Photographer: David Gannon
On Sunday, September 12th,
Asian representation in the fashion industry and pop-culture in general often skews towards tokenism, featuring mainly East-Asian identities. At Shui’s ethos, she has always championed her Chinese heritage, building bridges in-between her multicultural upbringing while creating garments and silhouettes for women that enabled them to feel sexy. Asian women have always been fetishized but Kim Shui opts to take ownership of that narrative, making sexy a choice they can make without having to feel like they’re playing into Western fantasy. Shui is rewriting the narrative by co-opting these tropes, offering a glimpse into what Western fetish looks like through Asian culture’s eyes.
Western Fantasy then becomes a focal point in Kim’s show as she plays with the kitsch and camp of cowboys and cowgirls, turning cliche on its head while rewriting the narrative by fusing in Asian elements. The collection emphasizes emotionality in textures featuring leather, corduroy, crystal embellishment and custom prints, alongside signature jade jewelry in the form of body chains and custom mules and dragon-embroidered cowboy boots.