name I-Fen. Finding inspirations from landscape and other natural elements, if&n’s pieces are known for fresh, well-designed and ethereal styles. She says: “I want girls who wear if&n outfits are naturally elegant, just like a landscape painting. Even formal garments should not be repressive.” In a time where everything has changed dramatically, I-Fen finds beauty in the world surrounding us. Travel becomes an inspiration. For the latest collection, she takes the theme of traveling with pieces that reflect our desire for freedom. Rich materials are used to paint the sceneries with palette of beige, khaki, army green and black. Use of dimensional fabrics and knits to explore the relationship between fabrics and silhouette and to create airy pieces that highlight the quality of the fabrics and cuts. Whether it’s a pair of wide khaki trousers, a dress, or a top in organza, a girl with an if&n piece just can’t help but look natural and pure.
Darkness is the first impression one has of INF. Upon a closer look, the out-of-box silhouettes become unforgettable. A designer who loves structures, Kuo Wei invests a heavy amount of time on the silhouettes in his designing process. He positions his style as expressionistic and explains why he loves structure: “Structures can be large or small. They can be 2 dimensional or 3 dimensional. There is a lot to explore. It’s a challenge to show the fun side of structures while managing the designs to be wearable.” For his 2021 Spring-Summer collection, he looks into our dependence on mobile devices as the tools of communication. And he collaborates with Line, an instant communication application to create the brand’s Line stickers that play with the iconic cloud print. Kuo also uses the cloud as print for some of his garments - a rare act by the brand. Hearts, paper plane, LIKE icons are used as details on garments and accessories, bringing a fun side to the normally discreet designs.
“The more you stay true to your roots, the more globalized you become.” This is one of the values Justin Chou believes deeply in his creative process. He is very skillful in mixing and deconstructing elements of East and West. Luxxury Godbage, a sub label from JUST IN XX, offers products from reusing and up-cycling materials, second-hand garments, used accessories and vintage pieces. To Kuo, it’s sort of like molecular cuisines. Kuo feels the idea of luxury is time - how to express craftsmanship in fast fashion. We may not need massive clothes. We need clothes with meaning, stories, and crafts. He says: “During this time, I had time to think. Being a part of fashion, what can we do to minimize waste and pollution? This is an issue that we all have to think about, not just the fashion industry but everyone on this planet.”
Founded by Jill Shen and her friend in 2017, the name Seivson is derived from two French words - Nos and Vies that mean we and inspiration. The brand has a strong identity and has created a stir from the vert beginning. Seivson’s logo is adorned by a small screw bolt, signifying the pursuit of perfection in details. The designer contemplates deeply on the functionality of her designs: a shirt can be used as a cape, the cape can be worn differently… For the 2021 Spring-Summer collection, Jill Shen plays with Hermes carre and the Burberry trench to portray a story from the end of century. Her inspirations came from her dreams and her observations about the society: In a theatric style, she uses multiple looks for daily wear, homeless children, street bums, or illogical and oversized clothes. For the fashion show, Seivson collaborated with floral artists to create a stage with withered and polluted plants to portray the imagery of apocalypse.
Just like an epic poem, after the setting from earlier chapters, the story of Shiatzy Chen evolves with richness, broadness, and imageries. As an pioneer for Taiwan’s fashion brand. Shiatzy Chen was one of the first brands that has successfully established itself in Paris fashion scene. Founder Wang Chen Tsai-Hsia speaks of the brand’s future plans for the international market with lights in her eyes. Starting with pattern-making, selection of materials to making of embroideries, all the processes have become globalized: patterns made in Paris, fabrics from Milan, and embroideries that combine aesthetics of the East and the West. The embroideries are developed by Wang Chen Tsai-Hsia, utilizing techniques and advantages of European court garments, Suzhou embroideries, Miao embroideries, and more to make the ultimate creations. “The key to luxury products is the commitment. When we are committed, we can embark on a road less traveled.” The theme for 2021 Spring-Summer collection is “Circular Journey”, finding inspiration from Chinese heroine Mulan. It’s a part of the brand’s mission to expand on the richness of Chinese culture. Although fashion is an industry based on constant changes, Wang Chen Tsai-Hsia has a longer vision. “When we have a global vision, we realize how small we are. That realization allows us to see a different world.”
Fashion is not about trends that come and go in matter of minutes. It’s about finding your own classics. Always searching for inspiration from Chinese aesthetics, designer Chen Jun Liang established the brand SILZENCE men. The name reveals the core of the brand, emphasizing the word “look” is not only about clothes but also about decoration and installation arts. “I want the Eastern look to be a look that packages in all the greatness of the East. My garments are usually very simple, adorned with high quality fabrics and delicate craftsmanship for that one-of-its-kind beauty and Zen while showcasing the subtle spirit of the East.” Eastern garments evoke a sense of intellectualism, and the poetic theme for the latest collection - “Luo Kuan - Signature” reflects that sense. Taking elements from gold-smithing and leather works, the designs are presented in understated black and white, and splashes of silver pieces. These are neo-Chinese looks that skillfully mix Eastern culture with contemporary clothes. It’s not about distancing itself from the Western artisanship, but another perspective of fashion.
“With the advancement of digital technology and materials, we can produce excellent products everywhere. Designing a piece of garment is actually about designing the language of a society. The important key is to find a community that recognizes and resonates with your language or perspectives,” stated Damur Huang as he prepares for his #kiosk project that aims to “up-cycle” clothes. #Damur works with textile manufacturers and chemical plants to create water-proof, light and foldable clothes made by grade P2-rated protective medical materials. “We add houndstooth prints, denim flash prints, animal prints on to the non-woven fabrics with 3D printing technology to broaden the use of medical fabrics. These garments will have diversified uses, including travel and in-flight wear.”