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  • Writer's pictureHinton Magazine

Taipei Fashion Week see’s designers deconstructing the uniforms of past generations

...and injecting them with new life and meaning.

Three brands at Taipei Fashion Week are drawing inspiration from cultural traditions, the comfort of convention, and the power of community.

Brands WooLeeX, INF, and Seivson showcased their S/S24 collections at Taipei Fashion Week this weekend. All incorporating elements of recognisable uniforms into their collections, the yearning for familiarity, routine, and community ran through two of these designers’ work, while one turned to garment construction to showcase the limitations of outdated thought.

WOO LEE X presented their new collection, entitled ‘Neighbourhood,’ on Sunday 15th October. This season, WOO LEE X created the uniforms of a utopian neighbourhood, envisioning people from diverse cultures, genders, and backgrounds living in harmony. The emphasis on embracing each other, despite our differences, and respectfully coexisting couldn’t be more deeply felt in this current moment. WOO LEE X has woven their political ideology into their garments. The colour palette of the collection mainly consisted of earthy tones, with red, browns and greens dominating, taking

inspiration from what unites us all. The silhouettes are formal, with exquisite tailoring and elegant gowns predominantly featured. The brand cleverly integrates paintings and drawings into their pieces, partnering with artist Zeng Shiyu to create a tension between the traditional silhouettes and the experimental prints, mirroring the collections’ theme which calls for unlikely neighbours to coexist in harmony.

INF also presented their S/S24 collection on Sunday October 15th, which was inspired by Taiwanese banquet culture. Traditionally, occasions such as weddings, funerals, housewarming parties, religious festivals, etc. were hosted in the form of banquets in Taiwan. Yet, with the prioritising of convenience and comfort in modern generations, these conventions have faded away. INF are honouring the sense of neighbourhood co-operation and community that this tradition represented.

INF’s S/S24 collection has incorporated the unique image of Taiwanese banquets into prints. Recognisable elements such as the round tables, red plastic chairs, and lanterns have been digitally configured and reimagined in the garment designs. The silhouettes of the pieces are inspired by traditional Taiwanese formal attire, blue and white sandals, mourning attire, and ceremonial dress, to name a few. They have deconstructed these recognisable silhouettes and added a modern layer, invoking the need for modern communities to incorporate these community based traditions into their new ways of life. INF are all about merging innovation and tradition, and this is perfectly portrayed in this collection.

Seivson presented their S/S24 collection on Saturday 14th October, with a confrontational deconstruction of the archetype of the “professional woman.” The brand, known for its focus on the diverse allure of femininity, presented a collection that destabilised misogynistic assumptions about women in the workplace with designs that merged lingerie and traditional tailoring. Seivson have, alongside INF and WOO LEE X, been inspired by tradition, however not in a positive way.

The traditional vision of women in the workplace has historically been sexualised through the male gaze. Seivson are defiantly confronting this stereotypes and reclaiming the gaze. Their S/S24 collection comprises suits, trench coats, and tailoring that are layered with “office secrets.” The secrecy element is a tongue in cheek acknowledgement of the stereotype that business women are innately provocative, with many of the pieces incorporating lacework and lingerie. The technical design work of this collection is elegant and innovative, merging lingerie, lace and tailoring seamlessly to create a powerful display of business women’s destabilising nature in male dominated work environments.

All three of these Taiwanese designers have been deeply inspired by tradition and the need for community in order to survive in a harsh world.