“Bamboo are very lively and they have stronger roots,” Wang Chen Tsai-Hsia said after the spring Shiatzy Chen show. “They’re always young, like I want my brand to be.” Youthful is a direction she’s been going for recently — this time was no different.
She kept her spring collection breezy and easy, with a kick. The palette felt graphic, with whites, tan, green, red and a surprising predominance of black. Most of her looks left the legs bare, with shorts but also with transparencies or high-cut slits. Adding to the youthfulness of the lineup were souvenir-style blousons, luxe Teva-like flat sandals and a branded T-shirt designed to look like a rock band T-shirt.
As is her wont, she blended elements of Chinese culture into her work, with a light hand. That meshed particularly well when playing with the underwear-as-outerwear trope: There were lacy brassieres but also halterneck tops cut in the shape of a dudou, a piece of traditional underwear. Elsewhere, it was more subtle than not, as a tone-on-tone embroidery climbing up a shirt, in the shape of trousers nipped at the waist or the occasional qipao neckline.
Chinese poet Su Dongpo, quoted in the notes, wrote that “without bamboo, people are vulgar.” The saying held true here.