Fashion is a universal language and right now the centres of creativity are constantly shifting. In the social media age we are more curious and culturally connected to each other than ever before – able to explore the latest subcultural trends from Seoul and Shenzhen, with the same ease as we would the street wear scenes in Paris or Berlin.
That’s the philosophy behind the Global Fashion Collective (GFC), a new platform for supporting emerging designers from around the world, created by Jamal Abdourahman, founder of Vancouver Fashion Week.
Curating on-schedule fashion week showcases from new and experimental designers in NYC, Paris and Tokyo, GFC is on a mission to infiltrate the world’s established style capitals and promote under-the-radar, bold new creative talent.
From the sculptural couture of Canadian designer Kirsten Ley to the genderless, pop-art inspired creations of Chinese designer, ERXI X MRHUA MRSHUA – it’s a vision that’s diverse, avant-garde and completely inclusive. Fresh from their recent AW19 shows at New York Fashion Week, here are five of HUNGER’s top picks of designers to watch from the GFC.
ERXI X MRHUA MRSHUA
A visual artist and fashion designer, NiuNiu Chou of ERXI X MRHUA MRSHUA uses pop art as the basis for his unique collections. He sketches and creates his own digital prints and embroidery inspired by the beauty of the East. Based on the journey of the ‘Silk Road’ his latest collection draws on the history of Chinese artistry and combines Chinese New Year symbols with western symbols. His avant-garde silhouettes are playful, humorous and designed to be worn by both genders.
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Kirsten Ley is a couture designer from Canada. Her meticulously crafted, sculptural pieces are created using leather and unexpected materials, and are juxtaposed with free-flowing silks to create movement and contrast. AW 2019 collection ‘NAISSSANCE’ finds inspiration in her recent move to Paris, incorporating traditional French couture techniques and Elizabethan era references.
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QUEENIE ZOE BY BOMIN KIM
Shenzhen-based brand Queenie Zoe and Korean fashion designer Bomin Kim have teamed up to create a collaborative collection to mark the 100th anniversary of for Samiljeol – the Independence Movement Day when a movement against the Japanese colonial rule started in Korea. “I was inspired most by the young brave women of that time” the designer says, “although it was one of the darkest periods in Korean history, this was also the time when so-called ‘New women’ appeared in Korea – the start of modernisation for Korean women”. The collection incorporates pieces inspired by both Korean and Chinese traditional dress, along with gothic and art nouveau influences.
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A fusion of contemporary womenswear and Chinese cultural elements, Suncun was created by designer Yan Zhan in 2015 and has quickly become known for its artisan tailoring. Using luxurious fabrics and traditional craftsmanship, the AW19 collection features regal gowns and ethereal embellished separates recalling the magic and wonder of childhood. “In those simpler times, we were fearless, happy, and courageous” says Yan Zhan, “look at us now, are we still as lively and carefree? Life is unpredictable and volatile.”
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Central Saint Martins graduate, Tong Li explores a post-modern aesthetic via her HIGHTLI collection which she refers to as “new vintage”. The designer who is based in the historic city of Xi’an, has previously created costumes for theatre and musical performances. For AW19, video game The Legend of Zelda is the key reference, specifically its rococo influenced styling. “I’ve turned to reflect on the male clothing of the Rococo era, and tried to employ the colour palette of China’s Tang Dynasty (A.D.618-907)” she says.
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FAUN BY MARISA P. CLARK
A whimsical, playful ode to New York City, FAUN’s AW19 collection channelled the designer’s female icons Audrey Hepburn and Blair Waldorf. The Canadian designer plays with contrasting colours and delicate fabrics to juxtapose metropolitan influences with elements from the natural world and quirky hand-crafted embellishments including gold antlers and pearl bralettes.
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‘Art should comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable’ were the words emblazoned on a floor dress by Canadian designer, M.E. – a statement of intent for her darkly romantic collection. Incorporating digital prints, silks and tailored separates, Michelle Elizabeth’s monochrome vision was designed to deconstruct fashion in the present moment, to play with light and shade, and strip the aesthetics back to their most simple and pure in the midst of a frantic, chaotic world.
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