The Fashion Week as such extended over larger dimensions, both in terms of time and space. The opening show was held in the distant city of Tainan at the Nankunshen Daitian Temple, and the shows were generously spread out over 2 weeks – the last one was clearly separated from the previous ones. This may be due to various internal inconsistencies or in the end not very practical for international visitors who need to get a good overview in a short time frame. Nevertheless, this is exactly what Taipei Fashion Week wanted to show: the abundance of diversity and, above all, infrastructure of working fashion locations.
Particularly impressive for someone who is more accustomed to markets characterised by individualists who like to get their elbows out due to increased competitive pressure: Taipei Fashion Week consistently produced exciting collectives. At the opening show, the seven labels each integrated various traditional art performances into their staging and designs; at the New Breed show, the youngest talents as well as the various fashion schools presented together; for the Taipei Sustainable Collection show, six sustainable fashion brands were brought in cooperation with eight Taiwanese textile manufacturers to develop eco-friendly fabrics that were then incorporated into the collections shown, or labels that worked together on a collection. But even when the designers performed alone, the idea of collective work was not absent – often the teams all came on stage for the finale.
With a few exceptions, such as show pieces or experimental works by students, the collections shown were very wearable. I got the impression that people were still quite cautious about switching from functional clothing, where they are as confident as they are strong, to groundbreaking fashion. However, some of the labels existed before Taipei Fashion Week and especially its newer alignment. So, you could argue about the chicken and egg problem, whether function-oriented practical clothing in different climatic zones possibly has a completely different value or just that the fashion shown was sometimes simple, but just right!
In my opinion, you need to attend it in person to fully understand Taipei Fashion Week as well as the work. The fashion scene acting in unison, coupled with a hospitality that is consistently overwhelming is difficult to describe, it must be experienced first-hand. This is not to say that the collections cannot be bought in other markets as a matter of course, without ever having been a guest of a fashion show. Nevertheless, it is important to be able to understand this still quite young Fashion Week and to turn a blind eye at one point or another, so that something is not nipped in the bud, which must still grow and find itself in some instances.
The fashion bubble here is on a very high level and does not have to hide in any – even the design does not need to change in my opinion. Challenges that are far more significant are of a linguistic nature, which is elementary for business relationships. But even here, I am convinced that these smaller sympathetic obstacles will soon be solved. I am very much looking forward to the next edition already – hopefully we'll get press releases in English. So, what were the highlights of Taipei Fashion Week?