by Oana-Maria Moldovan
This year, Taipei Fashion Week saw a creative convergence of culture, tradition, and a challenge to outdated norms as three groundbreaking brands, WooLeeX, INF, and Seivson, unveiled their Spring/Summer 2024 collections.
These designers breathed fresh life into recognisable uniforms, drawing inspiration from past generations and infusing them with new meaning.
Their collections emphasised the yearning for familiarity, routine, and community, each in their unique way, using traditional motifs and transforming the runway into a beautiful homage of Eastern fashion.
Sevison: Deconstructing and reclaiming the archetype
On October 14th, Seivson presented a confrontational deconstruction of the traditional vision of the “professional woman”.
The brand, known so far for celebrating the diverse allure of femininity, aimed to challenge and dismantle misogynistic assumptions about women in the workplace.
Seivson's S/S 24 collection featured a fusion of lingerie and traditional tailoring, defying the historical sexualization and objectification of women in professional settings - and even the fetishization of East Asian women in general.
The collection comprised suits, trench coats, and tailored pieces layered by “office secrets” – a tongue-in-cheek reference to the stereotype of provocative businesswomen.
Many of these pieces incorporated lacework and lingerie, elegantly merging them with the already tailored clothes - stereotypical of work spaces - to create a powerful statement about women’s ability to disrupt male-dominated work environments.
Deconstructing and reclaiming two old ideas at once - the objectivization of women at work and the sexualisation of Asian women - Sevision found a way to almost mock the way women are treated, starting a larger disscusion in Taiwan’s fashion industry.
WOO LEE X: Celebrating the idea of harmony in Neighbourhood
One day after the Seivson show, on October 15th, WOO LEE X wowed the audience with their newest collection titled Neighbourhood.
This season, the brand envisioned the idea of an utopian neighbourhood where people of diverse cultures, genders, and backgrounds could live in harmony.
Neighbourhood embodied the idea of embracing one another, with all our differences, and coexisting respectfully – a message that should resonate deeply in the current global climate.
WOO LEE X wove this socio-political ideology into their garments, using a colourful palette dominated by earthy tones - like reds, browns, and greens. The silhouettes were formal, featuring exquisite tailoring and elegant gowns.
Notably, the brand partnered with artist Zeng Shiyu to incorporate paintings and drawings into their pieces, creating a unique tension between traditional silhouettes and experimental prints.
WOO LEE X’ collaboration with Zeng Shiyu mirrored the collection’s core theme: calling for unlikely neighbours to coexist in harmony.
INF: Reviving banquet culture for the more modern times
On the same day as WOO LEE X, another brand, INF presented their Spring/Summer 2024 collection, which drew inspiration from Taiwan's rich banquet culture.
It’s important to understand here the historical ramifications of this idea. Traditionally, Taiwanese banquets marked significant, more formal events - like weddings, funerals, birthdays and so on - embodying a sense of community and cooperation.
The brand sought to honour this tradition and the value it represented in the Taiwanese community for so long.
In INF's S/S 24 collection, elements of Taiwanese banquets, including round tables, red plastic chairs, and lanterns, were digitally reimagined and incorporated into the garment designs.
The silhouettes of the pieces were inspired by traditional Taiwanese formal attire, and they masterfully deconstructed the recognizable attires by blending them with modern layers.
This collection gorgeously represented the need for today’s people to reintegrate community-based traditions into contemporary living, merging innovation and tradition. INF has succeeded in showing the beauty of remembering one’s culture.
All three Taiwanese designers, WooLeeX, INF, and Seivson, drew inspiration from tradition and the necessity of talking about people, about communities, about everyday life and the idea of navigating a complex world.
Their collections at Taipei Fashion Week served as a testament to the power of fashion to challenge norms, celebrate diversity, and inject new life and meaning into the uniforms of past generations. In doing so, they have not only showcased their design prowess but also opened a dialogue on societal change and progress.
We are nothing without traditions and history, but we can choose the ways to showcase them.