TAIPEI FASHION WEEK Autumn/Winter 2021/22

With Sustainability at its Core, Repurposed Banana Leaves, Fish Scales, Oyster Shells and Beeswax are what You’ll be Wearing.

Here’s a Snapshot of the Inspired Offerings at Taipei Fashion Week.

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Image Credit Just In XX | A collection inspired by Taiwan’s Olympic prowess

Did you know Taipei has become the first world city to host a series of physical fashion shows this year, with mask manufacturer CSD Zongwei handing out free woven limited edition art masks to lucky attendees? Unlike its Fashion Week counterparts in London, Paris and Milan that predominantly presented virtual shows or video clips, Taipei has opted for an alternative approach – for brands to present their offerings in the flesh, in front of a live audience, with international buyers in attendance.

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Image Credit Taipei Fashion Week / luxxury_godbage on Instagram | A bubblewrap coat and moonbag as part of the ‘Sustainable Fashion’ initiative

The Taipei Autumn/Winter 2021/22 Fashion Week kicked off with six inspiring local brands interpreting the theme of ‘Sustainable Fashion’, each putting their own spin on this pressing and topical issue. At the same time school pupils and students have been included in a progressive, multi-pronged thrust, with exhibitions, activities and fashion shows laid on to boost creative energy and enthusiasm for all things fashionable in Taiwan. And judging by the overwhelmingly positive response in the media it’s been a phenomenal success and has certainly gone down a real treat with the public and industry alike.

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Image Credit Mirror Media | Covid as inspiration: student Song Yijing showing the anxiety, confusion, and loss caused by the epidemic

The most appropriate place to start when reporting on Taipei Fashion Week has to be the ‘Sustainable Fashion’ contributions, which got me sitting bolt upright in my seat with excitement. The commitment to the environment and the forward-thinking technological prowess of these brands are nothing short of breathtaking. A standout collection – vibrant, youthful and cheery – was that of Claudia.W who utilized, amongst others, an uber impressive array of green materials and processes, including environmentally friendly carbon, ‘super splash’ water, fish scale yarns and shape-memory fabrics to create her eye-popping psychedelic range. Most impressively, her biodegradable fabrics can be buried effortlessly and will decompose in time. Now that’s what I’d call commitment with a capital C!

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Image Credit Claudia.W | Eye-popping tartans and checks

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Image Credit Claudia.W | A psychedelic tartan-inspired trench coat that can be worn with a clean conscience!

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Image Credit Claudia.W | Painterly modern graphics adorn this palazzo trousers and trainers ensemble

Avant-garde label Damur, with their trademark non-matching socks and footwear, wowed with a collection of bold, recycled and repurposed metallic fabrics and a stunning frilly harlequin dress made of patchwork pieces. They exploited Taiwan’s latest lamination technology to create metallic membranes for their subtle teal and pink pieces. Weavism’s theme was ‘Don’t treat us as plastic’. With neat and functional tailoring woven into in their environmentally-friendly pieces (made from unconventional fabrics such as banana leaves and beeswax) – from suits to overcoats – this impressive brand shouts easy-to-wear style with a conscience.

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Image Credit Damur | Recycled metallic fabric in this ankle-grazing trench coat

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Image Credit Damur | A striking harlequin-esque frilly trapeze dress

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Image Credit Weavism | Functional tailoring in this two-tone jacket

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Image Credit Weavism | Fabrics made from banana leaves and bees wax!

Still with sustainable brands, Just In XX’s designer Zhou Yuying’s contemporary patterned collection with pieces ranging from track suits to trench coats – is inspired by Taiwan’s Olympic prowess and, like the other sustainable brands featured, uses environmentally friendly fabric and ensures that waste materials like plastic bottles are cleverly incorporated into the repurposed fabric cycle. Another brand with a commendable carbon footprint is oqLiq, with their cocoon-shaped coats created from fabric that utilizes hot-pressed, high-frequency technology, their leathers repurposed from dam sediments and other fabrics used in their collection created from oyster shell powder. Finally, definitely worth a mention in this category is unisex brand DYCTEAM that prides itself on the use of special biodegradable organic cotton and reusable three-layer nylon. Refreshingly impressive, if you ask me!

