Shiatzy Chen’s designer Madame Wang mentioned in the show’s preview that the collection was about Chinese Miao culture and the Year of the Dragon. But there was a not a literally Chinese look in sight at the show; the inspirations had been diffused and the ‘‘global’’ vision that Wang had talked about was apparent. It was a modern collection rich with details and fine Chinese silks.
Miniskirts came in A-line shapes, pleated cheerleader like skirts, roundish fur ball styles, and even as a pseudo-wraparound. In Miao brocade or a red fabric with beads, the look was flirty, and felt luxurious, something that had been missing in many shows of the season. There was a clear message here, one that Madame Wang had touched on in the interview before the show. ‘‘The clothes are expensive,’’ she had said; they looked it too. She justified with this collection why a consumer buys Shiatzy Chen, and why she says the brand is ‘‘luxury fashion’’.
Fur cuffs completed a simple but beautiful caramel-slash-rust silk coat; it had pleats on the breast that curved slightly to the side of the body. A yellow trapeze coat contained embroidered flowers and graphic lines in a similar brown-rust colour, which was also used as an accent on a shantung deep-sea blue dress. The continuum of colour gave the collection a lovely flow, even as the show was not lovely per se; instead, it was upbeat. A black baby doll shaped pleated dress was the only look that bordered on edgy, but with its swingy form and short skirt it felt as if it was made for a young woman whose wardrobe, while including pieces to express other parts of herself, was mostly a collection of unfussy pieces with simple accents. Its persona: Serena Van der Woodsen, Gossip Girl’s free-spirited maiden.
The fur stoles styled with the leggy looks could also have been (aptly) matched with the show’s glamorous gowns. In these dresses, Madame Wang’s Mademoiselles became mesdames commanding to be the (very feminine) centre of attention.
-Ria de Borja