Contemporary fashion and heritage crafts walk together to open the Taipei Fashion Week Spring/Summer 23 calendar at the CrossLab runway show.
About CrossLab: Dialogue between Indigenous Art and Fashion
For Spring/Summer 23, Taipei Fashion Week is again a place for dialogue. The show explored the intersection of fashion, craft and humanity through 50 pieces, emphasising the importance of preserving and passing along cultural traditions and design techniques from various indigenous groups while building community and fashion with a new perspective. Modern civilization is the crystallisation of historical accumulation, which is the mission of Taipei Fashion Week. The opening show focused on exploring the innovative possibilities of the treasured crafts of the Taiwanese indigenous communities and transforming the national treasure craft into new inspiration for fashion design:
"I hope that through the translation of these contemporary fashion designers, classic weaving crafts can enter our daily wardrobe,” said Minister of Culture, Lee Yung-Te.
Designers and Craftsmen at the Tapei Fashion Week
For the next season, Taipei Fashion Week continued to chart a progressive outlook on the future of fashion. The Spring/Summer season is looking to its roots and reinterpreting traditional techniques for modern designs as a form of cultural sustainability.
Designers Bob Jian, McFly Chao, Chia-Hung Su, Justin Chou and Shao-Yen Chen worked to convey a narrative where modern protagonists discover their self-identity through traditional costume craftsmanship as a way to move forward. Indigenous masters – also known as preservers and the disappearing skills that have unique significance for each ethnic group – were essential to the development of each collection. Such skills include speciality weaving techniques from the people of Kavalan, Paiwan, Seediq and Atayal.
From the collaboration of 5 fashion designers and 5 indigenous craftsmen, the resulting fashion is striking, a balance of tradition and innovation, proving indigenous techniques have a place in modern fashion.
Seta Bakan (Seediq Tribe) x MCFLY CHO
McFly Cho (DYCTEAM) worked alongside Seta Bakan to create pieces using a jacquard weave inspired by the traditional patterns of the Seediq Tribe. The street style pieces were presented in both denim and jacquard to transform the traditional patterns into wearable everyday looks.
YUMA TARU (Atayal Tribe) x CHIAHUNG SU
Chiahung Su worked with Yuma Taru of the Atayal Tribe to create materials using the traditional technique of Atayal fabric dying. The collection presents a soft, contemporary style with a theme of natural soft elegance running throughout the lineup.
Zeqong (Kavalan Tribe) x SHAO YEN CHEN
Working alongside Zeqong of the Kavalan Tribe Central Saint Martins-trained Shao Yen Chen used banana leaf silks to present an inventive and fun mixed gender collection. Among the 16 indigenous communities in Taiwan, only the Kavalan people have this special skill, which was typically reserved for nobles. The colour palette and silhouettes referenced that of the banana leaves which were used to create the plant fibre fabrics.
MIYANG (Paiwan Tribe) x BOB JIAN
Bob Jian worked alongside Miyang to take the pattern of the Paiwan Tribal Tjemenun weave and give it a modern twist by mixing an unexpected palette of colours to create a vibrant collection. The garments featured structured shapes and silhouettes with capes, bell sleeves and fishtail skirts to create a striking evening feel.
LJAVAUS (Paiwan Tribe) x JUSTIN CHOU
Heavily embellished capsule collection created by 6-time NYFW participant Justin Chou from Justin XX with help from Ljavaus of the Paiwan Tribe. The designer created a unique one-off Cyberfolk, futuristic range of beaded and weaved pieces with a vivid colour palette. The collection paid homage to the Kinavatjesan embroidery. Ljavaus sorted eight traditional pattern techniques that not only contain valuable wisdom from tribal elders to teach their younger generations but also symbols and totems that depict tribal memory and legends
The entire show was an immersive experience, featuring VR visual sets, sound and music produced by indigenous musicians and models from the community, all highlighting the core crossover and connection of craft and modern fashion, old and new, humanity and commerce.
Following the opening show, Taipei Fashion Week will continue throughout October 28th. To learn more about this season's runway collections, you can head to the Taipei Fashion Week website and Instagram account.