Founded in 2020, the relatively new yet rising brand has caught many viewers’ attention through striking colours and imaginative virtual technology. Known for their commitment to sustainability through eco-friendly dyes, Claudia Wang established themselves as a forward-thinking fashion brand that embraces both the environment and the creative possibilities of technology. The previous SS22 collection, appearing in Taipei Fashion Week, integrated a virtual presentation in a conventional runway with ‘real’ models. Thus, the recent screening for the AW22 season extended the brand’s avant-garde digital transformation of traditionally ‘real-life’ fashion events.
On the last day of London Fashion Week, February 2022, Claudia Wang revealed their latest AW22 collection through a hybrid of digital screening and displays of its vividly coloured garments. Inspired by Taiwanese regional folklore and titled ‘Fairy Land’, the new season exhibited a series of enchanting looks with eye-catching characters that compliment the spirited aesthetics of its clothes. The futuristic design of their digital film – with virtually-constructed backgrounds, digital models and digital printing – also reinforced the innovative strengths of the brand.
As soon as I entered the showcasing venue in The Hop Exchange, thin and sheer fabrics in divergent colours wrapped the corners, pillar, and walls of the room – generating a curiously fairytale-like atmosphere. Two beam projectors displayed the digital film on each corner of the venue, with the physical attires being hung around the walls. The coloured fabrics tied in different directions obscured people’s vision from a number of garments – causing some of the watchers to limbo through the fabrics to get a closer look at the individual outfits. Although the displayed clothes differed from those worn by the digital models in the film, a bold yet dreamlike theme ran through both collections.
The screened film was set in an otherworldly, digital background with virtually-generated images of palm trees, a gingham-patterned ground in an unusual combination of bright aqua blue, brown and yellow, and mystical shapes that floated above the virtual world of technology. The backdrop of the film, the models and the garments worn were all produced digitally, reinforcing the dreamy impression of the recent collection. A personal stand-out from the film was a below knee-length multi-coloured (yet predominantly purple) outfit with a distinct surface decoration at the back, which seemed like it could be worn both as a coat and a dress. As the model walked across the digital stage, the complex mixture of colours and patterns came to light.
The displayed garments continued the imaginative impressions established by the digital film. One of the jackets reminded me of the 1950s’ pop art, with comic-like drawings, bold black outlines and varied use of eye-popping colours. A bright blue dress with a side frill and sentences in various fonts and languages was also coupled with an illustration of a corset on the bodice, giving a feeling of a fashionable multi-layered outfit. A green outfit was hung next to the dress, with the pink inner fabric and lining producing a more varied look. Reflecting the AW22 collection’s inspiration from the ancient Chinese mythology ‘Classic of Mountains and Seas’, a naturalistic image of purple leaves combined a catchy illustration of an animal-like character that one may expect in a mythological text – making a youthfully captivating look.
Demonstrating the future possibilities of embedding technology and embracing sustainability in fashion, Claudia Wang’s presentation was unusual, fun, and original. The live screening for its AW22 collection gave a glimpse into what sustainable and inventive fashion may look like in the future.
edited by Bo Nguyen, fashion editor