Apparently, the condition of social anxiety is now a fashion statement. On Friday, September 23, Y-Z STUDIO debuted their SS17 collection at Vancouver Fashion Week; a first for designers Yangsen Hsu and Zachary Wu. Using the pressures of social media as a muse (something that Wu himself admittedly suffers from), the couple turned a personal statement into an inspired collection that will resonate with any digital age audience.
As the lights dimmed and the crowd hushed, the models slowly slinked their way down the runway; their cool-girl “don’t give a f*ck” vibes impossible to look away from. Wet hair and natural makeup complimented the independent, non-persuasive concept, emphasizing that yourself is the best person to be. As each model floated by, appreciation grew for Hsu and Wu’s use of hashtags on the fitted tees. Standouts were #deleteme and #unfriendme, which cleverly alluded to the overall theme. The tees were mixed with oversized blazers, trousers, and silk slip dresses, striking the perfect chord between 'feminine it girl' and 'borrowed from the boys'.
Other looks included the addition of graphics from Taiwanese artist, Sic Lee, whose clever use of prints contributed a fun and youthful element in Hsu and Wu’s thematic use of social anxiety. The collection contrasted classic black and white pieces with khaki and blue and white stripes, evoking a refreshing glimpse of the spring and summer that is to come.
One of the more notable pieces included a plunging black slip dress, layered over a nude tank with #deleteme blaring unapologetically across the front. Paired with stark white sneakers and black socks, the overall vibe was young and clean, modern and casual; the perfect mix of hip and comfortable. Equally eye-catching was the oversized, black and white pin-stripe blazer with matching suit pants. iPhone charging cords were creatively wrapped at the knee to sarcastically illustrate just how chained to social media our generation is. While undeniably taking inspiration from menswear, the look was still cool enough for any modern day woman. Rounding out the collection was a midi length tan dress paired with a blue and white striped denim-like jacket, featuring one of the collection's graphic images. The combined pieces epitomized spring fashion while continuing to play into the show's androgynous feel.
The cohesiveness of the collection was not lost on the crowd. Each piece received a nod of appreciation to the subtle hints of modern-day social anxiety. Individual garments fit perfectly into Y-Z STUDIO’s independent and cool-girl aesthetic, and together created a wardrobe worth keeping secret from the follower-frenzied crowd of social media platforms. Overall, Hsu and Wu’s first runway collection left their newly expanded fan base with much to look forward to in the coming seasons.