Taipei Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2024 began on October 11, 2023, with a vibrant opening show with a youth culture theme. 16 brands from established to up-and-coming designers participated in this season’s 7-day event held from October 11 to 17. The best of Taiwanese fashion design was introduced to the world with the latest trends. Each designer reflected Taipei’s rich and diverse culture in their collections by exploring themes such as AI, fantasy, daily life, and sustainability.
In this article, OSF picks out six of the most notable fashion designers and brings you the features of their latest collections.
IRENSENSE’s brand philosophy is to imagine joy and artistry by blending the vision and perception of life with a sober attitude toward life and the sophisticated contours of fashion. Each season, the brand’s collections express the freedom and individuality to break out of the norm, outside of set limits and boundaries.
IRENSENSE designer TSENG YAN-WEI studied fashion design at Taiwan’s prestigious Shih Chien University, where he graduated third in his experimental group. He had also exhibited at NEW ORDER OF FASHION and was nominated for the Taiwan Golden Pin Design Award. In 2019, he participated in the TOKYO NEW DESIGNER FASHION GRAND PRIX and won the award of excellence. The following year, in 2020, he launched IRENSENSE.
The theme of the IRENSENSE Spring/Summer 2012 collection is “Vision,” which shares the meaning of foresight, imagination, and dreams. The inspiration comes from the movie version of “Alice in Wonderland,” a fairy tale version of the poker garden that appears in the story. The collection was also shown ahead of time at Rakuten Fashion Week Tokyo in September.
On the runway, many different materials were combined in a number of looks, as if Alice’s magical world and the girl’s imagination were blended into reality. Many of the looks utilized knitwear with light, transparent knits and colorful floral crocheted tops creating a spring-like feel. There was also a style in which knit cardigans were twisted over shirts and jackets and hung over the shoulder, giving a good amount of ease to the formal look. Other details, such as soft shades of powder blue and cream, sheer men’s blouses, bold cut-out deconstructed jackets, and soft layered dresses in tulle, showed an airy comfort and “free spirit” in each detail.
The show projects Alice, who was terrified in Wonderland, eventually overcoming her fears and carving out her own unique path in life. This importance of self-acceptance was a metaphor for the message that IRENSENSE wants to convey to everyone through its collections.
The Spring/Summer 2024 collection presented by JENN LEE was energetic and full of rock and punk mentality. The designer aimed to create a paradise where you can express yourself in a bold and natural way, embodying the brand’s core concept of “be happy and play hard.”
The jackets and skirts made from a combination of various prints and materials were impressive with edgy designs that could be worn as a single statement item. Basically, the bottoms and skirts of most of the looks were also finished with cut-off hems, to which London boots and weighty hardware jewelry were added to create a more intense impression.
In the middle of the show, white pants, skirts, and dresses with red mesh fabric appeared, giving the impression as if they were smeared with blood. The color contrast created a provocative image.
It should also be noted that a pregnant model was chosen for the runway, which is another notable aspect in understanding the intent of the collection’s concept in depth.
JENN LEE used organic techniques such as ironing fabrics to create natural wrinkles and using rusted bicycle chains to dye fabrics. The collection was created from 80% craft expression and 20% beautiful coincidence, creating endless possibilities.
Following the opening show on October 11, oqLiq presented its latest collection on a solo runway on October 14. The theme for this season was “Diffusion,” inspired by the potential diffusion model of AI-generated art. In the collection, the scientific concepts of disassembly, reassembly, repair, and balance are explored through the design process. The brand embraces the concept of “transcending individual attachments and dissipating the boundaries of the self into infinite existence through Diffusion.”
The Spring/Summer 2024 collection showcased wearable athleisure wear using the brand’s signature high-performance fabrics, in addition to the “Comic” series incorporating two-dimensional, hand-drawn elements that were shown at the opening show.
The show began with earth-toned outfits and progressed with pleasant live city pop music. Designs included deconstructed insect wings in a cyborg-like style, as well as bionic and robotic elements indicative of contemporary functional apparel design. The silhouettes of these dresses, jackets, and pants were accompanied by a sense of three-dimensionality and weight, clearly showing the benefits of high-quality, durable fabrics. The wire accessories adorned on the head and on the chest were a perfect blend of the simplicity of the brand’s clothing and complemented its sophistication.
The middle part of the show featured a lineup of designs reminiscent of school and sports uniforms. Arm warmers and loose socks were combined with the school uniform look, and the sporty look that followed featured wide baseball-inspired pants and basketball shorts.
The final part of the show featured a relaxed yet sophisticated all-black look. Kimono-style shirts with one-touch buckles on the front were a modern cross between athletic elements and oriental style.
The “Comic” series, also shown at the opening show, was a collaboration between Taiwanese contemporary artist COWPER WANG and comic artist Eli Lin. The artists incorporated hand-drawn elements that make the three-dimensional style appear two-dimensional.
RAY CHU is known for breaking traditional conventions with its unique and individualistic designs, emphasizing material selection and environmental consciousness. Through its designs, the brand aims to convey a fashion philosophy that upholds both beauty and responsibility.
The Spring/Summer 2024 collection woven by RAY CHU beautifully reflects sophisticated creativity in soft colors based on a palette of soft blues and sandy whites. It was reportedly inspired by the sea, with the enigmatic “manta ray” at the center of the collection, incorporating the spirit of marine ecology and courage into the designs.
