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  • Writer's pictureHinton Magazine

When Contemporary Craftsmanship Meets Fashion

Feelings of deep gratitude towards Taiwanese natural resources have inspired this beautiful collaborative project, entitled ‘Contemporary Craft and Fashion Crossover.’ This showcase looked to highlight the resonance of ancient practices and materials in modern fashion. Natural elements, such as bamboo, stone and metal, have been incorporated into garments to poetically allude to the influence these more primitive materials have on modern textiles, and to expand our conception of garment construction. Plants became patterns, and the consciousness of the land was woven into the stories of the pieces. As a result, craftsmanship is no longer confined to the realm of the local artisan, but propelled onto the global fashion stage.


Photo ID: Shao Yen
Photo ID: Shao Yen

Textile artist Ya-Chu Kang X TANGTSUNGCHIEN

Artist Ya-Chu Kang and designer TANGTSUNGCHIEN communicated through their common language of fibres, coming back to raw materials as the root of everything. This collection continuously referred back to the idea that, "everything is material, and material dominates everything". The collection utilised unusual textiles and reimagined them through the eyes and hands of an artist - mixed media such as recycled materials, off cut ribbons, tapes, discarded fabrics, old sweaters and left over materials from Kang’ studio were used and combined to bring the collection to life. The result was a series of slim fitting, minimalist silhouettes of muted and simple colours which were inspired by the natural tones of the fibres.


This collaboration brought together two craftsmen with different strengths to create a collection that is unpretentious, and emphasises the true beauty and possibility of the materials used.


By reusing materials that carry a past/story, without “limitation,” there is endless “creation.”


Bamboo artist Ching Ke Lin X ALLENKO3

Collaborating with bamboo artist Ching Ke Lin, this collection focussed on the flexibility and strength of natural materials and looked to bamboo, both as a material and a symbol of innovation and adaptability.


The first work in this series, ‘Heart of Weaving,’ featured simple designs and a natural colour palette. This first piece got to the heart of this collaboration, which aimed to centre the self and create garments that are as flexible as bamboo, to accommodate the body. The final piece entitled, ‘Cloud and Mist,’ was designed to break free from the silhouette of the clothing, extending and expanding outwards.

This collection magnificently reflected a passage in time, with the series mirroring the natural life cycle of bamboo through its colour palette. The show started with lightweight looks in pale colours, such as white and beige, which gradually darkened throughout the show, moving through deep browns and greys, and finally culminating in a series of all black looks. The silhouettes of these last looks were unusual and intricately mimic the decaying, flaking nature of a dying bamboo. The incorporation of wearable bamboo sculptures, created by Ching Ke Lin, blurs the lines between fabric allusions to bamboo and bamboo itself, and allows the audience to shed preconceived notions about the wearability of materials, and the intersections of craftsmanship and contemporary art.


Stone artist Chiu Chuang-Yong X SHAO YEN

SHAO YEN presented the “RAW” series in collaboration with stone artist Chiu Chuang-Yong. Inspired by his stone sculptures, transmuted from flat stone mosaic artworks (Posi Art), this collection aimed to celebrate the beauty of stone.

The looks presented were split into three sub-categories. The first pieces featured the ingenuity of Chiu’s stone craftsmanship, manually hammering various stone materials to create a variety of textures resembling knitted fabric. The second set of looks used stone-washed denim fabric as the primary material, presenting a natural mineral-like pattern. While the last set looks cleverly manipulated plastic rope to create a fur-like appearance through the use of weaving techniques. This material was then sculpted into organic three-dimensional forms that mimicked stone formations, and echoed primordial themes.


The overriding palette of this collection was stone-grey, interspersed with splashes of bright colours inspired by minerals and gemstones. Chiu Chuang-Yong and SHAO YEN blended their crafts to highlight the conversation between natural forms and man-made materials. Starting from small grains and crushed stones, and gradually expanding to larger stone blocks - this series allows us to explore the symbiosis between our modern textiles and the most fundamental natural material, and celebrate the long-standing influence of stone.


This showcase presented six fashion designers, who worked alongside six contemporary craftsmen in creating a series of refined, elegant and thoughtful collections totalling sixty looks. Three of the collections are highlighted above.


All six designers and craftsmen are listed below:

Textile artist Ya-Chu Kang X TANGTSUNGCHIEN

Link to download high res - https://tinyurl.com/4zsucw5f

Bamboo artist Ching Ke Lin X ALLENKO3

Link to download high res - https://tinyurl.com/yz48xz9e

Fiber Weaving by Eileen Zhong X 8=D

Link to download high res - https://tinyurl.com/yk7s8jvj

Metal Craft by Sumee Su X Jamie Wei Huang

Link to download high res - https://tinyurl.com/45c6kd3m

Botanical Dyeing by Jie-Yi Lin X UUIN

Link to download high res - https://tinyurl.com/3cyjyjct

Stone artist Chiu Chuang-Yong X SHAO YEN

Link to download high res - https://tinyurl.com/4ckxdawj


For further information please visit National Taiwan Craft Research And Development Institute https://www.ntcri.gov.tw/en/




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