The designs were all made in Vietnam, and the four designers went back and forth with tailors and relied heavily on Google Translate to bring their vision to life. This process permeates the collection, playing into the bootleg concept they’ve explored in previous seasons. “The idea of counterfeits is that the language gets confused,” Chu explained. “When we try to speak Vietnamese or they try to speak English, we don’t always use the correct grammar or the same text. clothes to create [are] Proof of that. And sometimes things aren’t as perfect as we’d like them to be, but they’re different and beautiful in ways we didn’t expect. ” Izu responded to that sentiment. “Language is as much a tool as fashion, and can be used to convey different kinds of meaning. It’s the underlying meaning that makes you understand a person, even if the syntax is different.” The group of sculptures and video installations on display were also displayed in conjunction with the show.
The decision to host the presentation at the Japan Society was largely motivated by their Asian heritage. Founded by an American businessman in 1907, the museum was established to build links between Japanese and American cultures. Since then, the space has been essential in informing and educating the American public about Japanese culture. “We realized the importance of the Japan Society in building an Asian identity,” Chu said. “It’s such an old organization that it’s been a great source of information about Japan. They’ve really influenced the shape of what Asianness means to Americans for a long time.”