Feature photo by LOKI
Currently in its second year running, Taipei Fashion Week (TPEFW) has been providing a solid stage for local Taiwanese designers and talent to showcase their creativity and carve their niche in the fashion scene. This year’s edition was hosted by ELLE Taiwan and Taiwan’s Ministry of Culture. The five-day celebration of fashion was held from 5 to 9 October and featured 16 brand shows at the New Talent Exhibition series. This year’s theme is ‘NOWism’, emphasising on how the future is now for the fashion scene in Taiwan and globally. Futuristic elements were observed throughout the week — with contemporary silhouettes, holographic sets and intergalactic runway beauty.
Taiwan also showcased their best street style fashion across the five days, with a good mix of streetwear and sleek contemporary looks gracing the streets. Accessories were aplenty as many chose to add personality to their outfit with a statement belt, wide-framed glasses or classic headwear to tie everything together. Many took part in couple and family coordinated dressing because what’s fashion if you can’t share it with others?
Here are our favourite street style looks as captured by Taiwanese photographer, LOKI.
The New Talents Exhibition saw 16 designers put up 16 brand shows to showcase their latest SS20 collections. We recap some of our favourite looks across the five days and introduce these designers below.
Founder Yen-Lin Hsu is no stranger to the fashion scene. Having graduated from Studio Berçot in France, she has worked for the likes of Christian Dior and Yohiji Yamamoto. After decades of experience, she has found her own voice with YENLINE — a brand that focuses on comfortable pieces that boast three-dimensional cutting and adventurous designs. The brand also focuses on sustainability as most of the fabric is made from renewable fibres that came from ocean debris and plastic bottles.
A vest inspired by the traditional Chinese cheongsam adds a rustic touch and aids in elevating the look, bringing the tights and breezy blouse together in a very ‘East-meets-West’ type of way.
Known for his minimalistic black and white designs, Baron Lee adds futuristic elements for DLEET’s SS20 collection through sci-fi elements such as asymmetrical clothing and simple cutting lines that create a visually misleading yet fun-filled effect. Immensely playful, Lee boldly slashes and cuts up blocks of fabrics to make the left and the right sides of a shirt asymmetrical, turn the left/right compartments upside down and overlap single items.
Straying away from the brand’s quintessential monotone colours, this look combines a tangerine short-sleeved batwing blouse an asymmetrical skirt, curiously constructed to look like a repurposed shirt. Simple white sneakers balance out the look, keeping things casual.
Since launching her eponymous brand 34 years ago, Yeh has carved out a niche for CHARINYEH in the Taiwan fashion industry — choosing to focus on delicately weaving traditional Taiwanese elements such as temples, dragon dance and Alishan into her creations. For the SS20 collection, the emphasis is placed on the onset of maritime trade during the Qing Dynasty, resulting in pieces that reflect the opulence, lightness and waviness of that period.
This slate-hued two-piece coordinate combines crinkled fabric with smooth linen in the same shade. The organic crinkles add to the utilitarianism of the four large utility pockets that are reminiscent of the seamen and traders that thrived during the Qing Dynasty.
Chen is another heavyweight player in the fashion game, with her eponymous brand boasting 33 years of history. This season’s collection centers around the theme of ‘EXILE’, inspired by Chen’s trip to Southern Europe (La Biennale di Venezia) with Art Director Quo Ying-Shen. It oozes retro vibes as white foundation and comfortable cotton/linen fabrics are used to express the philosophy of an implied sexiness and loose fit between opaque and transparent.
The SS20 collections plays around with layering and the sheerness of fabric. This look features a sheer mandarin collar dress that has been half-buttoned to reveal a white pencil skirt. The absence of jewellery and accessories with casual sandals gives the entire outfit a light, breezy vibe perfect for summertime.
JUST IN XX
Justin Chou has much to boast about. Since launching JUST IN XX in 2014, he became the first fashion designer to have his work showcased in New York Fashion Week. Five years and five appearances later, Chou constantly brings a mixture of art and culture in every single one of his collections. Being a cross-cultural designer, he has collaborated with Nike and Levi’s for the SS20 collection to create “sustainable fashion”. The brand focuses on infusing brand-new souls to old items.
Perhaps Chou’s take on the rising athleisure trend, a pink and lilac Nike sweatshirt is paired with a similar piece that has been cut and combined with sheer organza fabric — forming an almost whimsical skirt. Yet despite the contrast in fabrics, nothing looks out of the ordinary due to the balanced silhouette and the sheer organza cut-outs around the neckline.
Designer Shen Yao Huang creates with a simple manifesto: that human bodies are blank canvases for beauty to be painted on. Huang’s unique theme for shen yao’s SS20 collection is ‘Hanging the clothes’. “A sunny day with breeze is the best day to do the laundry and sunbath the duvets. Through laundry, the tiredness is washed away, and the life is refreshed.” This collection features oversized fits, draping of clothes over the body and irregular silhouettes caused by the overlaying of multiple clothes.
Nothing quite embodies laundry day than crisp white linen and natural tones. Accompanied by slicked wet hair and barely-there makeup, the look exudes an air of breeziness with the oversized fit. The large tote bag complements the entire outfit and the half-buttoned shirt exposes the high trouser waist, further elongating the silhouette despite the flat camel sandals.