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.