By: Isiah S Magsino
I wanted to take the time to fully ingest last night’s festivities before regurgitating my experiences with you all effectively. Taking place at the fashion-favorite Spring Studios, ICY presented “Dynasty”-- a compilation of four female Asian designers.
It was… a lot. Altogether, the show lasted almost forty-five minutes, and the combination of letters and numbers seemed to not even matter as I was escorted to a new, maybe even better, seat. Point being, I was tired, the show was at 8pm and I was hoping that the whole shabang wouldn’t last more than fifteen minutes.
Though this obviously wasn’t the case, there has to be something said about the powerful tone of female asian empowerment spearheaded by the four featured designers: Hiuman Chau of HIUMAN; YiQi (Leaf) Xia of LEAF XIA; Fengyi Tan of FENGYI TAN; and Eva Xu of ALL COMES FROM NOTHING.
Despite the lengthy event, I found the whole collective to be extremely inspiring. This year, asian creatives have been fighting for representation in their specified fields, and to see asian women-- a demographic that has been framed as docile and submissive for so long-- champion designs that celebrate asian culture fully is something worth clapping for.
HIUMAN set off the event with a sort of elegance oftentimes found in asian culture and dress.The collection, an homage to contemporary designs and the Qin dynasty’s costume practices, consisted of loose, drapey shapes that were reminiscent of my fashion choices during my time in Indonesia.
Emphasizing the younger, eccentric side of asian youth, LEAF XIA, presented a collection filled with mostly fierce walks, brightly colored asymmetric garments, metallic shoes and pinned up hair. Despite some of the model’s difficulty walking in their heels (seen in a few staggered walks and loose straps), I had so much fun watching this collection. All I thought was, “What Kpop star wouldn’t wear this stuff?”
To break away from the Kpop concert before, FENGYI TAN brought the audience back to a place of serenity with her Song Dynasty inspired vision. Emphasizing a crisp undertone in the collection, the models wore a selection of geometrically cut knits while walking to a soundtrack of only clap beats.
For the finale, ALL COMES FROM NOTHING began her collection with a top embroidered with “TAKE ME TO SHANGHAI.” Though I was initially skeptical about this Moschino-esque moment, I grew to love the rest of the presentation because of her use of silks. I, being obsessed with silk in the warmer months, admired the mixing and draping involved. Whenever I see a show, I always ask the question: “When and where would I wear this?” The collection was not only wearable, but also versatile. Two attributes that are extremely vital to the business side of any label.
Overall, I want to connect back to my point made earlier: Asian Women. Naturally, I liked some shows more than the other (more so because of personal preference), but I’m happy that ICY served as an effective platform to showcase a celebration of asian culture and asian women. I appreciated the designs individually, but collectively, the show reigned successful as it celebrated asian history without diluting it with Western Aesthetics.