Livia Tang AW19 | Tea Ceremony
LONDON FASHION WEEK | SHOW REVIEWS
Brotherhood of Tang: A Celebration of Sibling Love with a Cuppa on the Side
London-based contemporary brand, Livia Tang, drew inspiration from historic images of twins in a celebration of the special bond between siblings. Opening the presentation, at Fashion Scout near the heart of Covent Garden, guests were offered a ceremonial blend of jasmine tea to enjoy during the show. Models, in beautifully-styled, Geisha-inspired makeup and hair, elegantly moved around the set, taking turns to participate in the Tea Ceremony set up on stage.
There’s an undeniable innocence and childlike charm to the collection, not least, as expressed in the socks and sandals worn by every boy and girl! Necklines are high and hemlines demure. Loose-fitting pieces, like slip dresses, midi skirts and rompers, defy gender-assignment, adding a modernity and another hint of childrenswear in places.
Twinning is Winning
The brand subtly hints at the powerful relationship between twins using double-sided fabrics in houndstooth check and ivory linen jacquard. Every element, from the floral tapestry to the patchwork to the traditional weaving technique employed in the top-stitching, is carefully designed in tribute to the longevity of sibling love.
Given the androgyny of much of the collection and styling, the colour palette is surprisingly traditional with sweet pinks and an especially strong blue in dominance. That said, the more muted tones of terracotta, peach, navy and black, ensure the collection does not present the “girls wear pink” social norm that most of us have been brainwashed into accepting.
Honouring the long-lasting attachment of brother-and sisterhood, the brand employs mainly sustainable, natural Japanese textiles like linen, tweed, wool and cotton blends, while all the beading and trimmings are made with natural materials and processes, such as jade, shell and cord.
In counterpoint to the soft, loose tailoring, models were made up in strong, Geisha-like makeup with accompanying gravity-defying hairstyles. Hot pink eyeshadow blended into cheekbones and applied in central stripes to lips created a pretty nod to traditional Japanese culture. Black-painted dimples for the girls added yet another hint at the innocence of childhood. Bows were in abundance on skirts, in hair and even on some of the sandals, echoing a trend which emerged at the SS19 shows.
While onlookers snapped happy and drank the sweet blend of tea offered on entry, models ‘played mother’ at the ceremonial tea table, blowing bubbles into the crowd and reenacting the traditional Way of the Tea.
What are your thoughts on this deep and meaningful collection? Have you ever participated in a traditional Japanese Tea Ceremony? Tell me your experiences below.
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