steventai, fall 2017 – text by Silvia Bombardini


Dear Shaded Viewers and Diane,


8 y-old Elifreda is the artist responsible for the standout print in Steven Tai’s latest season – portraits of sloths, lulled to sleep amid the branches of a watercolour forest. They are the muse of choice for winter months of dormancy and lassitude, unruffled mammals named after the capital sin of their proverbial somnolence. Longing and languor inspire a collection that takes its cues from sleep patterns as they appear, drawn with tangled blankets and sheets, in the hyperreal bedscapes of Gérard Schlosser. From light doze to deep slumber, it guides us through all steps. From ‘pillow-leg’ trousers in woolly cashmere to a cocoon coat finished with the silky edges of a quilt, with a detachable lower half to make a wrap skirt. A ribbed fabric twists and twirls around the body as one does to hide at dawn, but tags such as those usually found on mattresses are tweaked with comforting instructions: stay horizontal, snooze, procrastinate. These are garments to count your sheep in, and yawn at the responsibilities of the waking world. PJ slip dresses and sleep masks, in beige, white, navy or green, for sisters to sleep tight or spoon, mumbling lullabies.