Over the last few years I’ve become acquainted with Fu Jen University and their shows at Fashion Scout each September, including visiting the campus and being given a tour by the equally energetic and passionate Jocelyn Chen Associate Professor in the Department of Textiles and Clothing .
As regular readers will know I have a very firm conviction that Taiwan is a growing fashion capital and the university has been the incubator for many of the islands designers now showing across the globe, their focus on not just teaching, but nurturing their students is part of why they have been so successful. It was was with great excitement that I took my seat for the show to see the three selections this year, Wei-Yu Hung, Alison Lai and Yu-Mei Huang.
Wei Yu brought a soft mix of colours, classic tailoring mixed with bold pops of colour and calming pastels. His needle craft shone through in a collection that brought to mind gentle summer breezes and afternoon strolls through ancient streets.
Playing with volume to create the movement and drama of the collection, each step the wear takes shifts, alters and creates new paradigms within the looks. Where the darker colours appeared the looks didn’t feel weighed down by them, the contrast added to the lightness by providing a counter that pushed it forwards. The fabrics were particularly well chosen and the confidence with which they were shown belies the youth of the designer. This is a very wearable collection that is as elegant as it is beautiful.
Power, poise and reaction against the status quo, with her collection Alison Lai gave a strong sense of her direction.
The collection is aggressive and upfront, it has a strength and boldness that plants a flag in the runway and says this is who I am, but despite that vigour in the sartorial comment Lai has rounded the edges with soft fabrics.
Each punch is match with a counter of gentle spirit, it’s quite the intrigue woven in threads, it’s really played on the trend right now that power and style can be a meeting point.
Colour, so much colour, but so artfully used, alongside the perky pinks and egg yolk yellows, the whites created the breathing space that meant this collection was bold, but not overpowering.
Yu Mai Huang gave us a collection that evoke the pop music 60’s tones with thoroughly modern shapes and forms in the garments, this is fun in fabric form.
If it doesn’t make you want to sing, then you really need to find a song book and join in. Playful is under-rated in fashion, but with this collection Yu-Mei Huang has become a standard bearer for bringing it back.
Written By Ross Pollard – Emerging Designers Editor