Inspiration for high fashion can come from strange places. For one Taiwanese designer, it’s upcycling old wires and bolts from the power industry.
Wang Li-ling, 36, scours dumps, picking up old bits of metal and wires from Taiwan’s main electricity supplier to add extra flair to her clothes.
“For example, there’s quite a lot of material from Taipower that they have phased out,” Wang told Reuters in her studio.
“These materials have been used for more than 20 or 30 years. At least more than 10 years. So their colour or the mottled feeling they give you is different from new material.”
The wires and other materials are stitched onto dresses and other items of clothing, giving them a futuristic feeling, and drawing a warm reception at a fashion show in Taipei on Friday.
Model poses with a piece made with recycled materials at a fashion show in Taipei, on 18 December.
“Actually, it is my first time seeing a Taiwan fashion designer turning recycled things into new ideas,” said Taiwanese lifestyle influencer Andrew Chen, who was at the show.
“Everyone knows the fashion industry is about fast fashion. And it is wasteful. It expanded my horizons today that I saw how to use old materials to create something new, and then present it with creativity.”
A popular destination for trendy tourists in pre-coronavirus times, Taiwan has an up-and-coming fashion scene, whose designers are starting to make an impact on the world stage.
With many global events shuttered or moved online due to the covid-19 pandemic, Taiwan put on Taipei Fashion Week in October featuring live shows, a testament to the island’s successful efforts to control the spread of the illness.
Last week, Taiwan set a goal to vaccinate 60% of its population with a covid-19 vaccine, or 15 million people, reported Associated Press.
Taiwan has signed an agreement with COVAX to purchase a vaccine, but is also actively in talks with vaccine companies who have candidates in phase 3 trials for a potential bilateral agreement as well, said Jing-Hui Yang, a deputy director at the Central Epidemic Command Center. COVAX, a global plan to distribute vaccines equally, has not yet started sending out shipments of vaccines.
The island will prioritize frontline health workers and essential personnel to receive the vaccine first, Yang said. Later on, the immunization campaign will target the elderly as well as those who have existing chronic illnesses.
Officials expect the vaccines to arrive early next year. Still, an immunization campaign will take time, and will not be finished in just a month or two, Yang warned.