iD International Emerging Designer Awards 2021: Meet Your 43 Finalists

Viva is proud to announce the talented designers sharing their perspectives through their designs for this year's coveted fashion design showcase

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CINDY ALHADEFF & MARTINA PAVIA

Country: Argentina

Cindy and Martina’s collection is a curious hybridisation. It’s partly nomadic, partly high-octane everyday wear that sees PVC meet mesh and leather. A shiny, neon-pink vest, worn over a white blouse, has long, detachable pockets that drape down as if the front of a dress; a blue coat, angular yet full of volume, references the Argentinian gaucho, the nation’s itinerant horsemen. That these garments are multifunctional, designed to be unzipped and unbuttoned, rolled up and reconfigured, speaks to the duo’s knack for creating clothes that walk the line between sportswear and utilitarian chic.

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KERRY BRACK

Country: Australia

Inspired by American surrealist poet and painter Kay Sage, known most for her austere architectural paintings, Kerry’s clothes drape and coil, like textile ouroboros, endlessly meeting themselves. Made entirely from waste (though you’d never know that just looking at their elegant form), each piece in this collection, called ‘Objet Trouve’, is a genderless object, less a garment that signifies masculinity or femininity and more an avant garde silhouette.

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GEORGE BORRIE

Country: New Zealand

Cast in plaid and an easy air, George’s Muse collection is a tribute to his late brother William, who lost his battle with depression in 2010. There’s a degree of defiance here — a deliberate move to mirror William’s penchant for skinny jeans and untucked tees — and a flamboyance modeled on one of his favourite singers, Jimi Hendrix. George’s family is woven into every detail — even the collection’s buttons, WWII military fasteners, were once his grandmother’s.

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ELODIE CAZIER

Country: France

Coming from a family of collectors, it was only fitting that Elodie threaded hoarding into her collection. There is no empty space, no moment of quiet. Layers of slinky silk contrast with prints inspired by fruit stickers; theatrical headpieces, a cross between a bow and horns, are delicate but loud. It is, in many ways, Elodie’s world, a collection of identity where more is more.

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JORDAN HARRIS

Country: New Zealand

A practical approach to dressing and a sense of fluidity marks the designs from this local talent, primarily influenced by Vetta's 5-piece capsule wardrobe and Jimmy D's genderless and transformable designs. The collection incorporates hidden button wraps to create detachable pieces allowing styling options. A coat with a detachable sleeve; trousers that can be altered in length; a shirt with removable sleeve panels and a wrap dress that buttons into a vest. The wearer can style these clothes in their own way, normalising modular style while challenging fast fashion. Jordan wanted to rework androgynous fashion’s lack of individualisation and produce a collection that enabled the wearer autonomy in their androgynous dress through the incorporation of convertible techniques to alter style and fit.

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JING HE

Country: New Zealand

Jing’s intent is to disrupt and question bridal wear. ‘Assimilation // Annexation’ exposes and confronts the institution of marriage from a cultural perspective. The collection embodies diverse Asian feminine identities and voices, by performing and capturing moments of Jing’s mother’s life through transformed bridal dresses, exploring loss, memory and nostalgia. The white wedding dress functions as a stereotype of femininity with hidden symbolism through cultural tradition and social rituals for women. By covering the model’s face, Jing asks the audience to focus on the clothing rather than the model's gender identity. In the future Jing wants to provide an upcycling service for brides to bring their mothers’ wedding dresses to be transformed into a new design, disregarding the idea that a wedding dress is only for one day.

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KARIS ZANETTA CHENG

Country: Australia

You’ll find vintage photograph-inspired prints and Liberty-esque florals in Karis’ textile-led collection, ‘Where Are You From?’ The smorgasbord of colour is the result of her interest in distilling what it means to be someone of multiple cultures (Karis’ ancestors are from China, her parents grew up in Singapore and Malaysia, and she has lived in New Zealand and Australia). It’s a patchwork, as much of nostalgia as of colour.

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JUSTIN MENGZHE CHI

Country: United States

‘Put On - Take Off’ is entirely interactive. Interested in the ways that we navigate the everyday, Justin constructed clothes with a bounty of exaggerated fasteners, from buttons to zips to snaps; Movement is this collection’s purpose. Should fastening difficulties arise, each look also comes with handy assembly instructions. (If customers feel particularly handy, they can also purchase their garments pre-cut, and make them themselves.)

