Beat The Heat: Ray Chu Fall/Winter 2017 Collection

“In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer.” -Albert Camus

Just established in 2016 and a graduate of Shih Chien University (Master), Ray Chu of Taipei, Taiwan started his namesake label with an emphasis on the subcultures of the eighties and nineties entwined with the use of carefully placed cutouts to reveal the intriguing, sensual side of women without being too provocative. Clean cuts and casual silhouettes, Ray Chu focuses on orchestrating the imagination with the most diverting, understated details.

For Fall/Winter 2017, Ray Chu found inspiration through the streets and humid winters in Taipei. Entitled “Gloss,” the collection highlights Taipei’s mild and foggy, low temperatures that are contrasted by warm spells. Dark shades of blue in the form of denim take hold along with frayed edges and P.P. spray to create the look of soaked pants and decomposed flyers that are seen on Taipei’s streets when it rains.Ray’s use of denim is nothing short of unique mastery: a wrap-around top makes for a sexy silhouette as the navel is exposed, and is paired with relaxed fitting denim trousers. A high-neck, cropped blouse is also noted. Patent leather ties in a reflective sheen that one would notice on the streets after a storm. Ray stays focused on orchestrating the imagination with the most diverting and understated details such as the use of meticulously placed hardware; screw nickel-back grommets, snap buttons and playing with contrasting proportion. Ray teams a relaxed blouse and trousers in light gray together, which is worn under a denim skirt with an oversized zipper down the center. Although covered up, the idea and play on these proportions leaves the eye wondering and yearning.

A beeswax quilted trench that is enclosed by vertical snaps along the shoulder makes for the perfect winter look, and also comes in a shorter, bomber-like version. A red and black marble-like pattern is seen on separates as well as a sleeveless, three-quarter length dress that features large, horizontal zipper pocket details on the waist. The highlight however are Ray’s jackets: a modern take on houndstooth in an oversized silhouette makes for a chic, effortless aesthetic. But really, the ‘it’ piece is the patent leather oversized jacket in a reflective blue, complete with hardware and grommet details. Tying in elements as simple as weather with unique wares and stimulating patterns, Ray captures his brand’s spirit as it balances isolation versus interaction within society. JENNIFER STEVENS

Ray Chu Instagram: @raychustudios