Given we at Temper do lie, cheat, but don’t steal, it took us a fortnight to figure out who at Shanghai Fashion Week (SFW) presented a SS20 collection worthy of a Temper Tasty title. And boy, do we have some “put a spell on us” piquancy for you. Pungent in their precision, sharp in their edge and biting in their aftertaste… Check out the Temper Top Ten SFW Tasties!
Surreal sports tech couture brand WINDOWSEN in 2019 first saw the light of page spreads across multiple notable fashion publications. The brainchild of Antwerp Royal Academy of Fine Arts graduate SENSEN LII, this creative “contingency” combines traditional womens-couture and mens-sportswear, positioning itself right on the crossroads between both.
This designer dares to pair. Voluminous tulle with sporty drawstrings and platform trainers, or hyper-colors mixed with striped patterns. Theatrical, alienesque silhouettes transport the collection to a place of fantasy, located deep within the imagination, outside of the real world. “I have always liked futuristic elements, sci-fi movies, computer games, and 3D stereoscopic images,” the designer in 2018 told Dazed Digital when asked about his aesthetic. “Plus the dramatic silhouettes of Leigh Bowery.”
Through his re-creation and re-combination, LII exposes the sheer lack of boundaries between gender, promotes fashion re-direction, and proves that garments, or style, possess no sexual identity. The ultimate Gender Bender, this is.
2. I Am Chen
Designer Zhi Chen presents her young-at-heart audience with the all-knitwear label I Am Chen which manipulates the loops of its yarn to convey the more light-hearted side of the otherwise patchouli-heavy knitwear spirit. In a fashion climate — get it, get it? — obsessed with commixing the cloth and the solemnly conceptual, Chen turns to the bright playfulness radiating from the artworks of Alexander Calder and David Hockney.
On the technical side, I Am Chen consistently investigates the capabilities of various knitting machines. Working with world-class technicians, Chen aims to challenge the definition of knitting by tapping into the unbridled potential of advanced machinery, applying state-of-art techniques and using unconventional yarns. Inevitably linked to grandma’s fingers and the sound of tick-tacking knitting needles, I Am Chen does, in fact, minimize the human touch to its knitwear designs, simply because man cannot compete with the precision and efficiency of machine. Deus Ex Machina — the next level.
3. Leaf Xia Studio
New York-based Leaf Xia graduated from Parsons the New School of Design in 2015, obtaining a BFA in womenswear. Specializing in Collage, Xia uses this artistic medium — making a major splash right now, we might add — as a tool to express her inimitable designer intent.
Often featuring oversized shapes with colorfully collaged — a floral, bouquet-like visual explosion, in that Siren seducing way — silhouettes that play on the classics, Xia’s collage techniques, and bonded fabrics, allow for Xia’s work to boast an unconventional — one that is tout de suite tell-tale Xia tempting — yet sporty wearability. Chanel No. 5.1, so to speak.
4. FFIXXED Studios
A brand that draws on natural fibers to make their clothes, is collaborative mens- and womenswear FFIXXED Studios. Originally coming into being in 2010 through the combined thoughts and efforts of Australian creative directors Fiona Lau and Kain Picke, these Cocos currently base themselves between Hong Kong and Shenzhen. Their designs are not only sustainable but can be worn in multiple ways.
A dress can be doubled into a skirt by folding it down, its straps worn across the body or lying flat on the sides. The choice is yours. The label describes itself as “ready to wear,” with the designs oozing laid back, oft oversized, casual and simple vibes, perfect for an everyday (to night) look. One that will stand the test of time. Mighty Miyake, it is.
5. Ming Ma Studio
6. Ximon Lee
XIMONLEE put on quite the intergalactic SS20 show over at Shanghai Fashion Week platform LABELHOOD. Putting to the best use both installation and moving presentations, Lee managed to manufacture a multi-channel story touching upon re-conscious restoration and poetic symbolism.
Framed by a chandelier-like installation of surveillance cameras, Lee’s SS20 collection explores the concept of “self-consciousness” and menswear staples. Defined by right-angled forms and relaxed fits that challenge the confines of traditional silhouettes, the garments contained other defining elements, including displaced sartorial details such as front-placed rear-style pockets, elongated waist belts, and collar-scarf elements.
Standouts include a double-breasted silk satin blazer, iridescent crushed velvet suits and a take on Reebok‘s DMX Trail Hydrex sneaker. The collaborative sneaker features a trail-inspired outsole paired with a functional water boot upper in vibrant colorways.
