INF x Unconditioned Female Director impressed NYFW with lost forbidden love and beauty during pandemic
With NYFW largely online, fashion films are more important than ever, to tell the story and the design behind and beyond the clothes.
At NYFW 21 AW, a fashion film from Taiwan dived deep into the forbidden culture and disappearing charm of yesteryear to leave the audience yearning for more.
The film, Time Machine, was written and directed by the Best Newcomer Director in San Diego Asian Film Festival, SDAFF, Yaoyao Chuang from Unconditioned. Her debut film “Farewell Loneliness” was selected at the Warsaw Film Festival, and this is her second foray into NYFW, documenting makeup artist Romana Lai.
Time Machine takes place in a been-there-forever traditional convenience store rarely found anymore in Taiwan. The store owner, Auntie Chiou (played by the Golden Horse Film Festival’s Best Leading actress, Chen Shu-fang) is a lesbian who’s been waiting for her forbidden lover for 40 years.
The love story of a lesbian couple may not seem like something worthy of a talking point in modern Western society, but in a country where homosexuality went from a taboo subject for thousands of years to becoming the first Asian country to legalize same sex marriage in more recent times, the story is more poignant than ever.
The couple promised each other a commitment of reunion if Auntie Chiou was still single the day she turned 70. As she grew increasingly worried of her lover not recognizing her, she sews and made the token of love to be her top for the final day, and this became a central point of her day and a nod to this fashion film.
The director wanted to set the film inside a chaotic old school convenience store because for anyone who have ever grew up with one in the neighbourhood, knows that these convenience stores existed for reasons that extended way beyond what their modern counter parts are build for. They played a major role in providing a convenience where people came to live, love and laugh or even a date. This is essentially the mini mall of the hood back in the day, and it has an instant nostalgic affect for pretty much all grown adults.
INF 21AW Time Machine incorporated Grunge Art element into the retro design with a modern twist including the original vintage TTL (Taiwan Tobacco & Liquor Corporation) template. As always, INF revolutionizes the traditional design drawing from constant reconstruction so to come up with his versatile series “One for all”; and to stay true to the Grunge Art style by leaving the fabric untrimmed as highlights. The pattern has several design revamps to incorporate the convenience storefront outlook and logo, adding Chinese characteristics, ink splashing and grease staining to the mix.
Time Machine has brought the past into the future, and the future has found itself drawing from the past. A collaboration of two great talents in a masterpiece.