Pop Culture

Rebirth in Fashion: Ziyue Tang’s Samsara-inspired Collection

Ziyue Tang, as a fashion designer, embarked on a deeply personal journey with her collection “SONG OF SAMSARA,” inspired by her hometown legend. Her grandmother’s passing, is marked by the presence of a butterfly at the funeral—a local omen symbolizing the transition to the next life. Thus, she sought a symbolic anchor, finding resonance in the Ouroboros, the ancient symbol of a serpent biting its own tail, representing the eternal cycle of life, death, and rebirth.

Drawing inspiration from the natural world, Tang translated the concept of rebirth and cyclicality of all life into a series of eight series, each reflecting the essence of a different meaning. But her vision extended beyond mere aesthetics; she aimed to infuse sustainability into her fashion concept. Utilizing eucalyptus leaves for dyeing, Tang embraced a meticulous process, challenging the notion of fast fashion. “The process of dyeing the fabric is actually quite complex. It includes putting eucalyptus into a white vinegar, and then putting eucalyptus leaves over wet fabrics. After that, I roll up the fabric with a rolling pin-like tool and boil it for four to five hours. The fabric is made of silk and linen.” She said. This is a laborious endeavor, which implies that she prefers sustainable fashion.

The complexity of the dyeing process mirrored the intricate layers of Tang’s designs. From ethereal butterfly-like ensembles reminiscent of metamorphosis to flowing capes evoking the sensation of flight, each piece captured the delicate balance between fragility and strength. Employing silk and linen, she created garments that embodied the cocoon-like state of transformation, embracing texture and depth.

In her second series, she designed garments resembling capes, digitally printed onto linen. The capes flow gracefully, evoking a sense of fluttering akin to butterflies about to take flight. The fifth series, which is crafted from silk, draws inspiration from the cocoon’s state, complemented by a textured feel.

Symmetry, a recurring theme in her collection, drew inspiration from the Rorschach inkblot test, reflecting the inherent balance in nature. Tang curated botanical patterns, digitally printed onto silk organza, evoking a sense of harmony and equilibrium. “I drew inspiration from the Rorschach inkblot test, where the paper unfolds symmetrically. Utilizing this concept of symmetry, I selected botanical concepts from nature and imprinted them onto the fabric,” Tang explains.

If you examine these selections closely, you’ll notice a diverse array of creations. Take, for instance, the bustier and trousers ensemble, which intricately mimics the winding layers of an ouroboros. This design element is deeply rooted in Tang’s heritage. Drawing inspiration from her grandmother in Guizhou, she incorporated traditional Dong ethnic embroidery techniques into her pieces. “When you observe the garments, you’ll see these intricate details adorning the bustiers and trousers, resembling the graceful movements of a butterfly.” She explains.

Ziyue Tang carved her own path in the fashion world, showcasing a distinctive approach that resonated with audiences. Her designs, with their understated charm and enduring elegance, subtly embodied the essence of wabi-sabi, embracing the inherent uniqueness found in life’s fleeting moments.

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