Shiatzy Chen is a beautiful Chinese fashion label influenced by the Chinese culture and modern aesthetics. The label tries to combine these elements with western craftsmanship into contemporary pieces, that are timeless and classic. Shiatzy Chen, also referred to as the “new look of China” really shows to have detailed craftsmanship in the clothing. Looking at the SS 2013 collection, I honestly feel that there goes a lot of thought and passion into creating the pieces. From the texture, luminosity, and movement of the fabric to the intricate and elaborate embroidered patterns and techniques, Wang Chen Tsai-Hsia, the Creative Director of Shiatzy Chen, obviously demands flawless artistry. Compared to the Last collection (Fall/ Winter 2012) The brand returned back to more oriental and heritage designs. Even though I was a great fan of the different and modern collection of F/W 2012, I must say the S/S 2013 collection shows its roots.
Most people who are close to me, will know I have a weakness for paper.. Oh well, I know it sounds strange, but by now, I accepted my weird obsession. Continuously I have been trying to design things out of paper, such as flowers, buildings, clothing, window displays, postcards, birthday decorations, invitations, animals, .. Sorry, am I carrying away?? What my story is leading to, is that Paper art has been developing for more then fifteen hundred years in China. The Shiatzy Chen Spring summer 2013 collection named PERPETUALITY is inspired on the paper art form “paper cutting’. Paper cutting initially served the decorative and ritual need of the Chinese working class and slowly developed from an emotional outlet into a widely accepted form of art. With paper cutting as theme, Shiatzy Chen’s S/S13 collection describes a beautiful story passed down through generations. The garments show a large quantity of precise but balanced and perpetuating lines to create abstract forms that still maintain simplicity. The collection uses translucent and shining materials such s silk and satin as well as textured fabrics such as semi-translucent jacquard to represent the play of light on paper cutting. Also the bold use of bright colors accenting large patches of printed paper-cutting patterns displays a unity of eastern folk art and western fashion. A lot of the elements of the collection originate from the innovative designs of the twenties along with the sixties in attempt to reinterpret the image of the new woman through jump suites, smocks and shooters, characterized by geometric cutting and floral patterns brought to life by metallic beads, Swarovski elements lace and embroidery.
Even the colours used in the collection; bright yellows, soft pinks rich blues and ivory are reflecting the the retro feel of SS 13. Special fabrics such as peacock feather, embroidered organza, bumper crop jacquard, and peacock print come together to honoured themes in paper cutting: Increasing prosperity, warding off evil spirits and ensuring fertility. To me, this is more than just an mainstream, commercial collection. The collection really shows a reflection of how the masses in china satisfy they thirst for material and spiritual satisfaction through art. Its about time!
Below some picture of the collection and a final walk through video I shot from my (front row!!!) seat at the Shiatzy Chen SS 2013 show at Paris fashion week.