Woman Turned Warrior: Kim Shui SS23

Woman Turned Warrior: Kim Shui SS23

Woman Turned Warrior: Kim Shui SS23

A visual testimony to what it means to validate your own presence.

A visual testimony to what it means to validate your own presence.

Text: Maddie Street

Unbound and adorned with dragons, the Kim Shui woman is winged and ready to take off. She is recognizable but not always seen. Always aspirational, always poised, the Kim Shui woman validates her own presence. We see this girl while scrolling through our Instagram feeds - calm in social settings, relaxed on a beach, faraway, and effortlessly sexy. Being a Kim Shui woman is no longer just fantasy; it’s a choice she invites you to make.

Set against the evocative background of Grand Central Station, showgoers and commuters alike are swept into the city’s undertow, set adrift in the crosscurrent of transition. At the same time, the simple notion of arriving becomes synonymous with ascension.

Building from that same expansive energy, Shui’s Spring Summer collection decentralized the NFW runway. From crowdsourcing 784 pixels to be turned into a custom print that walked the runway to conducting an online casting call. In an intention to sonically illustrate a portrait of a generation, Kim worked on the soundtrack in partnership with Tidal to invite the public to answer the question, “What’s something you were embarrassed about but now love?” Through a slew of voicemail recordings, their voices coalesced.

As the collection unfolds, the Kim Shui woman begins her transition into a warrior as Shui plays with exaggerated shapes that restructure the silhouettes of the sex-appeal. She referenced football gear and armor alike while simultaneously doing a deep dive into the lore and legends of the Chinese Miao people, wielding celestial references with flair.

During the construction of the garments, Kim met minds with German designer Marina Hoermanseder, who specializes in leather and silicone, to create two silicone molded bodices akin to these references. There is a demi-couture element to the garments manifesting in intricate detailing, embroidery, and volume. The latter element also plays with the idea of what it means to take up space, as inclusiveness is not just simply about access.

Credits: Runway Photography by David Gannon

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