We donâ€™t tend to think of scooters and fashion as a particularly harmonious pair. Yet at the Angus Chiang Autumn/Winter 2018 show, the designer made a strong case for the unexpected union. Titled â€œPut the Pedal to the Metal,â€ Chiang sought to celebrate the humble scooter as a symbol of freedom and independence.
The show took place inside a worn down warehouse in Le Marais, where the crowd was notably young and trend-savvy. Keeping with theme, front row guests were treated to their very own motorcycle helmets by the Taiwanese brand Chief. In understated white and gold, the helmetâ€™s subdued style did not prepare for the bold, abstract looks that would make up the designerâ€™s fifth collection. Taiwanese rock music blasted as the first model strode down a vehicle ramp towards the crowd, setting the tone for what was to be a high energy show.
Clear cut geometric lines and a bold array of primary colours drew clear inspiration from roads and street signage. Metallic trousers and heavy windbreakers alluded to classicÂ biker wear as well as the machinery itself. Always one for contrast, Chiang often paired these edgier pieces with chunky knitwear in cheerful colours. Though the garments were unashamedly bold, it was often the accessories that took centre stage, with many models sporting a single statement earring, automotive inspired bags, and in one case, an eye-raising plastic muzzle.
While it is certainly difficult to pick a stand-out look in a collection where each modelâ€™s outfitting was more shocking than the last, there were a few combinations that were particularly noteworthy. The pairing of maroon leather pants and a crisp white button down was given an unexpected edge with a billowing clear rain coat that was almost grotesque in its size and arrangement, while a dress-length metallic windbreaker paired with knee high metallic boots offered a cool and elevated approach to the often overdone athleisure trend.
Also on display was Chiangâ€™s collaboration with Nike: a customized Air Force One in celebration of the cult itemâ€™s 35th anniversary. Chiangâ€™s addition to the iconic sneaker appeared in the form of inflatable insoles that surround the base, offering a unique (if not extremely unpractical) take on a much loved shoe.
To give a bit of backstory, Angus Chiang created his namesake label in 2015 after representing Taiwan at London Graduate Fashion Week in 2013. The young designer has quickly made a name for himself with his gender-fluid menswear and consistent nods to Taiwanese culture. This collection marks Chiangâ€™s fifth season.
Itâ€™s nothing new for fashion to be considered an extension of us as people. But by blurring the line between man and machine, Chiang takes the intimate relationship between humans and their apparel one step further.
By Charlotte Sanders
Photography courtesy of KCD Worldwide