Global Fashion Collective (GFC) showed for the fourth time at New York Fashion Week this month. Led by Vancouver Fashion Week, a semi-annual industry event that’s been running for 34 seasons, GFC has quickly become one of the top showcases of new talent from around the world, producing runway shows in various fashion capitals. Global Fashion Collective launched at Amazon Fashion Week Tokyo in October 2017, followed by a presentation at New York Fashion Week in February 2018.
This innovative fashion producer continues to surprise with its choice of international designers who showed at Chelsea Piers, overlooking the Hudson River. Nine international designers were in the spotlight during four exclusive Spring/Summer 2020 runway presentations at New York Fashion Week. Designers for this month’s showcase in New York included MrHuaMrsHua (China), Glaze Kohl (Japan), XunRuo (China), Jessica Chang Studio (New York), Hamon (Japan), Haus Zuk (Canada), AC House (Australia), Maria Pia Cornejo (Chile) and Bailuyu (China).
Global Fashion Collective kicked off its New York shows with the multi-talented Chinese artist NiuNiu Chou whose unisex brand Mrhuamrshua highlights China’s diverse cultural heritage and ethnic origins. His Spring/Summer 2020 collection “Male left female right of Mix” uses a combination of design techniques including digital printing, embroidery and other traditional Chinese crafts to showcase the beauty of the East, with a nod to Western pop art and Mexican artist Frida Kahlo.
Some of the looks are ready-to-wear, others are more elaborate with various layers, fabrics and colors. NiuNiu Chou is much more than a fashion designer. A green and pink dress is a showstopper look. His shop in Shanghai is packed with wallpaper, bed linens, curtains, rugs, biscuits and more, all featuring his own paintings and designs.
Glaze Kohl, launched in 2018 by Japanese designer Michiko Ueda who has owned a vintage clothing store in Osaka for over twenty years. The designer’s experience sourcing and handling high quality vintage garments from various eras for her retro store has clearly aided her creative process with her own collection.
Glaze Kohl’s Spring/Summer 2020 collection offers a brilliant ready to wear lineup of garments made in Japan from Japanese made fabrics including jersey, linen and cotton organza. Her collection is inspired by Eastern and Western influences and cultural landmarks. The designer’s favorite piece in the new collection is a blouse with a neckline that mimics the famous Art-Deco style Chrysler building in New York.
Identical twin sisters, Xun (Chen Dan) and Ruo (Chen Ying), are behind the Chinese brand Xunruo. Based in Hangzhou, China, the twins collaborate closely on all aspects of the brand but one twin focuses more on the design while the other on the business side. For their second outing with Global Fashion Collective, Xunruo was inspired by ancient Chinese cave paintings.
The color palette of the Xunruo collection includes warm rusty oranges and pinks on elegant puffed sleeves and mini dresses, in an ode to the twin designers’ romantic expression. Intricate embroidery and mandarin collars plus a mix of fabric including PVC, silk and organza highlighted the brand’s aim to blend the traditional and the modern.
Jessica Chang’s Spring/Summer 2020 collection of elegant special occasion wear includes floaty dresses, skirts and trousers in flowy silhouettes. Made from Italian fabrics, including silk, satin and organza the color palette is mostly neutral with creams, grays and icy blues. Taiwanese born designer Jessica Chang is based in New York and while her garments are not for everyday wear, she aims to make them comfortable and easy to wear.
AC (Art and Culture) House is the brand of Lily Liu, an independent Chinese designer who lives in the ancient capital of Xi’an. Her studies in theatre and music influenced her fashion label AC (art and culture) House which she launched in 2016 while living in Australia. Glamor is the hallmark of this brand which specialises in evening wear.
“Rock Dreamer” is the name of the Spring/Summer 2020 collection inspired by rock music and Asian mythical beast birds from classical mythology. Shimmering fabrics all in black, beading and feather embellishments on luxurious chiffon, satin and velvet are imported from Italy. The final look in the show was a dramatic black velvet cape with a mythical Chinese bird embroidered on the back.
Japanese designer Kumiko Iwano launched Hamon in 2018 with her husband and business partner. Hamon, a sister brand to the couple’s successful Ripple which has been around since 2009, features simple shapes, loose and flowing silhouettes in ready-to-wear garments. Made in Japan from linen and cotton, each piece is hand-dyed in vibrant colors, ranging from green and white to purple, teal and fuschia. The Spring/Summer 2020 collection “Square” featured a series of loosely draped looks, some with kimona style sleeves.
The duo have shown at fashion weeks in Vancouver and Hong Kong and sell in retail stores in Monaco and throughout Japan. The plan for Hamon is to roll out the brand further in Europe next year after moving their design and production base to Monaco this year.
Haus Zuk is the fabulously zany brand of Vancouver designer Peter Zuk. His first collection, “Overdose,” based on his recent graduation show, is inspired by the drag queens who also model his collection, video games and cartoons from his childhood.
Peter Zuk’s whimsical designs in bright colors were energetically strutted down the runway by athletic drag queen models dancing and doing the splits. The runway show was like a cabaret performance and the audience responded enthusiastically. Peter Zuk will bring his club wear to Tokyo Fashion Week next month.
Chilean designer Maria Pia Cornejo is fascinated by futurism and aims to innovate through her use of new textiles inspired by architecture (Zaha Hadid was an inspiration) and art. Her Spring/Summer 2020 collection, “Alma” meaning “soul” in Spanish looked otherworldly, with Flash Gordon, Star Trek and Buck Rogers sci fi shows coming to mind. Menswear and womenswear featured minimalist, asymetrical designs in red, white, blue, black and gold.