Steven Tai Fall 2014: Goodbye geek-chic, hello new wave luxury! This London based talent hits his stride
Designer Steven Tai has always put an emphasis on textiles and working with technological innovations that can be carried into everyday wear. This helps explain why his previous collections have included pops of silicone created by hand in his London studio, elaborate embroidery and artistic collaborations. This young man treats fashion as if it was a science lab and, if it takes two months to craft a showpiece for his runway presentation, so be it. Tai’s knack for the novel has put him on the radars of Vogue, Style.com and a local darling, sold at Holt Renfrew.
But absent from Steven Tai’s Fall 2014 presentation Tuesday night at The ShOws (one week in advance of the official World MasterCard Fashion Week) were the geek-chic pieces of past. In their place are pleated pants and tennis-like skirts, stacked embroidered blooms that recall Prada’s now signature flowers, lurex tweed and jacquard fringe. As moderator Alexandra Palmer put it during her post-show Q&A with Tai, his third official collection seemed, “actually kind of normal.” Of course this was meant in a good way, Tai’s work is now closer to next wave luxury than mad scientist gone gorgeous.
Colours were predominantly monotone but not necessarily seasonal. Dark blue and winter whites came out alongside pastel pinks and yellow gold tones. If past collections were techy and nature-imbued, this was confident and mature. According to Tai, his muse was a woman who had broken up with her boyfriend but left surrounded by his clothes. This is why the silhouettes seem boxy and mannish, and the abundance of intricate, lovely fringe throughout the collection was Tai’s interpretation of that woman shredding her lost loves belongings.
If this is what happens when the scientist removes his lab coat for a cloak of heartbreak, we’ll take it. Steven Tai is an exciting and inviting work-in-progress.