Designers looking to the East for inspiration has become something of a fashion week tradition. China’s booming luxury market is a force unto itself and all through fashion month, the influence of those consumers could be seen on the runways. Western brands have attempted to merge aesthetics with varying degrees of success, but what happens when the shoe is on the other foot? As one of Asia’s premier fashion brands, Shiatzy Chen has always focused on crafting clothing that combines classic Chinese handicraft with Western cutting techniques. The fall / winter show was an elegant and romantic take on Miao culture, as viewed through a luxury lens. Streamlined shapes, rich colors and embroidered details combined to make an appealing statement on the modern femininity.
Beginning with a series of a-line skirts worn with high boots to create an almost mod silhouette, the collection felt fresh and graphic. The sections of crimson looks, emblazoned with detailed embroidery were a highlight, as were the sumptuous fur accents seen throughout. The sheer opulence viewed on the Shiatzy runway was the ultimate representation of the brand’s commitment to luxury. Carmen Kass and Sui He sauntering down the runway in glossy dresses fit for any red carpet were like the icing on a decadent cake.
Runway Images : Stephan Moskovic for Models.com
Backstage Images: Janelle Okwodu for Models.com
MDC: How do you feel about Western designers looking to China for inspiration this season?
Madame Wang: We have more than 5,000 years of history in China, there are so many elements there for inspiration within the history and culture so everyone is doing different things and getting different ideas from within the culture. I don’t think it is a problem, because there is so much in our history to be inspired by.
MDC: Why do you think the Shiatzy Chen look resonates with your clientele?
Madame Wang: Shiatzy Chen’s woman is always very classic and feminine, that is the key feature of Shiatzy Chen and what I think people respond to.
MDC: Can you tell us a bit about the exquisite detailing on the accessories this season?
Madame Wang: The phoenix and dragon are the key motif of this season. This year it is the year of the dragon in China and if you look at the accessories you can see a lot of that in the embroidery and detail.
MDC: We have to know – when is the brand coming to America?
Madame Wang: We’ve been discussing the stores in New York in recent years, hopefully next year or the year after you’re going to see Shiatzy Chen in America!
MDC: What was it like to walk this particular show?
Ming Xi: Its a great honor to do a Chinese designer’s show. I’m Chinese and of course I’m just so proud of my country. I’m really happy to see them bringing a bit of Chinese culture to Paris fashion week. Everyone knows the iconic Chinese designs and this lets them see a modern version.
Sui He: I felt very excited to do this show of course and honored as well to walk for such an important designer. I think this season my fashion week has been so much more enjoyable, last time I think I was too tired to take it all in and appreciate it, but this time I’m able to really have fun and enjoy things! So many amazing things have happened – especially that video!
MDC: What are you doing once fashion week wraps up?
Ming Xi: I’m going to stay in Paris, so I get one more week of fun and I’m going to celebrate my birthday. Normally my birthday is during fashion week so I don’t have time to go out, but this year it is just right after fashion week and I get to really celebrate!