PARIS, Mar 23, 2009 / FW/ — An all white venue with red light to give it a warm tint, designer Shiatzy Chen tapped into the legendary Silk Road that literally changed the whole world.
An extensive interconnected network of trade routes across the Asian continent connecting East, South, and Western Asia with the Mediterranean world, including North Africa and Europe, the Silk Road was not only conduits for silk, but also for many other products. The routes that made up the Silk Road were very important paths for cultural and technological transmission by linking traders, merchants, pilgrims, missionaries, soldiers, nomads and urban dwellers between China, India, Persia and Mediterranean countries for over two thousand years.
That Shiatzy Chen entitled her collection, ‘The Road of the Poetic’ wherein the press notes itself was a poem written like a sonnet, is a sure sign that the Taiwanese designer sees fashion as art and a journey toward perfection.
With the Shiatzy Chen label being synonymous with luxury in her native Taiwan, Chen’s use of Chinese aesthetics and Chinese handcrafting techniques is not surprising, even expected. And for Fall 2009, Shiatzy Chen more than lived up to that promise sending modernistic clothing based on traditional Tang dynasty garments with European touches.
Capri-length Chino trousers were paired with a tunic-based on a round collar robe; the Qing dynasty Prince robes was turned into an orange red winter coat with exquisite embroidery; and the traditional Chinese peasant tunic became the basis of a purple leather coat.
Shiatzy Chen reminded us of the true heritage of Chinese aesthetics and the Silk Road, though it is now just part or history, continues to be a conduit of spreading Chinese fashion and beauty.
Photos by Thomas Barnes