The musical world may be overburdened with hundreds of remixes for every hit song, but Vivienne Tam’s “Shangri-La Remix,” has to be even better than the original. In one of the best collections at this year’s fashion week, Tam re-imagined the utopia of Shangri-La from James Hilton’s 1993 novel Lost Horizen, picking up fabrics and inspiration from the Himalayas and Mongolia. The collection as a whole was a union of East and West, urban and rural, grounded and ethereal.
Mongolian sheep fur made an unexpected but somehow perfect pairing for tailored brocade pants; another unlikely but striking combination was an over-sized leather jacket atop a red brocade pencil skirt. The hues of a sunset made their way onto patterned silks and onto furs. Sophisticated, modern and professional while in touch with the earth and the forces of nature, this collection was otherworldly but not in the sense of an alien, fanciful or fairy-tale alternate reality; it projected a future — or an alternate present — of a peaceful mixing of cultures and an effortless mixing of human modernity and nature. Optimistic and zen, these are gorgeous and timeless pieces that seem to transport the wearer to a more perfect world.
-Paula Rosine Long