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TSAI FENG CHOU

Country: Taiwan

Tsai’s mesmerising ‘Goldfish Unknow’ glitters like the fish it’s inspired by. There’s lightness and symmetry, all tied into a narrative on the ways in which social media platforms, particularly Instagram, Tsai says, function like “an aquarium-like stage” — a place to see and be seen, within the pressures of a particular kind of tank.

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CHLOE CHRISTIE

Country: Australia

Chloe’s belted, collared, bell-sleeved garments in ‘Suited’ came together as she pulled apart masculine silhouettes and put them back together in looks reminiscent of her mother’s 80s’ aesthetic. Leather off-cuts and repurposed fabrics, including curtains, have morphed into billowy numbers that carry into the everyday.

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JASMIN ERB

Country: Germany

The pandemic has been cause for thought. For Jasmin, this meant rethinking the ways in which clothes can be worn — can a skirt also be a top? Can a pocket become an armhole? Her answer — yes, to both questions — is realised in this collection, where clothes are multifunctional and a minidress can be a shoulder bag.

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ROMANA HAAKE

Country: Germany

Tech meets nature in this transformative collection that explores the duality between the subculture of hackers and the diversity of Hawaiian nature, culture and colour. The collection reacts to the wish for a quick change in style and functionality along with durability. Romana used second-hand clothing to develop prototypes and mainly deadstock fabrics and yarns for the final collection, which also includes hand-dyed fabric.

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INA HILL

Country: New Zealand

Another local talent, Ina uses handcraft techniques, tie fastenings and adaptable pieces, which allow body and cloth freedom in form. The collection, entitled 'Embody', explores the relationship between designer, body and cloth. Through these elements, the collection draws attention to the reciprocal relationship between maker, wearer and garment, investigating how this can be reimagined in a new fashion paradigm. Primarily created from natural deadstock or repurposed fabrics, the textiles are designed to age well to give the garments a longer life.

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OSCAR KEENE

Country: Australia

'Fluid' explores new forms and new identities; it is a deconstruction of standards of beauty, a deconstruction of the commodification of the body and of identity through an interconnected relationship with garments. Designs use PVC and a combination of foam, wadding and cotton, presenting different non-gendered silhouettes, textures and geometries. Taking innovation to new heights, the designer explores 3D software and discovered ideation, design, patternmaking and prototyping.

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SALLY JACKSON

Country: Australia

A sustainable focus marks this entry, entitled 'The Bowerbirds', deconstructing preloved garments and reclaimed materials, with the addition of textile treatments to create exciting and unique wearable forms. Prints, patterns and embellishments have been pushed into the limits of sensory overload, aiming for a disruptive camouflage that subverts the distinction between waste and high fashion. The Bowerbird is deeply rooted in its environment and its materials.

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GRACE KELLY

Country: Australia

Minimalism, structure, fluidity and imperfection are key elements of this sophisticated entry. Natural fabrics — specifically, silk, wool and cotton — were used where possible, in conjunction with smocking and knitting along with incorporating scraps and samples into accessories for a truly zero-waste approach. Grace's creative practice embraced a range of experimentations with textiles, such as hand and machine knitting with wool, cotton and silk, hand and machine smocking, stiffening silk with cornflour and glue, print manipulations and unconventional pattern-making techniques.

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SARA KICKMAYER

Country: France

Inspired by nature and ancient knowledge, this collection celebrates modular transformable structures and shapes. Silhouettes evoke mountainous structures and ancient drapes using a combination of raw, processed and regenerated materials that move organically around the body. Over the years of evolution in nature there has always been an intimate link between shape, structure, material and growth. These close relationships between were translated into knitwear and taken into consideration with the aim of creating something circular, as nature demonstrates.

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ESTER KUBISZ

Country: United Kingdom

Using deconstruction, the designer has recreated a conventional, professional menswear wardrobe, with attention squarely on the suit. Starting with deconstruction, she identified design elements that have become irrelevant over time. Piece by piece, the ‘Unreal City’ garments are constructed with extra attention to functionality, using traditional menswear tailoring techniques — generous hem and waist allowances, allowing for alteration, and practical pockets in jackets and trousers, which are often overlooked in womenswear. Looking back to tradition is balanced with a forward-thinking design philosophy, bringing the tradition of tailoring into the modern age through innovation and experimentation.

