The slowness of fashion – the three alchemists of fashion text by Runzhou SUN

Dear Shaded Viewers,

The world of fashion is always fast: Models walk fast on runways; Fashion journalists shuttle from one show to another; making small talk between the people that they meet only twice a year… I still remember my first experience at Paris Fashion Week in September last year, the intense schedule made me suffocated and I could barely remember most of the clothes showing in those dreamlike shows. However, there are always some showrooms where one can take a breath, have a close contact with the garments and even chat with the designers. Here are the three designers that I met last year at Paris Fashion Week that I will never forget: Cara Marie Piazza, Hala Kaiksow and Samuel Snider.

I never expected such a quiet place in one of the most hectic areas in Paris. When I entered, Cara was teaching the visitors how to hand-dye textiles with faded flowers while Hala was manually weaving the fabric on a loom — This particular showroom not only showcased the garments but showed the life ritual of how a fabric transforms into our daily wear.

Although the personalities of the three designers are quite different their conviction of showcasing the pure relationship between humans and nature brings them together. The application of the fabric by Hala and Samuel’s designs gave me a nostalgia for pre-industrial society and definitely a normcore lifestyle person would find these garments appealing. Cara makes the faded flowers re-blossom by using them as pigment on the fabric and gives each garment its own story and own soul. I would like to define their design as “modernized-tribal”, for the simple silhouettes, also for their respect to the nature.

“One’s personal legend is what you have always wanted to accomplish”. The three designers identify themselves as alchemists of fashion and we can imagine how hard it is to “go back” and focus on the fundamental while everyone else is moving forward. Their clothes are also a mind travel. The designers break the shackles of “Nation” and “Culture”. The paint with patterns inspired by the stains on the wall of the buildings in New York City make me think of the costume in a Martial Arts film; the hand-dye fabrics bring us to the Gardens in Suzhou…It was really smart of them using an Asian model to showcase their clothes and many Asian customers did show a strong interest in their fashion. Maybe the take away word is: inclusiveness.