One of our favourite designers was Wang Li Ling, Creative Director of the fashion label WANGLILING and founder of DARKLIGHT DESIGN Studio. Her clothes were showstoppers, and some pieces even glowed in the dark. After attending an all-girls’ middle and high school in Taipei where students had to cut their hair to a boyish length, Wang had the opportunity to discover fashion by studying abroad with two other girls from Europe.
Her fashion sensibility developed through the influence of her artistic mother and grandmother, and eventually attended Shih Chien University for fashion design. “When I went clubbing with friends, we wanted a way to check our makeup at the table without having to go to the women’s room,” Wang recalls. “We came up with an idea to make a bag out of mirrors and LED lights. It was my first work that combined technology and fashion.”
Wang decided to further her fashion education by enrolling in Central Saint Martins’ MA Textiles Futures programme, where she focused on the subject of light and natural elements. However, she did not get the chance to graduate due to her mother losing her vision and having to fly back to Taiwan to be with her family. “The doctors asked me to check my eyes since they were similar to those of my mum’s,” Wang explains. “They discovered I had lots of little holes in my eyes. I had three surgeries within a few months.”
Wang’s newest collection highlighted couture that drew inspiration from water and technology. Translatable from day to night, hand embroidered garments evoked sophistication whereas outerwear presented an oil-in-water glossy effect. A triangle mosaic mirror dress reflected red laser light at the end of the dynamic show.
The 13th Edition of Taipei IN Style has confirmed that the Taiwanese fashion industry is one that must be recognised as an up-and-coming market for international buyers. While some designers stayed true to their traditional Asian roots, others have demonstrated immense creativity and potential to expand their horizons on a global scale. We are more than curious to see what the Spring/Summer 2017 season will bring as Taipei warms up for another round.