It’s back! Taipei Fashion Week returned this month, showcasing Spring Summer ’23 collections via a themed group opening show that followed the theme, CrossLab: Dialogue Between Indigenous Art and Fashion.
The event saw five designers collaborate with five artisans, each skilled in their respective traditional crafts. Bringing together 50 unique pieces which were presented in a live runway show, the project sought to explore the intersection of fashion and human connection—particularly in how identity is shaped as we pass down both clothing and the knowledge of various crafts and techniques from one generation to another.
The five designers who took part were Bob Jian, McFly Chao, Chia-Hung Su, Justin Chou, and Shao-Yen Chen. Each talent worked with indigenous masters, such as weavers, to create pieces that reinterpreted traditional ideals for the modern day. The venture was also an important initiative when it comes to spotlighting and preserving rapidly disappearing skills. For example, Shao-Yen partnered with artisan Zaqong to feature exclusive banana silk weaving of the Kavalan people. Among the 16 indigenous communities in Taiwan, only the Kavalan people are versed in this special type of weaving, which was traditionally reserved for nobles.
Meanwhile, DYCTEAM collaborated with Seta Bakan, one of the most respected weavers among the modern Seediq people. JUST IN XX imagined street wear for the future with the help of Ljavaus, a preserver of the traditional craft of Paiwan Kinavatjesan embroidery. Models were also cast from the various indigenous communities, and music was produced by indigenous musician,Abao. And while the show undoubtedly celebrated the past and tradition, the future was also present—with the integration of VR visual sets.
In a release, Minister of Culture Lee Yung-Te said: “The opening show focuses on exploring the innovative possibilities of the treasured crafts of the Taiwanese indigenous communities, and transforming the national treasure craft into new inspiration for fashion design. I hope that through the translation of these contemporary fashion designers, classic weaving crafts can enter our daily wardrobe.”
Taipei Fashion Week will continue through October 28; to learn more about this season’s runway collections, head to tpefw.com. See below for some highlights of the opening show!