SS17 | THE PERCEIVED ANALOGY
The Spring Summer 2017 collection, THE PERCEIVED ANALOGY, brings designer Alex S. Yu back to his roots and explores the shaping of an identity fashioned by the forces of culture that would become his signature style.
At the seven years old, Alex's family immigrated to Canada from Taiwan. Moving to a foreign country as young as he did, he managed to grasp English quickly and assimilate more easily than his parents. Though these things came effortlessly to him, he still felt like he did not fit in with the Canadian children, whose ideologies and cultural values are deeply engrained and unchanged. When Alex went back to Taiwan to visit, he again, found that he did not quite belong there either. Always only seen as either-or, and never both at the same time, thus began the cultural push-and-pull that Alex felt while coming to find his own identity -- the 1.5 Generation Immigrants phenomenon. At home, he was raised with Japanese and Taiwanese traditions, and at school, he was exposed to the North American culture. The two languages, two sets of cultural values, social expectations, rules, and ideals -- they all shaped Alex's growth, his perception, and how he expressed himself. The languages he spoke, the shows he watched, the fashion he sported, all evidenced the fact that he is too "F.O.B." to his Canadian friends, and too "white-washed" for his Taiwanese friends and family. But to himself, he is both cultures, but made to feel like, none.
This collection explores the different facets of a mixed-culture identity; specifically, the cultures that shaped ALEX S. YU as a person, and as a designer. The way he views the world, and his values, are neither very "North American" nor very "Asian". He is in between. He is both. The collection reflects these complicated feelings through the mix-and-matching of cultural references and fashion trends, all blended together in Alex's own unique way. The collection is an analogy. It tells Alex's story, how the designs are his perception of the world, and how it is a world influenced by the cultures he attained while growing up. The garment is a manifestation of that hybrid of cultures. It is a hybrid of laid-back sportswear, driven by the quintessential Canadian look, and the more colourful and vivid, mix-and-match lifestyle of the Taiwanese, as perceived through the designer's lifelong experience of both cultures.
Photography | Simon Armstrong of Conde Nast
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