Saturday, July 30, 2005

Taiwan July/August

Back in Taipei from Beijing, I had to face several disasters of a non-fashion nature. A typhoon raging through town - you read about that in my "Gucci Misery" posting - a total computer breakdown, and a camera breakdown. The typhoon is gone, and I'm still working on the computer and camera nightmares. As sympathetic readers pointed out, this blog could do with pictures, and that will be my priority for August once all the technical problems have been worked out. Fortunately, Taipei has a major computer expo this weekend, so this will help me a lot.
Taiwan fashion in late July? The island's top design house Shiatzy Chen presented its collections for Autumn/Winter 2005, and both Patty Hou in her TVBS fashion report and the Taiwan News in its Saturday fashion pages paid attention to the event. Shiatzy Chen is famous for its clothes inspired by traditional Chinese styles, and its exalted position in Taiwan's fashion scene is made clear by the location of its main boutique - between the unfortunate Gucci and the reconstructed Louis Vuitton on the toniest part of Chungshan North Road.
The new collection went beyond the Asian styles to reach back to the 1950s - Hou mentioned Audrey Hepburn as an inspiration for the women's clothes. High waistlines reflected the trend prevalent at Europe's autumn/winter fashion events.
The show also marked the first time that Shiatzy Chen presented shoes and bags, after remarks from customers that they couldn't find the right attributes to match the clothes. A dark green bag in crocodile leather was the main attention-catcher at the show, with the same color also evident in many of the coats, dresses and shirts.
On TVBS, Hou also mentioned the introduction in Taiwan of pop star Gwen Stefani's LAMB collection of athletic garb.
Looking ahead to August, apart from trying to fixing the problems mentioned above, the course on brands I am taking at the Eslite Book Store has - as I expected - been politely asked not to take its students on a visit to Gucci after the typhoon burglary there. Since the new Louis Vuitton close by has not been completed yet, the Eslite course has decided to have us go on a tour of stores at Taipei 101. The most recent class, by the way, discussed the craze for exclusive bags, with Balenciaga's motorcycle bag as an example. In one of my next postings, I will also discuss a Taiwanese magazine I bought this week, "Brand."


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