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TALIAH LESLIE

Country: United States

'Dreamers' is about the journey and lives of 16 of the designer’s family and friends who immigrated to the United States. Textiles were developed by laser cutting and fusing used fabrics together, creating a digital, print-like effect. The laser-cut patterns include country shapes as well as the words from interviews with the immigrants. Garments were organically moulded, building a silhouette that moves in tandem with the body. This freedom of experimentation allows draping and clothing production with the new experimental textile manipulation. The resulting asymmetrically draped silhouettes are loud, dynamic, free-flowing designs that stir emotions and evoke dialogue, and were created as as both a celebration and a love letter to immigrants, recognising their resilience and persistence.

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ALESHA PYERS

Country: New Zealand

Taking her cues from her personal paintings, Alesha was able to link human figure and form with clear patterning of emotional distress, objectification and isolation during different time periods. The collection reshapes the meaning of this art work to regain power and embrace a full sense of self. Bold colour and organic lines are translated from paintings to fashion silhouettes. Alesha feels a connectedness when using paint, which allowed her to step into a new space of growth as a designer. The collection takes a new approach to tulle, layering and hand-stitching the fabric to blend colour, just as paint mixes. This allowed Alesha to paint with tulle, creating organic garments with unique shapes and colourways.

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KRISTAL ROBERTS

Country: New Zealand

Kristal’s design process began by sourcing second-hand denim from opportunity shops and off-cut bins at Massey. Traces of the garments' previous lives were carried into the 'Rethread' collection by way of reconstruction. Innovative textile manipulation processes were developed, including 'denim fur' and 'denim mesh', to alter the properties of the denim and minimise waste. Inspired by disturbing scenes of environmental pollution caused by the denim textile industry in the documentary 'River Blue', 'Rethread' was born out of a desire to encourage the reuse of existing materials. Carefully constructed using 100 per cent second-hand denim, the collection challenges the low worth of discarded denim by transforming it into artisanal garments of dysfunctional beauty.

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OLIVIA REUBENS

Country: Canada

Olivia undertook nearly 10 collaborations to create this collection, working with an Estonian accessories designer using recycled plastic to make chainmail miniature corsets, sourcing mohair and fleece from a farmer from Newforest, UK, and working with an Irish company to dye yarns and fabric. Fabrics were created with hand-knitting, hand machine knitting, knitting on the Stoll machine and embroidering. Upcycled material was made by shredding garments and embroidering it onto a non-toxic dissolvable backing. Underwire was also made from recycled plastic. The DenimX bio plastic and recycled denim were heat-moulded to the body.

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LORNA RYAN

Country: New Zealand

Entitled 'New Zeal', this collection explores the question of whether zero-waste fashion processes can be commercialised, creating an entirely zero-waste collection. This was achieved by developing special pattern-cutting techniques to reduce garments waste to less than 1 per cent, using 100 per cent natural fibre so the garments are biodegradable at the end of their lives and won’t release micro-plastics when washed. The designer replaced zips with biodegradable elastic, fabric ties and wooden buttons. The collection strives to quash the idea that sustainable fashion must conform to one aesthetic and one target market.

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JINGZHI LIU

Country: China

This collection began with an investigation of the influence of online social platforms on people's identity and image. The designer used marbling and digital printing, two symbolic traditional and modern printing methods, to design and print patterns. At the same time, Jingzhi used a combination of hand-dyed thin fabrics and heavy suede to echo the internet and reality. Integrating fabrics with different texture printing and adding patterns that break through traditional marbling printing mimic technology echoing traditional reality and virtual technology. Jingzhi aims to provide inspiration through the combination of elements: printing and technology.

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SHIYU LIU

Country: China

Drawing on China's retro slim silhouettes from the 1970s and 1980s, and matching them with modern colours, the collection of garments is practical and retro yet modern. Contemporary designs were mostly made with natural Australian wool, turned into fabric on a computerised German knitting machine. Additionally, China's classic snakeskin bags, traditionally used to hold quilts, were reimagined as fabric embellishments. Design inspiration came from Shanghai’s process of demolition, and the continual rebuilding of the city. These constant changes in the landscape often leave people confused and even indifferent to each other as they cope with loss and resettlement.

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YU-WEN LIU

Country: Taiwan

Inspired by an art installation by Polish artist Alicja Kwade, Yu-Wen’s designs are inspired by the artist’s expressive connection to the universe and the relationship between balance, gravity and planetary orbits. The clothes explore and pursue different orbits, providing multiple ways to wear them. They can be worn separately, giving each piece of clothing more possibilities and allowing them to be matched in multiple ways, ensuring they transcend fashion and can be worn for years. The clothes are all made with organic cotton, are lined and are tight-fitting. Stretching the cloth means less is used and, at the same time, represents the feeling of gravity between the planets.

