Wednesday, October 7, 2015


Shiatzy Chen
The sunshine came mostly from the clothes at Paris Fashion Week (Sept. 29 – Oct. 7), as several designers opted for dazzling golden hues in their collections, while the rain pelted down outside.

Shiatzy Chen: blazing gold.
Taiwanese designer Wang Chen Tsai-Hsia, aka Shiatzy Chen, got the mood right as usual, and her artistic views for Spring/Summer 2016 lifted the spirits of those who had come in from the chilly October showers.

With multi-layered styles, floral patterns, a range of different materials and “retro contour and cutting”, Chen showed that for her art is paramount in fashion, as she has told Tasshon previously.

The palette of gold, yellow, satiny orange and other tones were a visual feast at the imposing Grand Palais building, in true Chen tradition. Meanwhile, the collection comprised both maxi and short dresses, as well as easy-to-wear loose pants and swirly skirts. For a more formal look, the designer incorporated her celebrated embroidery designs on a variety of jackets.

Her use of a technique combining printing with embroidered lace and “light imitation silk” equally enhanced the clothing, which was paired with striking footwear: 1970s-style sandals with block heels, embroidered boat shoes and Mary Jane pumps.

By the time the show was over, one had forgotten about the rain.

Rahul Mishra
Indian designer Rahul Mishra also evoked sunshine this season, and he gave fair warning by quoting Persian poet Hafiz in the introduction to his Spring/Summer collection: “Even after all this time, the Sun never says to the Earth ‘You Owe Me’. Look what happens with a love like that. It lights up the whole sky.”

Designer Rahul Misra.
Mishra’s collection certainly lit up the already sumptuous rooms of the Mona Bismarck Centre, located by the river Seine. Shown a few days before Chen’s collection, his use of yellow, ivory and other colours conveyed a mixture of cool warmth; “cool” in the sense of effortless elegance, and warmth in the sense of “supreme wearability”.

Mishra, 35 years old, is the new kid on the block at Paris Fashion Week, showing for just a third season. But he’s set to make his mark, judging by the enthusiastic reaction to his collection. After the show, a spectator rushed up to hug him, saying, “I just wanted to tell you how great it is to see truly beautiful clothing”.

Rahul Mishra: hints of the sun.
The designer, who won the 2014 International Woolmark Prize at Milan Fashion Week, beamed in response. With his engaging smile and down-to-earth aura, Mishra seems to embody what many now want in fashion: skill and substance.

The designer told Tasshon that for him fashion is about simplicity and elegance, but that it’s likewise about sustainability. “Fashion for me is about employing people,” he said, describing how he sources his materials from artisans in India.

He expands on this theme in his official communiqués: "My idea is to create new jobs which help (people) in their own villages - I take work to them rather than calling them to work for me. If villages are stronger you will have a stronger country, a stronger nation, a stronger world,” he says.

“So my entire idea, my entire philosophy, revolves around that. The product will go through evolution - it will change, it will improve - but a philosophy is what is constant."

For German designer Andrea Karg, founder of the Allude brand, sustainability is equally a philosophy, and she highlighted this in her Spring/Summer 2016 collection titled “The Rise of Imperfection”.

According to Karg, the world should stop racing after perfection, which is never lasting. “We need to leave room for personality, for sustainability,” she told Tasshon.

Andrea Karg, founder of Allude.
“Nowadays people have got used to buying and throwing away. That’s not my style, not my cup of tea,” she added.

Long crowned the “Queen of Cashmere”, the designer has launched a “cashmere clinic” in Munich, where people can take their worn clothing to be repaired rather than throwing “old” items out.

“Cashmere is a sustainable material and we want to emphasize that,” she said.

In Paris, Karg once more showed the versatility of her chosen material, combining it with cotton, silk and normal wool for a memorable collection.

Textured cashmere skirts and dresses, mixed with cotton yarn and luminous silk, induced images of fresh spring evenings and relaxed beach outings.

At the end of the show, all the models stood together in Karg’s designs, as if at some mass protest for good taste. The overall impression was one of militant chic-ness and absolute artistry. - J.M. De Clercq & L. McKenzie