Wrapping up a chilly and windy Saturday evening at Spring Studios on 50 Varick St. was an incubation of budding designers across Asia. This season, seven up-and-coming brands from Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and Thailand debuted their collections on the runway. Fey Minoriyanagase, Titat, Cahiers, Tsung Yu Chan, Hyung Jung, Kenichi, and Kanon presented a confluence of creatives that came together and formed a modern, loud collection of avant-garde ideals.
Fey Minoriyanagase by Japan-based designer Minori Yanagase obsessed over loud graphic prints and daring uses of colors for her preeminent collection. Each piece explored and expanded fashion, offering an surreal experience for observers. The designer relied on her imagination to produce eccentric offings that included rippling swirls of color playing in provocative contrast to the whimsical classics of the explosively riotous garments.
Bangkok-based designer, Titat Kuantrakul was inspired by his Thai ancestor’s connection with the Mong Tribe of Northern Thailand played into his fashion week collection for his menswear brand, Titat. Fascinated by the Mong tribe’s skill craftsmanship between tribal textile and embroidery, Kuantrakul’s designs can be seen as a modern infusion of the tribe’s local heritage, transforming tradition into a contemporary fashion that can be easily worn for lifestyle. Adapting his unique heritage to his FW19 collection, Kuantrakul presented mixed modern, basic classics – knee length cutoffs layered over stretchy tights, polka dot tailored trousers and long, matching coats layered over crisp, white collared button downs.
Ayong Kim reiterated her feminine elegance by adding a more retro touch to her name, Cahiers. The Korean designer invited observers into a precious, delicate, whimsical world of her own making, taken from emotions evoked by her memories. Fusing together different styles and trends from different eras, models appeared on the runway in wool coats of flirty purple fur collars, bead emblazoned twilight blue coats atop gleaming gold tops and sparkling purple pants. Through fabric and print manipulation, Kim created a divine collection that ranged from playful retro, to chic sophistication, speaking to matching tweed pairings and wrap, tiered coats, accessorized with delicate chains and simple clutches.
Trend setting couture meets grungy street style describes the aesthetic of Taiwanese designer, Joe Chan’s high end menswear brand, Tsung Yu Chan. For fashion week collection, the creator reenvisioned electoral culture and tapped into the concept of propaganda to present a truly extraordinary show. Chan played on his strengths as a talented colorist and textile master, particularly considering how his collection could reflect his personal venture of using fashion to make a statement of the recent Taiwanese collection, held at the end of 2018. So, for this collection, Chan emphasized his political inspiration, by approaching his style androgynously, presenting designs in which a man and woman could easily borrow clothes from each other’s closets and still look glam and fab. Looks with a special, relaxed approach to dressing proceeded down the runway, worn by models of both genders. Garments came in a variety of styles: wide-legged khakis and denim, black tailored blazers with graphically illustrated sleeves, nylon dresses with contrasting lace trimming, and tactile topcoats exploding with color and patterns, making for a divine collection of texture and versatility.
Hyun Jung loves the storytelling journey involved in design from the inception of an idea to the result of a luxurious womenswear garment. The surrealist concept of dreams; dreams that repeat and haunt our very perceptions of reality inspired the Tokyo native’s inspiration for her fashion week collection. The hazy boundary that separates the real from the imaginary was executed with ease and taste in this ultramodern collection of, taking a more deep, conceptually provocative approach. Models came down the runway in hand-crafted, draping separates of whites and blacks, inlays of layered pantsuits and button downs, embellished with long, fringe like strings.
Japanese menswear designer, Kenichi Ishida combined voguish style with experimentation in an incessantly charming wardrobe for everyday men. The overall mood of the young designer’s Fall 2019 collection was urban chic, encompassing the designer’s signature minimal style with a vast array of eye-catching pastels and clean-cut basics. Long button downs worn with matching ankle socks and neutral trench coats, knit sweaters and above-the-knew shorts had a gender neutral feel, creating an overall theme of deconstructing binaries and advocating for gender neutrality in fashion.
Deconstructed tailoring, a flamboyant eighties vibe and contrasting silhouettes were the main ingredients that resulted int he magic induced by Kanon’s collection. The Japanese designer delivered a strong lineup that brought a street walking vibe to the catwalk. Graphics and animal prints, as well as unraveled shapes were pieced together into a wardrobe that revisited refinery and mixed it with trendy, twisted clothing. Classic, a-line pants and vibrant undergarments were paired for a hybrid look, along with a fur, zipped coat of reds, blues and yellows with the word “liberty” boldly stated. A dynamic vibe was introduced via the draping gown with splashed reds and blues in the way we see a Pollock painting. The collection was brought together with choppy cuts and unbalanced closures, making for an amplified collection that left a dauntless, memorable effect.