Runway Report: Vivienne Tam

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Known for her aesthetic of updated Chinese motifs, Vivienne Tam crossed over to the other side of Asia for her muse. Fall 2016 for Tam was inspired by the upcycled fashion looks of Turkish street style. As a complement to that, she also referenced mosaic tiles found in ancient architecture.

Designer Tam loved how young street style influencers were using patchwork and a mix of traditional fabrics and styling them into something new. In her collection, this look was seen in the patchwork appliqué of different textured fabrics shaped into motifs found in mosaic tiles. Vivienne Tam is also a master of prints. Her signature look is to tweak iconic Chinese symbols and give them a pop culture twist. This season, the defining look was a trompe l’oeil digital print that layered images of distorted Turkish tiles and recolored them in Tam’s fall palette.

Tip: Keep your designs fresh and relevant by giving traditional motifs a 21st-century makeover. If you are using classic appliqué techniques, then choose modern materials. If you are referencing an era from the past, find a way to link it to a trend of today.