Jason Wu, Richard Chai and Alexander Wang
Last year's CFDA American Fashion Awards ceremony was dominated by Asian-American designers, who took home three of the night's most coveted awards: Richard Chai for men's wear, Jason Wu for women's wear, and Alexander Wang for accessories. Quickly thereafter, the CFDA awarded three $25,000 scholarships to up-and-coming student designers - all of Asian heritage.
Michelle Obama in Jason Wu
Jason Wu, the Tiwanese designer who stamped his name on the fashion world after Michelle Obama wore a cream, one shouldered gown created by the young designer, says that Fashion has become become a more prominent career in the eyes of Asian parents. "When I was applying to Parsons, my mother had never heard of it," he told the New York Times. "Now, everyone in the generation after me wants to go to Parsons."
Wu, Alexandar Wang, Philip Lim (Thailand) and Prabal Gurung (Singapore) all bring a soft, feminine, detailed pieces to the runways. Their concepts are fresh and youthful enough for younger customers, but also include luxurious and elegant for older clients. Just like Anna Sui and Vera Wang made their mark in the 1980s, these designers (all CFDA winners, runner-ups or finalists) are defining an era and carving a new path in the US market for other Asian designers.
One of those new designers is the creators of Divka, a line from Tokyo new to the US this season. The japanese collection, like previously mentioned designers, has no harsh lines or edges, and instead looks soft and feminine while still being edgy and fashion forward. The individual pieces are wonderfully juxtaposed with geometric patterns and organically constructed folds, ruches, knots and draping. Each piece makes its own statement, and brings to the US that etherial originality we've seen in other ground-breaking Asian designers. It may be time for Europe to hand over the crown to Asia, because the future is young and it's coming from the East.