As the saying goes, the past is never really past, especially in the hands of someone like veteran designer Ziggy Chen.
For fall, the Shanghai-based designer named the Song dynasty as an ongoing inspiration.
“Books and paintings have this changed color,” the designer said through a translator, describing how he’d gone around photographing the effects of time that served as visual references and prints.
And that slow color shift over time is something Chen welcomes. He coined the word “viglumsy,” a portmanteau of vigorous and clumsy to describe his sentiment of wholeheartedly embracing the slightly rough, unpolished side to things — found objects, old buildings, natural-fiber textiles.
The collection went on to explore this idea of time layered into clothing through patchworking and layers peeling back, as if garments had been used by successive generations. The time frame he gave served more as a byword for “long ago” rather than provide any recognizable elements to these roomy coats, relaxed trousers and an incongruously long gown.
Fabrics were used with their most rugged side forward. Chen turned out a roomy coat to show the plush printed silk interior and the seasonal label.
Now that extending the life of a garment through repairs is done and even trendy — cute and cunning clothing repair hacks are dime a dozen on social platforms — this was a timely message. If the ensemble cast lining up against the peeling wall looked like extras in a production of Oliver Twist, individual pieces had their charm.