Decoster Concept

When we read about the Chinese fashion industry in the news, it’s nearly always about piracy. Its label as a nation of copycats is misplaced. For beyond this stereotype, there is an increasing number of young Chinese experimenting with fashion for individual expression and looking to their own rich history for inspiration.

Decoster Concept is one such design house and JOURNAL managed to catch up with its design director, Ziggy Chen, for a quick chat.

China is a huge market, and we know it very well, it’s perfect for us to let it be our foundation, then we can go hit the western market. Chinese fashion is getting better, I see a new generation of people who are having their own understanding of fashion.

Decoster Concept launched its debut spring/summer 2012 collection at Shanghai Fashion Week in the latter half of 2011. It is the conceptual offshoot of its main Decoster brand, which has over 60 stores in China. Ziggy seeks inspiration from old Chinese culture, for example, seen in the image above of the Mongolians. “It is a brand new project where we can express our ideas. We just want to do some clothes we love to wear, that’s all.”

To give his traditional Chinese garments a modern twist, Ziggy experiments with materials such as wool, hemp and linen, augmenting it with leather and fine cotton.

The inspiration of the spring/summer 2012 collection draws from the lives of the people who have walked this world in the last century. The foundations of design strike on the balance of being sartorially interesting without overwhelming the wearer. The fabrics contain a certain ruggedness that never comes off as tough. Just like this world, the pieces enclose the feeling of already living and breathing a life. In this collection, respect and tribute is paid to the traditions and origins of various cultures.

Honest by

Can a fashion company be totally transparent about where its clothes come from and how they are made? Isn’t enshrouding itself in secrecy written in its blueprint which then allows them to charge customers more money for their products?

Well, here’s a business that overturns the traditional model. Honest by gives you a detailed breakdown of its journey: from where its products were made, how the fabrics were sourced and even details of its mark-up costs.

A truly refreshing and brave approach from a fashion company, this level of transparency should chime well with our power-to-the-people generation, where the consumer is, once again, king. You just have to look at twitter for confirmation.

Honest by is created by the fashion designer Bruno Pieters. During a sabbatical year exploring the developing world, Bruno had a profound experience in India. Here, he tells us why.

What struck me most was the openness of the people .They are so proud of their products they immediately tell you everything about them, where and by whom they are made, and the time it took to make them — complete, spontaneous, ego-free transparency.

I was also inspired by this huge billboard of Gandhi I saw in Delhi, saying ‘Be the change you want to see in the world. I realised I should adopt this attitude in my own life. When I returned to Antwerp,I began research on how to create a line produced with the least possible harm to people, animals and the environment.

The first collection is Honest by Bruno Pieters – and every three months there will be a new designer. On 5 April the baton will be passed to up and coming Canadian designer Calla, who is based in Paris and shows during New York fashion week.

A short chat with Eudon Choi

I caught up with one of JOURNAL’s favourite fashion designers, Eudon Choi, after his Autumn/Winter 2012 show. So lovely is he that, despite his relentless schedule preparing for Paris straight after London, he still found time for a chat.

How are you feeling now that the show’s over?
It was a really exciting moment as it was our London Fashion Week on-schedule debut show. It went down really well and we’re so pleased that we got great reviews. Also, it was really exciting working with Jules Wright, the director of Wapping Project, who staged my show.

You taking any time out to relax now that it’s over?
We are still quite busy with all the preparation for Paris Fashion Week so it is not over yet. We’re still at the studio and we are making more pieces.

Did you get any sleep before the show? And how many cups of coffee did you drink?
Gosh, I need the sleep. I never stay up late even though it’s before show day. One cuppa in the morning is enough for me.

Was staging this show any different to the last few?
Jules is so incredible and the shows she put on at Wapping Project never fail to impress me. Portico Room at Somerset house is very beautiful yet quite intimidating, and we wanted to create the mood by projecting video. Billie Cowie composed the show music and he used the original Captain Scott’s speech within the music and the sound of ice cracking. Jules was brilliant directing each model – how they should position themselves on the chair and play the character. It did resemble the photo’s of Captain Scott’s Terra Nova crews. To sum it up, it was my perfect debut show.

View Eudon’s Autumn/Winter 2012 collection here

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