SHIATZY CHEN: New Energy = A New Triumph
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March 14, 2017
By Marcellous L. Jones
Photos Courtesy of Shiatzy Chen
Paris, France – It is at the Grand Palais just off the Avenue des Champs-Elysées where the Chinese star Shiatzy Chen decided to unveil her new collection. This season we not only see Mrs. Chen reaffirming the DNA of her house’s aesthetics, but we also see her widening the interpretation of the very same elements that define her work. This is done in order to allow for evolution to include new things.
Once the lights went down and the show began, Madame Chen startled us with attire that is dramatically turned towards streetwear. So far to the left of her traditional work, this writer found himself wondering if the house had introduced a new younger line or even if it had hired a new co-designer. These were logical second guessings. Afterall, one does not so easily associate urban gear to a house such as that dreamed up by Shiatzy Chen. But as the show evolved, so too did the leggings, the masculine boots, jersey pants with ribbed ankles This is needed in order bring the collection full circle so that the sophisticated elements through which we learned to know and appreciate her work are able to better shine. They are expressed in this collection with rich materials of shantung silk, lace, cashmere, satin furs, sheer, etc. as well as stitch embroideries and lavishly done handbags.
Though under the early domination of black, the collection ends with red establishing itselfs as the dominant color. Between the two we find beautiful prints that narrate a yet untold story. It is again between the very blacks and the reds where the looks shift gears. They do not truly gravitate away from the sportwear elements that shocked us in the first few minutes of the show. Rather they open themselves up for receiving the more elegant pieces such as the longer dresses and the beautifully ornate coats. They present imagery of clouds, dragons, phoenixes and lions.
Many here are looks that could be considered as a the titular favorite. Among the most appreciated are the two-piece red leather skirt ensemble. It has been embellished with a gathering of small ruffles in its sports jacket. This same treatment is repeated in a T-shirt dress with micro ribbed wrists. Then again, there is the beautifully done white blouse and pants ensemble with stitch embroideries. And of course the very girly dress in yellow dresses with semi puff sleeves that slim dramatically from the elbows to the wrists strikes a familiar note of harmony. — With all this said, one is compelled to walk away with at least 10 looks for one’s own wardrobe.
Shiatzy Chen shocked us in the beginning with such strong streetwear inspired work. However, she skillfully evolved the collection into a cohesive whole. Her willingness to take such a risk shows her ability to allow her house to evolve. This is an attractive triumph in itself.