Mukzin Paris Fashion Week FW18
MUKZIN, in cooperation with Tmall platform, unveiled its Fall/Winter 2018 collection on the theme of “Woman Xia” in Paris, France on March 1 st at 7 p.m.
Under the Oriental system of “Rather have no force than being devoid of the spirit of Xia,” the physical force martial arts has always regarded as an aid to the righteous people as their fundamental mission. In the Fall/Winter 2018, Kate Han, chief designer of MUKZIN gathered a Wulin (a term used in fictions and media to describe the community of martial artists) event on the theme of “Woman Xia (a title of legendary female with both chivalrous spirits and Kung Fu, who are not frail beauties lamenting in boudoirs in most Chinese beauty-and- hero romances).” In regardless of the boundaries among cultures and spaces, this event aimed to dispel the fallacy and misunderstanding over the Xia culture in the past century, and establish the voice of fashion from the Orient in the name of Chinese Women Xia’s revolutionary spirits. The corresponding English title of this theme is “Jade in The Shadow”: Jade, or jadeite, is the name of the Woman Xia; Shadow means the silhouette, their figurative hidden identity in the community of Wulin. The image of Woman Xia’s shadow accompanied by her sword aims to insinuate a traditionally biased concept of Xia – only on martial arts. And another image of Woman Xia with her sword hidden behind performs as a frank illustration of the veiled Orient Xia spirit after accomplishing the mission of “sacrifice for the sake of others.”
Mukzin: Paris FW18
In this Wulin event through ancient and modern times, there are various mysteries hidden behind the clothing. In ancient China, Woman Xia usually tends to hide their secret identities with the help of clothing. It has inspired the designer Kate Han, taking clothing as the medium, to discuss the relations between clothes itself and the “another self” hidden in it. Tailored in a geometric way of design, the Mobius-strip- like skirt is connected both inside and outside. With a slight pull of the gadget on the clothes, the model, dressed up as a Woman Xia, can finish her changing in a flash, from inside to outside; and her identity can therefore be redefined with the change in the way of dressing, enabling women to reconstruct themselves. And this design also suggests a very diverse but concealed relationship between Women Xia and their other hidden identities. As the Japanese philosopher Washida Kiyokazu has written, “Fashion, the game on the surface of human body, is our social skin, through which we are seeking for ourselves.”
Kate Han has deconstructed the symbols of Women Xia and their spirits throughout history and mixed those elements in a new way to create a splendid image of modern woman as reflected in the hall of the World of Mirror. Women Xia characters including Nie Yinniang and Hong Xian in the legends of Tang Dynasty are presented in styles of popular Hong Kong comics in the 1980s, and are taken down on composite technological fabrics made by paper
and memory metal, together with structural tailoring as well as hand-shaping techniques. Through the above processes, a piece of fine-fabric clothing tailored for Woman Xia has been presented in front of the audience with the softness of paper and the toughness of steel, featuring the characteristics – a harmonious combination of strength and gentleness – of the Woman Xia in the Orient.
Inspired by the multi-layered design of jewelry boxes in ancient Orient, Kate Han constructs a weapon collection exclusive to Women Xia in another section of the main show, in which the blades, swords, spears and halberds exhibited are given feminine colors to reduce their relentless nature. Arrows are decorated with carved flower patterns on the belt, and darts are structured as delicate rings. Those symbols of blades presented on the clothing and accessories of the models are not only blazing and enchanting, as hidden magic sword behind Nie Yinniang, but also contains a great force.
The invitation of the Show consists of three parts, with the body part wrapped by an invites produced in Hong Kong comic style, serving as a metaphor to create a breakthrough in the present fashion system in the name of Woman Xia. The inspiration for the invitation stems from the waist card, namely the ID, of ancient Xia and secret agents. By applying traditional embroidery crafts into the design, MUKZIN create two waist cards: the white one for “Woman Xia” and black for “Yin Shi (the person who lives in seclusion from society)” to refer two the dual identity of the Woman Xia. In the craft of the waist cards, MUKZIN chose the feminine embroidery instead of jade or animal bones commonly used in history, together with contemporary color selection for female, to erase the boundaries between established gender and identity. In Chinese history, females with excellent embroidery skills are considered with both silky elegance and needle-like integrity. Silk and needle, a contrast of extreme softness and firmness, is the parallel of Woman Xia’s both sides and also the most powerful weapon to break traditional skills. In addition, the back-up plate of the waist card is derived from the classic opening in Shaw Brothers films.
About MUKZIN and its designer
MUKZIN was established in 2014 and co-founded by Kate Han, an independent designer living in UK for many years and George Feng. The Chinese name of the brand is “Secret Fan”. "Secret" indicates China's five-thousand- year history and profound and mysterious culture; "Fan" is a typical Chinese cultural design symbol. The pronunciation of “fan” is the same with “benevolence” in Chinese. So it also expresses the virtue of goodness. Kate was born and raised in a household doing apparel business and is hence well versed in craftsmanship, aspiring for both outstanding techniques and aesthetics. She later went to School of Fine Art, University of Leeds in UK to study textile design. After founding MUKZIN, she obeys the brand spirit “rebel and innovate”, using western design language to seek cultural roots, inheriting and restructuring traditional Chinese culture in her design. The reinterpretation of Chinese style, combined with contemporary aesthetics and pioneering artistic elements contributes to the unique style of MUKZIN. The aspiration to succeed traditional Chinese culture also cannot be neglected in the development course of the brand. Traditional handicrafts like Uighur embroidery are widely applied and innovated in the design. With such efforts, the neo-orientalist aesthetic language entrenched in the brand becomes widely recognized in the industry and beyond. Now, MUKZIN is available at dozens of pioneering boutiques and selected e-commerce platforms.