SHIATZY CHEN unveiled Whisper In The Threads, its first exhibition outside stores, at Huashan 1914 Creative Park. The opening ceremony gathered many prominent media and valued guests from local and abroad, including brand devotee actress Ruby Lin and supermodel Sui He, who appeared in support dressed with SHIATZY CHEN’s 2019 pre-fall collections. This exhibition was assisted by Taipei City Office of Commerce and Department of Economic Development in an attempt to help the public appreciate the brand’s passion and vision toward clothing from an artistic and cultural perspective.
Couture is a work of art that reflects people’s adaptation of nature, the society’s culture, as well as an expression of artistic preference. Fashion design, on the other hand, is a process of developing garments that involves continuous questioning, response, attempt, introspect and challenge. From the choice of materials to the fine-tuning of colors, outline and body silhouette, fashion designers materialize their imaginations and present the dimensions of garment through needles and threads, and in doing so create the couture culture known to us today.
For the first time in 41 years, SHIATZY CHEN is hosting an exhibition outside its premise. What visitors will find here are intellectual and emotional connections with the works of art. Upon entering the introductory section, visitors are first greeted by Design Director Tsai-hsia Chen and a presentation of her sentiment towards garment and family in the form of “Installation art.” The section that follows showcases “Baby Carrier,” a garment of the Miao culture that represents family legacy, and the harness-like design symbolizes birth, prosperity of family, and life. The baby carrier wraps firmly around the wearer, whereas the tie symbolizes the umbilical cord that connects mother to the child. Using modern materials and simplistic lines, SHIATZY CHEN transforms the idea of guardianship and family connection into a harness through an approach that brings structural contrast and tension to the overall appearance.
The section – “Red, Black & Silver Accessories” presents a higher degree of visual contrast. The exaggerated neck piece is inspired by Miao people’s prolonged history of wearing silver accessories around the neck, which is believed to carry good luck and ancestral patronage. Silver accessories of the Miao people are complex and extravagant, as it is part of their culture to decorate themselves with silver where possible, and neck accessories are the most distinguished of all. Inspired by this visual style, the designer uses handcrafted lace and the multi-layer pleating technique to produce a visually striking set of neck piece, dress and coat. The combination of red and black colors brings visual tension to the overall appearance.
The next section – ” Plum Blossom” features a floral theme that temporarily disconnects visitors from reality. Garments in this section are inspired by plum blossoms and carry the brand’s classical Chinesestyle outline with a hint of Baroque art. Featuring the use of fine materials including jacquard, glitter and organza, mastery of exquisite craftsmanship such as leather carving, laser cutting and embroidery, and decoration with stylized buttons, the designer presents the blossoming and many faces of plum.
There are stories behind every one of SHIATZY CHEN’s seasonal patterns, and in the Miao culture, the pattern carries greater meaning than the accessories, for it conveys the perceived universe, the culture and social belief of the Miao people. Embroidery has long been an essential part of SHIATZY CHEN; it is the means through which the brand expresses sentiment on various themes, and a technique that is constantly improved over time. The section – Patterns & Embroidery introduces visitors to the various embroidery techniques that the brand has adopted to create complex patterns for the collection, and to present the Miao culture unlike anyway the world has seen.
The elegant “Gowns” section is the highlight of this exhibition. Incorporating translucent materials, lace and glitters with sophisticated techniques such as multi-layer stacking and ruffle, the gowns carry elements of royal-style skirt, Chinese-style stand collar, and outlines inspired by baby carriers. They are cut precisely to emphasize the most attractive feminine physique in formal occasions.
Fashion design is the materialization of ideas and thoughts, and involves contemplation of the most minute details. For the first time in history, SHIATZY CHEN organizes a “Design Drawing” section to introduce its audience to the designers, the workshop, and all people who have participated in or contributed to the design of garments. These drawings not only convey concepts, ideas and sentiment in the abstract form, but also bear witness to the extensive time, efforts and passion into making the final design. The exhibition also has an interactive section where visitors are invited to pencil-color their own manuscripts and create their unique design.
With fashion show, video projection, installation art and original hand-drawn scripts, SHIATZY CHEN invites the audience to appreciate the beauty of garments and the ever-evolving spirit of the fashion industry.
May 10 – May 19 11am -8pm free admission
7A&7B Hall, Huashan 1914 Creative Park, No. 1, Section 1, Bade Road, Taipei City