Steven Tai Fall 2013: A self-professed mad scientist brings his best experiment to Toronto Fashion Week

Steven Tai Fall 2013
Steven Tai Fall 2013
Photography by Jenna Marie Wakani

See the Steven Tai Fall 2013 collection »

If the meek inherit the earth, the geeks will inherit the fashion industry. At the second day of the off-the-grid fashion week, The Shows, we were introduced to Vancouver-born Steven Tai, who virtually blew the room away with his abnormal talents. We mean abnormal in the best way possible. A self-professed mad scientist who concocts fabric mixes as if they were potions, Tai showed a vibrant, street conscious and highly wearable Fall 2013 collection made of new and unique fabrics like…silicone. “There’s a big future in silicone,” he told me after the show. How so? Well, take the two apocalyptically quaint looking sweatshirts that closed the collection (exhibit A and B). Their quirky combinations of magnets, embroidery (the little gals pictured), digital prints (the UFOs hovering menacingly) are easily covetable, but the Kool-Aid orange and turquoise poured silicone is what really makes them stand out from the rest. Tai’s fabric experimentation also extended to his use of unusual quilting on cotton pockets and jackets and his peekaboo pant pleating was extraordinary. Any way you slice it, really, Tai gets two thumbs up.

And while Steven Tai may be into experimentation, he ain’t no amateur. He’s got a BA from London’s lauded Central Saint Martins, several glittering internship posts (Stella McCartney and Viktor & Rolf, to mention a few) and his textiles have even caught the eye of a one Yohji Yamamoto. He also won the Chloé award at the 2012 Hyères Festival. With a sponsorship offer by Mercedes-Benz, he went on to present this collection at Berlin Fashion Week last July.

As if this glowing review didn’t already make this clear, Steven Tai has all the markings of a star on the rise. Now let’s snap him up, Canada, before the rest of the world does.