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Image Credit Just In XX | Sporty style in this relaxed shape trouser ensemble

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Image Credit Just In XX | Athletic prowess in design together with fabrics that are kind to the environment

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Image Credit oqLiq | Advanced technology used to construct this voluminous coat

The rest of Fashion Week featured a mix of classic-with-a-twist ready-to-wear and hot-off-the-press streetwear. A delightful discovery was Seivson, whose roomy pastel-shaded trouser suits with their strappy, studded punk elements contrasted beautifully with ‘damsel-in-distress’ romantic fairy-tale dresses. There was even the odd faux fur patchwork shrug and puffer coat for good measure. Isabel Wen presented a very feminine collection, celebrating the female figure not only in her designs but also in her choice of textiles – fluid silks draped, swathed and emphasized the curves of the female form. An interesting brand, Bob Jian, very effectively fused traditional Taiwanese shapes and costumes with contemporary fashion: mandarin collars and oriental patterns got some alternative design treatment and looked very sharp and modern indeed.

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Image Credit Seivson | A ‘Care for our Planet’ banquet?

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Image Credit Seivson | ‘Damsel-in-distress’ dresses

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Image Credit Seivson | A nod to Punk in this strappy ensemble

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Image credit Seivson | Layers of fabric that are kind to the planet

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Image Credit Isabel Wen | A glam rock tulle skirt with peplum and bustier reminiscent of the Eigthies

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Image Credit Isabel Wen | A fluid and drapey metallic cape

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Image Credit Bob Jian | A mandarin collared dress with slashes and slit in jade

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Image Credit Bob Jian | Traditional patterned fabric was used to create this body-hugging suit

Schiatzy Chen produced an elegant collection that oozed Eighties inner strength, but thankfully without the obligatory oversized shoulder pads! Tweed rubbed shoulders with tulle, chiffon and leather; leg-of-mutton sleeves, miniskirts and culottes were anchored in glamorous thigh high boots. A cheerful little range of ‘gardener’-inspired clothing came from UUIN, whose bright green ginghams lit up the Autumn/Winter scene no end! A brand with cheeky schoolgirl inspired uniforms is Allenko3, whose ‘rebellious’ collection was inspired by tattoos.

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Image Credit Schiatzy Chen | Leg-of-mutton sleeves in this sumptuous coat

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Image Credit Taipei Fashion Week / peachpirate on Instagram | A return to ‘normality’: real seats, real people at the Schiatzy Chen show!

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Image Credit Taipei Fashion Week / judychou0608 on Instagram | Neons and shocking pink / Clothes Schiatzy Chen, Styling @judychou0608

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Image Credit UUIN | Bright green ‘gardeners’ gingham lit up the glum Autumn/Winter palette

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Image Credit Allenko3 | A Seventies silhouette with a modern twist

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Image Credit Allenko3 | Schoolgirl-inspired fashion

Douchanglee offered a very wearable contemporary unisex range with the emphasis squarely on a balance between sustainability and functionality. Damur, who chose to show their range on a cross-section in the middle of the city, needs commended not only for their gutsy rule-breaking, but also for their collection of colourful, super fun & inspiring streetwear.

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Image Credit Douchanglee | A frilly ‘D’ on this shocking pink shirt

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Image Credit Damur | This bright streetwear collection was shown at this pedestrian crossing in the middle of the city!

Finally, an appropriate ending to a fairy-tale Fashion Week needs to be a mention of CJean’s sumptuous Fifties-style satin coat in dramatic rouge noir. Like many pieces featured at this Fashion Week, it is nostalgically reminiscent of a previous era, but with a gutsy modern twist. This Fashion Week’s offerings have certainly heralded a new chapter for Taiwanese fashion, and one in which the contagious Taiwanese fashion energy has been spread through social media to the four corners of the earth. Rest assured, Taiwan – the world has most certainly taken notice and is eagerly awaiting your next contribution.

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Image Credit CJean | A rouge noir Fifties style coat fit for an (Autumn/Winter) prom queen!

Cecile Paul

Cecile Paul

Author at Pynck

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