In the past few years, RAY CHU’s spring/summer collections have used soft colors and unique items, and this time, the keyword “sophistication” seems to have been strongly added to them.
The first look of the show was a combination of a solid black bra top and wide white pants. The back of the bra top has a long bow that hangs gracefully down to the ankles. Models arranged their pointed hairstyles like two horns, creating an urban and ardent impression.
The collection also featured many jacket styles, with a variety of designs with different personalities that caught the eye. Elegant tailored jackets with equestrian-inspired elements featured cleverly placed belts at the waist for a classy look. Cream-colored suit jackets were oversized and offered a relaxed fit, while cropped jackets with bold cut-outs expressed a novel style.
On the runway, the collection’s inspiration, the “manta ray,” was printed on a simple tank top and worn with a micro mini skirt and a long powder blue skirt. Models adorned their eyes with smoky eye makeup, which matched their pointed, horn-like hairstyles, giving the impression that they were wearing goggles.
The brand said that in order to achieve higher sustainability goals, 80% of this season’s fabrics were made of natural materials. The designers collaborated with a Taiwanese manufacturer to develop a fabric with a texture similar to fish scales and used the latest biodegradable polyester fibers. By seamlessly blending inspiration from the ocean with conscious design, the collection is a beautiful and strong homage to the beauty of the sea.
Led by Tzu Chin Shen, Seivson presented its latest collection inspired by the urban working women with the brand’s philosophy of “looking at life with a flipped angle.”
The show begins with one female model appearing in underwear in a darkened venue. Two women then appear and dress the model in clothes. The clothed model poses in the spotlight. The theme of the collection, which begins with such a setup, was “dignified women working in the office.”
The brand had been appealing to the attractiveness and strength of women in various forms each season, and this season’s collection was like a battle suit for modern women who work and fight against various things on a daily basis.
The collection showcased unique suits and trench coats that highlighted special stripe-cutting techniques and the brand’s signature cut-out, deconstructed, and multi-layered designs. Short dresses, harness-style tops, and tight skirts that reinterpreted trench coats were made of firm fabrics and constructed into tight silhouettes that clearly accentuated the curves of the body. The contrast between the visible and invisible parts of women’s clothing reproduced an exquisite balance, revealing the sensual and mysterious side that lurks behind the cool and resolute figures that women usually display.
The striped pleats at the center of the blouse, on the skirt of the dress, and on the gilet were inspired by the “shredder” used to hide confidential information in the office. The light pleats expressed in sheer material added a feminine and delicate impression.
Tzu Chin Shen, the brand’s creative director, is a high-profile designer who was introduced on U.S. Vogue magazine as a new generation of designers in June 2021 from 27 countries around the world. After being selected as one of the top 6 emerging designers in Asia by the Ministry of Culture of Taiwan for two consecutive years, her talent has expanded beyond Taiwan to New York and Tokyo. This season, she was voted No. 1 in the “T-1 Grand Prix,” a readers’ poll to determine the top brand of Rakuten Fashion Week Tokyo, published by WWD JAPAN DIGITAL.
Shen’s collection beautifully reflects the unique perspective of a female designer and her superb technical skills, and realistically expresses the lifestyles of women who wear Seivson.
WANGLILING’s Spring/Summer 2024 collection “Glorious Tree Series” was created in collaboration with renowned Japanese manga artist Junji Ito. It was inspired by Ito’s signature horror manga “Blood-bubble Bushes” and the upcoming Taiwanese drama “Bloody Smart”. This collection, a tribute to iconic comic book stories and characters, was a perfect blend of two-dimensional artistry and WANGLILING’s brand identity.
The opening began with a strange production of red balls of blood wriggling together, and the first chapter featured an avant-garde collection of Barbie pinks accompanied by violin music. The star of the show was the ribbon. Every piece featured ribbon motifs, including a dress with a giant ribbon attached to the back like a feather and a bralette in the shape of a ribbon.
The second part of the event shifted to a darker atmosphere with black as the base color. The countless beads attached to the dress represent the balls of blood in “Blood-bubble Bushes,” and the silhouette of the dress is shaped like a cephalopod. Unique dresses with rounded volumes and curved silhouette sleeves from shoulders to arms also caught the eye.
In the middle of the show, projection mapping took a technological and futuristic approach, projecting various patterns and cartoon characters onto the models’ bodies.
The second half of the show featured printed shirts with blood-red patterns, transparent turtleneck tops, and jet-black red dresses that looked eccentric.
The finale of the large collection consisted of a model dressed in a huge cape. A headpiece reminiscent of a tree was attached to the head, and the cape featured a large depiction of the “Blood-bubble Bushes” characters.
WANGLILIG’s Spring/Summer 2024 collection was an artistic sublimation of Ito’s strange and introspective worldview and its successful integration into fashion design. It also shows a deep respect for stories and characters, expressing the two-dimensional aesthetic world in all its detail through the use of light and shadow techniques.
In addition, the designer said the pieces were created using sustainable fabric innovations and advanced craftsmanship to convey an ideology of sustainability. The brand seeks to communicate the values of sustainability while providing a visual feast.