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KAREL MARTINEZ

Country: Italy

Karel was inspired by men’s bodies and attitudes towards life, woman and love. By considering different subcultures and exploring the masculine mystique psyche, she aimed to understand them better and bring some awareness and harmony to the collection. The collection reimagines men’s fashion, playing with the concept of the survival of the fittest. The designs draw upon military attire, streetwear and high fashion, giving the modern man a creative outlet when they wear garments from this collection.

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JENNIFER MILLEDER

Country: Austria

‘Flora Magnifica’ is an emotional collection inspired by the recovery of the botanical world, sustainability and plastic use. Jennifer worked with flowers and synthetics, bringing these opposites together to start a critical dialogue and draw attention to existing environmental problems. Spotlighting a surreal, artificial doll world in a floral setting, Jennifer was inspired by the aesthetics of the Russian Matryoshka doll, evident in the voluminous shapes of the collection.

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MARGARITA & CRISTINA NG NG

Country: United States

The twin designer duo present a collection that interprets the idea of nature vs. nurture, considering the differences and similarities of the two. Their design process started with the purchase of 33 rolls of horsehair braids from a company that was going to throw them away. Horsehair braids were used for the construction of pieces of garments for the purpose of volume and detail. The pair designed motifs and plaid prints, which were applied to pleated wool skirts using heat-press reflective vinyl.

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LYDIA PAINE

Country: New Zealand

Inspired by the designer's discovery of her grandparents time-honoured skills of knitting, smocking and cobbling, this collection represents Lydia's desire to create a collection with a deeper, sustainable bond between people and their material possessions. Silhouettes were inspired by the comforts of home, with a focus on trans-seasonal, timeless pieces. Entitled 'Mother & Mode', this is a nostalgic collection with a poignant reflection on family, history and crafts passed down through generations. Combined with natural fibres and quirky silhouettes, this collection challenges the users’ relationship with clothing through an exploration of how emotional connection can lead to garment longevity.

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TAYLOR PUMPHREY

Country: New Zealand

Entitled 'Tangible', a focus on the tactile and textural was key to this entry. Influenced by the sense of touch and its relationship to our emotions, Taylor's collection explores how touch can create and inform perception. Ties and wrapping feature in the designs to reference the concept of physical and emotional embracing, and they allow the garments to be secure and contained, loose and free, or a combination of the two. Details such as digital print, pin-tucking and gathers move with the garment and the body, taking on a life of their own. Gathers add a soft delicacy yet are structured and linear, showing a pattern that is visually and physically tactile.

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ALESSANDRO SANTI

Country: Austria

Within the collection, Alessandro aims to challenge norms and expand the limits of clothing. Garments analyse the relationship between fashion and identity, questioning whether worn garments are able to speak for the person. By playing with fashion’s codes and proportions, twisting and deforming them to create something new and unexpected yet oddly familiar, the collection is a collage of volumes, sartorial detail and fabrics that conveys a new image. The majority of textiles were deadstock fabrics, with some bonded with waste plastics to alter their quality and appearance.

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ANNA SARASOJA

Country: Finland

Focusing on shape, fit, finishing and the structure of the garments, this collection is inspired by Anna’s artworks and her study of shape. 'Study of Shapes' is three dresses that play with the idea of negative space, a blazer with three-dimensional outstretched hips and a top with draped areas. Each look also has tights underneath and, due to the transparency all the layers, can be visible simultaneously. Fabric is a blend of sustainably and ethically produced Finnish reindeer leather mixed with leftover fabrics from old collections, as well as laser-cut samples from recycled swimsuits. A patchwork surface enables different materials in the same colour to be combined, enabling easy use of leftover fabric to create interesting compositions with texture.

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TAYLOR GROVES & EMMA JING-CORNALL

Country: New Zealand

We were first impressed by this designer pairing at a surprise show earlier this year supported by ATC, so it’s a promising progression to see this exciting collaboration acknowledged. Emma and Taylor worked with print designer UG Boyd, dye artist Alexandra Groves and hand-knitter Lucy Williams, with a focus on creative collaboration. The collection highlights tailoring, experimental drape and hand manipulations. The pair’s use of expressive texture and gentle silhouettes with bias-cut sleeves is further enhanced by oversized and undersized shirting disrupted by ties, wraps and tucks. The finished collection is inspired by the collaborative process, and the spontaneity and flexibility of their shared work space and divergent practices.

