Wednesday, March 5, 2014


Shiatzy Chen: shimmering shades of ink stone
It was like watching an exhibition of moving paintings at Shiatzy Chen’s ready-to-wear autumn/winter 2014 collection on Tuesday. As the models blazed down the long runway at the glass-domed Grand Palais, Chen’s creativity and vision struck viewers with force. This had to be most visually stunning of all the shows presented during Paris Fashion Week.

Shiatzy Chen: black & blue
“I approach each piece as a work of art,” the label’s founder and chief designer Wang Chen Tsai-Hsia told Tasshon backstage. “The collection is basically inspired by ink stone from Chinese culture. And that is an art tool so, yes, the art is important.”

Along with the black ink stone, Chen also drew inspiration from the elements of brush, ink and paper, regarded as the “Treasures of the Scholar’s Study” because they’ve passed Chinese culture down through the ages.

The show began with the hall plunged into darkness, shortly before a drum- and-bass composition set the mood. When the lights came back on, the first impression was of a dusky sky or sea as a model in pastel-blue coat and charcoal boots walked onto the runway.

According to a Chen statement, ink stone is the “stage for the color shades to play out. In lighter shades, the colors are like traces of a smile in a budding rose. In bright shades, they are vibrant as peonies”.

These tones got artistic expression in Chen’s lustrous coats and evening dresses, while the designer created dynamism with strokes of pastel pink, lime, cream, magenta and other colors. 

Shiatzy Chen: let it shine
The cuts ranged from sleek to box-line, and the fabrics included satin wool, organza, elastic prints, and dual-tone, wool-trimmed lace. As in previous collections, eye-catching traditional embroidery also played a big role. Among the most memorable garments was a sleeveless gown with fitted bodice and flowing skirt, in shimmering metallic blue.

For the accessories, knee-high biker boots complemented handbags with jade handles and buckles. The ink stone again provided inspiration for brooches, bracelets and geometric necklaces.

Many of Chen’s fans wore her designs to the show, and seated among the front-row viewers was top Chinese model Liu Wen and other celebrities. 

Afterwards, a throng of admirers queued up to be photographed with the petite Taiwanese designer. “She’s my hero,” said a lady from Malaysia. – L. McKenzie & J.M. De Clercq

Shiatzy Chen: mixing it up

Shiatzy Chen: back to basics, with lime zest