Taipei Spirit

Taipei Spirit

There's been an attack on my inbox all the way from Taipei in Taiwan.  An attack of the good sort.  For some reason in the space of a week, a trio of labels from Taiwan have sent me their latest collections which somehow all feature a surreal mish mash of printwork that are signs that I may need to go to the city myself to have a poke around to see what's going on.  That's Taipei, Seoul and Tel Aviv then to add to the destination list for 2013. 

Looking at some of these designs, it's almost as though the wave of nu-rave designs that were flooding the mainstream back in 2007-8 in London as well as the niche of late noughties designers such as Daniel Palillo and Cassette Playa as well as the more established Bernhard Willhelm and Jeremy Scott have produced a 2012 reverb in Taiwan.  It's evident in the kind of young retail stores that are popping up in the city and in the streetstyle seen in Facebook albums, which eschews the super high-end in favour of eye-popping prints that make reference to in-jokes that only these Taipei kids would know about.  You can raise your eyebrows and go "But what exactly is new about any of this?"  I suppose, the answer is nothing really except that I find it interesting how on the other side of the world, an aesthetic that is so ingrained into a certain part of London/Berlin sub-culture style, is being reinterpreted with their own motifs and iconography.       


Your Mom LiesAccording to the designers behind t-shirt label Your Mom Lies, "Most of us have got sweet mommies who tell us 'Life is wonderful and you are gonna be great!  You can be what you wanna be, do what you wanna do' WHEN WE WERE LITTLE."  Apparently these "moms" are liars and that most of us are in fact mediocrities.  These t-shirts are therefore tribute tops to those naive dreams and burst-bubbles – "a twisted story and a cheap tabloid" that they dedicate to all the mommies in the world.  Well I'm not sure I want to drag my mother into the picture but the graphics on these tees are intriguing as they're all more or less trippy dreamscapes that could feed a ton of spaced-out Tumblr-fiends out there.  Pancakes, urinals and rabbits all have a place on these tees.  The people behind Your Mom Lies also seem to operate the store Dark Matter, a Kokon To Zai-esque boutique in Taipei, which is the primary stockist of the label.  Your Mom Lies together with Dark Matter form an alternative underbelly in the city that I never thought existed and would love to check out in person.    












Shi Jen – Shi Jen-Huang's latest S/S 13 collection is a bit of a switch up from her previous work.  Educated in the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Ghent in Belgium, she thrn went to work for several companies in Belgium, China and Taiwan before forming her own brand.  Her current A/W 12-3 collection explored the phrase "God Speed" with protective crosses and warm clothes made for newborns inspiring the austere mood.  For S/S 13, she sticks to looking at forces from up above but instead, she conjures up guardian angels from her imagination.  The graphics used in this child friendly collection recall My Little Pony, Lisa Frank stationery, twinkly and teary anime eyes and Hello! Lady Lynn characters.  There's a bewildering element of the random in this collection and in all honesty, it varies in levels of quality for me but from one collection to the other, there's definitely something to look out for in Huang's work.      



Shijen2Shi Jen S/S 13


Shijenaw2Shi Jen A/W 12-3


M√©chant B√©b√© -  I wrote about M√©chant B√©b√© and designer Milla's inspiring personal style back in 2010 so it's high time I did an update.  From using pre-existing floral prints in earlier M√©chant B√©b√© collections, Milla has now progressed to designing her own prints and for her current A/W 12-3 collection, she has taken an imaginary trip through India.  I should be suffering from paisley fatique after J.W. Anderson, Jonathan Saunders and Jil Sander's combined but Milla spruces the pattern up by enlarging it and adding paper cut-out cats and dogs motifs that are inspired by India in a very loose and playful way.  It's very hard not to smile when looking at the eyes of a blinged-up charles cocker spaniel staring back at you from any one of these pieces.  They're all currently on sale on M√©chant B√©b√©'s website if you want the instant gratification.  













Leave a comment
  1. Gina

    2012-11-07 at 4:44 PM

    ahhh 🙂 everything is amazing!
    especially the bubble wrap masks~ hahah

  2. Miss Coco

    2012-11-07 at 4:45 PM
  3. Liz

    2012-11-07 at 4:52 PM

    all such cool prints!

  4. Ana

    2012-11-07 at 5:01 PM

    Cyan foam-hot pink pug-paisley combo is the way forward, natch.


    2012-11-07 at 5:56 PM

    OH WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. ktmo

    2012-11-07 at 6:14 PM

    oh my god. shi jen. oh my god. yes to this times millions.

  7. Ania

    2012-11-07 at 6:15 PM

    great tees! I love the oversized, alloverprinted look!If you also fancy them, you should definitely see a polish young brand doing that kind of tops! Here’s their site ! I’m sure you’ll love it xx

  8. malu

    2012-11-07 at 7:45 PM

    Lovely shirts 🙂
    Discover my Stylish Confessions!
    Discover my Stylish Confessions!

  9. Camille

    2012-11-07 at 9:30 PM

    My parents just moved from Taipei and I am pretty sad I don’t get to go back there this Christmas because the shopping, as seen, is always incredible. I especially love the paisley sleeved jacket with the two little pink bulldogs- incredible.

  10. Dip It Black

    2012-11-07 at 9:39 PM

    Love love love it!
    Especially the Shi Jen collection!

  11. Chantal

    2012-11-07 at 10:26 PM

    The pink jacket with the puppies on the shoulders… I will be watching Mechant Bebe from now on!

  12. Sophie

    2012-11-08 at 12:18 AM

    The makeup on all of these photos is stunning! Love the bright colors.

  13. Inspirareland

    2012-11-08 at 4:17 AM

    I love the ‘I Hate You’ t-shirt.

  14. Sari Purdy

    2012-11-08 at 6:12 AM

    Ooh! This is so cool!

  15. Elvis Trujillo

    2012-11-08 at 6:14 AM

    I really love the eye shadow thing. They are looking gorgeous!

  16. Lynkez

    2012-11-08 at 7:45 AM

    I love those tees. The one saying ‘I hate you’ sends me smiling. I had one written: ‘Not now, I am busy!’
    It used to turn off people…ha!
    Style Bubble you rock!

  17. Elen

    2012-11-08 at 10:27 AM

    Love this blog post and blog! Your choice is always excellent, so good to find out about new designers!
    I featured you in my Top 5 Blogs!

  18. mellie

    2012-11-08 at 10:39 PM

    Obsession! GREAT POST

  19. Domenic Bartlett-Roylance

    2012-11-09 at 1:36 AM

    Méchant Bébé must be what Bryan Boy is wearing and referring as his Balmaincenchy t shirt I think..
    And I want a Your Mom Lies t shirt so badly and those Oxfords are to die for!

  20. bagues

    2012-11-09 at 10:09 AM
  21. Miss Red Socks

    2012-11-11 at 11:23 AM

    Loving the My Little Pony inspired designs! The styles of Taipei and Seoul is definitely coming strong for 2013 and are my dream destinations right now.
    Miss Red Socks

  22. captivelouise

    2012-11-12 at 3:05 PM

    Oh man, V!TOR is so up your street, you should check it out – seriously.
    From Lisbon FW:

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