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CECILE SCHOU GRØNBECK

Country: Denmark

Exploring traditional notions of masculinity is the inspiration behind this entry. 'A Soft Warrior' refers to the diversity in what it means to be 'masculine' and is an attempt to challenge the contemporary understanding of hegemonic masculinity while empowering men not to fear losing control. The process began with the designer creating abstract figurative paintings on paper. The collection uses deadstock materials so differences in tactility and colour clash, creating harmony and chaos. Individually, each garment is a classic everyday piece, such as a T-shirt or a pair of jeans. However, when the pieces are combined as complete outfits, they transform to a flamboyant, colourful uniform.

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NAMRATA SURANA

Country: India

This collection is dedicated to the designer’s memories of morning walks in India with her father. Florals printed on the pleated knits were created using stencil printing by hand, drawn from memories of the wildflowers growing on the hills and nearby garlands of marigolds. The frames in the jacquard depict everyday moments with her father, ducks in the pond, the peacocks. Knitwear was chosen for this collection because it has less impact on environment. Garment ruffles, which usually use a lot of fabric, are zero waste since they were made using suspension technique on knitting machines. Trims like chunky zippers and cords add the functionality to the poetic silhouettes.

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MIN-YAN TSAI

Country: Taiwan

Inspiration for this collection came from integrating philosophy, nationalism, culture and religion, which, when combined, can create a nationalist ideology made of war, culture and humanity. The designer says that drawing upon this global experience and considering what’s happening in the world now feels heavy, so it’s time for us all to make a difference. The collection’s silhouettes are drawn from samurai armour and considerations of military uniforms from World War II. The black and white colour palette plays on the idea of camouflage patterns and chess pieces.

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KARINA VODOVOZ

Country: Israel

Inspired by Chinese Buddhism, the garments in this collection are hand-knitted from mohair and decorated with a wide variety of braided and ribbed patterns. The textile choices reference ruins, vegetation and organic structures. The designer argues that the relentless pursuit of money and material success will lead us to the point of no return in less than 10 years, and asks important questions: Will concepts like success and consumerism still be relevant in this new world? Or will we go back in time, to past beliefs and reconnect with ancient wisdom? The collection portrays a story of disintegration and regrowth.

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SAHIL CHAUDHARY

Country: India

Sahil’s collection ‘Labyrinth’ occupies the space between art and fashion. The custom-made knit pieces are, in part, extravagant comfort-wear, intended for celebrities to don and twirl at galas and awards ceremonies. They are also woollen references to menstruation, with silhouettes echoing the reproductive cycle — a comfy commentary on a subject frequently deemed taboo.

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GISELLA CANDI

Country: Australia

Gisella wanted to craft clothes that skewed towards deviance. As a result, the most memorable moments from ‘Wide Angle Smile’, her collection comprising screen-printed co-ords and fun knits, can be found in its expression — through bold, considered prints and simplified yet contemporary cuts. They’re joyfully off-kilter, and read as a response to traditional archetypes and binaries, without compromising on good tailoring.

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XIZHU WU

Country: Australia

When designing, Xizhu always makes conscious fabric choices, with 95 per cent of this collection made from wool and the remainder dead-stocks and end of rolls sourced from an ethically conscious fabric supplier. The designs aim for longevity by focusing on the make, quality and transformative nature of clothes. Inspired by bicultural identity, emotions and personal experiences, the collection tells the story of its designer. Biculturalism is universal in contemporary society; everyone comes into contact with different cultures and values. The collection considers the difference between Chinese and Western values, the juxtaposition between these things, and how this juxtaposition can become harmonious. 'Shuang' shows how conflicting values impact those with bicultural identities.

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ZHU-LUO XIAO

Country: Taiwan

Fashion can express emotions, stories and time. Drawing upon this knowledge, the designer’s 100 per cent cotton collection is inspired by their parents and hometown of Yunlin, an agricultural city where most residents depend upon farming for their income. The designer explains that farmers are straight-forward people who work for the good of their children. These parents give their children all they have and, even if it’s not well expressed, all their love. The collection draws upon the insight that often love is so introverted and deep, and that it’s not always obvious.

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SHUYU YUE

Country: China

This collection originates from insights into the generation growing up in the era of network social media and their understanding of self. Shuyu posits that people today live in a world where narcissism has gradually become a social phenomenon, with people using social media to create a virtual personal image. Drawing on this realisation, fabric for this collection was created using repurposed material with printed portraits. This created a new fabric with a three-dimensional texture. Fabrics with this type of printing are comfortable to touch, allow people to customise their clothes and could even encourage the reuse of fabrics.

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