Saturday, 21 October 2023

Deconstructing Uniforms at Taipei Fashion Week for S/S24

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Three young brands at Taipei Fashion Week are drawing inspiration from cultural traditions, the comfort of convention, and the power of community.

At Taipei Fashion Week, three young Taiwanese designers deconstructed uniforms infusing them with new life for Spring/Summer 2024.

Brands WooLeeX, INF, and Seivson showcased their Spring/Summer 2024 collections at Taipei Fashion Week. All incorporating elements of recognisable uniforms into their collections, the yearning for familiarity, routine, and community ran through two of these designers’ work, while one turned to garment construction to showcase the limitations of outdated thought.

About WOO LEE X Spring/Summer 2024 Collection: The Concept

WOO LEE X presented their new collection, entitled ‘Neighbourhood’, on Sunday 15th October. This season, WOO LEE X created the uniforms of a utopian neighbourhood, envisioning people from diverse cultures, genders, and backgrounds living in harmony. The emphasis on embracing each other, despite our differences, and respectfully coexisting couldn’t be more deeply felt in this current moment.

About WOO LEE X 'Neighbourhood' S/S24 Collection: Sartorial Touches

WOO LEE X has woven their political ideology into their garments. The colour palette mainly consists of earthy tones, with red, browns and greens dominating, taking inspiration from what unites us all. The silhouettes are formal, with exquisite tailoring and elegant gowns predominantly featured. The brand cleverly integrates paintings and drawings into their pieces, partnering with artist Zeng Shiyu to create tension between the traditional silhouettes and the experimental prints, mirroring the collections’ theme which calls for unlikely neighbours to coexist in harmony.

About INF Spring/Summer 2024 Collection: The Concept

INF also presented their Spring/Summer 2024 collection on Sunday 15th October, which was inspired by Taiwanese banquet culture. Traditionally, occasions such as weddings, funerals, housewarming parties, religious festivals, etc. were hosted in the form of banquets in Taiwan. Yet, with the prioritising of convenience and comfort in modern generations, these conventions have faded away. INF are honouring the sense of neighbourhood cooperation and community that this tradition represented.

About INF S/S24 Collection: Sartorial Touches

INF’s S/S24 collection has incorporated the unique image of Taiwanese banquets into prints. Recognisable elements such as round tables, red plastic chairs, and lanterns have been digitally configured and reimagined in the garment designs. The silhouettes of the pieces are inspired by traditional Taiwanese formal attire, blue and white sandals, mourning attire, and ceremonial dress, to name a few. They have deconstructed these recognisable silhouettes and added a modern layer, invoking the need for modern communities to incorporate these community-based traditions into their new ways of life. INF are all about merging innovation and tradition, and this is perfectly portrayed in this collection.

About Seivson Spring/Summer 2024 Collection: The Concept

Seivson presented their S/S24 collection on Saturday 14th October, with a confrontational deconstruction of the archetype of the “professional woman.” The brand, known for its focus on the diverse allure of femininity, presented a collection that destabilises misogynistic assumptions about women in the workplace with designs that merge lingerie and traditional tailoring. At Taipei Fashion Week, Seivson have, alongside INF and WOO LEE X, been inspired by tradition, however not in a positive way.

The traditional vision of women in the workplace has historically been sexualised through the male gaze. Seivson are defiantly confronting stereotypes and reclaiming the gaze.

About Seivson S/S24 Collection: Sartorial Touches

Their Spring/Summer 2024 collection comprises suits, trench coats, and tailoring that are layered with “office secrets”. The secrecy element is a tongue-in-cheek acknowledgement of the stereotype that businesswomen are innately provocative, with many of the pieces incorporating lacework and lingerie. The technical design work of this collection is elegant and innovative, merging lingerie, lace and tailoring seamlessly to create a powerful display of business women’s destabilising nature in male-dominated work environments.

All three of these Taiwanese designers have been deeply inspired by tradition and the need for the community to survive in a harsh world.