Thursday, October 3, 2013


A Shiatzy chen design
Cubism, childhood memories, colourful landscapes. These were all joyously reflected in Shiatzy Chen’s 2014 spring/summer collection during Paris Fashion Week, which ended Oct. 2.

After 35 years in the fashion business, the label’s chief designer Wang Chen Tsai-Hsia gave herself free rein to “splash out”, as she incorporated some of her boldest colours to date in youthful yet stylish garments.

Dazzling orange, vivid reds, soft pinks, and imperial yellow contrasted with pale cream hues and black geometric lines, all on luxurious fabrics such as satin and silk. Added to this was the innovative use of traditional embroidery, as Chen played with the features of Chinese opera masks as well as ink paintings.

“She has really evolved,” said Jin Zhu, a fashion-media professional from Shanghai, China. “The collection was a little bit girly, and she added some sporty elements.”

A detail from a blouse.
“She was channelling Picasso and other artists,” added her colleague Vico Mao, also from Shanghai.

Jin and Ma were just two of the scores of viewers from Asia who came to France to see the collections of Chen and other designers. The crowds at Chen’s shows in particular have grown tremendously since she began participating in Paris Fashion Week over the past decade.

Presented at the iconic Grand Palais, the latest show drew celebrities as well as art-lovers who’ve become enamoured of Chen’s signature style, which blends an Eastern vogue with Western tailoring. The A-line skirts and straight-cut pants, combined with the fabrics, could be worn to any event demanding a certain level of sophistication.

In fact, several women in the audience showed off designs from Chen’s fall/winter collection, presented at the same venue earlier this year. One outfit that got the cameras clicking comprised a gold brocade skirt and jacket, worn by someone who seemed to be some sort of celebrity. We were too busy to ask her name. - J.M. De Clercq & L. McKenzie

Shiatzy Chen