7. SHUTING QIU
Another Antwerp Royal Academy of Fine Arts graduate, we find! Shuting Qiu‘s extravagant, exuberant, rampantly rich creations have since her graduation from that distinguished establishment not too long ago been splashed across the pages of media-who-matter outlets, including Harper’s Bazaar China, Marie Claire, and ELLE België, and came in No.1 at the VFiles Runway 10, marking her runway debut during New York Fashion Week in Spring 2019.
Currently based in Antwerp, Belgium, the Chinese-born designer is set to show at Milan Fashion Week in Spring 2020. Her eponymous brand, SHUTING QIU was established in 2018, putting forward a signature sense of femininity that features a “modern romantic” woman, i.e. a woman who is powerful and independent (why, hello there, shoulders!) yet always maintains her soft and romantic identity (back to the bouquets, we go).
The SHUTING QIU woman dares to express herself through asymmetry and experimentation in silhouette, often resulting in a wealth of contrasting colors and silk jacquards, intricate embroidery, WOW-hitting floral top notes, and power packing prints. It’s a major Temper Tasty Delight. Just remember… Don’t gild the lily.
8. Atelier Rouge Pékin | Well, Ty’s Grocery
‘Twas the story of that ultimate double date ditch. We came for the eye-enticing, high-fashionably devourable designs, watch our boi Dani’s interview with Atelier Rouge Pékin’s (ARP) Founding Mother PJ right here, but we left with the eye-stabbing, stomach-churned-by-butterflies accessories. By Ty’s Grocery.
ARP to a great extent is the manifestation of that sweltering China Fashion fieriness. With their first look-book shot by the late and great photographer Ren Hang alone, this one most definitely knows how to fire off a few avant-garde flares creating some Rouge heat to capitalize on. Their SS20 “Shelled Soul” series seizes the human sense of solitude — Rémi gets Radical, sorta — and takes it for an embracing spin through a collective composition including linens, a humble unpretentious undertone of sexuality (why, hello there, high slit!) and some tight tailoring across the line. Polished off with that OG oversized accessorizing. In red, we trust.
9. BAN XIAOXUE
BAN XIAOXUE both respects and advocates nature. On the one hand, the brand features clothes in their most natural state; on the other hand, the brand likewise employs people in their primal, natural state. BAN XIAOXUE always regards nature as a belief, maintaining the initial silence and softness, uncovering the origins of the Self as well as the origins of life, and realizing the current consciousness and balance between “searching for” and “return to.”
These creations feel and listen to culture, philosophy, and aesthetics from every corner in the world, uncover unintentional beauty, use the power of nature to establish harmony, and share the love and emotions accumulated by time and memory.
Established in 2010, ROARINGWILD focuses on the in-depth conception of details, creating a greater product system through flexible designing techniques and expressing products in multiple dimensions. It is a streetwear brand based on urban street style. At the same time, the brand offers a platform dedicated to the creation and dissemination of local new youth culture in the fields of life, art, and music.
The brand is more like a forerunner, adhering to the life philosophy of street culture, and encouraging young people to express their own opinions through the attitude of “ROAR.” The designers consider social issues from dialectical perspectives, with their clothing regarded as a carrier to create the life attitude that belongs to the new generation. China’s New Youth. Hear them ROAR!
Aromatic, pervasive and spicy. The New Made In China…
The New Opium (YSL) for the People, it is.
FEATURED IMAGE COMES COURTESY OF WINDOWSEN BY DESIGNER SENSEN LII, SS20, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
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After tackling Beijing for some six years where she worked for China International Publishing Group, she spent a moment in time moseying down steep alleyways and writing about their fashionable and underground features in Hong Kong.
Van Paridon most recently managed to claw her way through a Europe-based academic endeavor called "Journalism". 'Tis in such fashion that she has now turned her lust for China Fashion/ Lifestyle and Underground into a full time occupation.
Van Paridon hunts down the latest in Chinese menswear, women’s clothing, designer newbies, established names, changes in the nation’s street scenery, close-ups of particular trends presently at play or of historical socio-cultural value in Chinaplus a selection of budding photographers.
Paired with a deep devotion to China’s urban underground scene, van Paridon holds a particular interest in the topics of androgyny, the exploration of individuality and the power that is the Key Opinion Leader (the local term for “influencers”) in contemporary China.
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