Kim Shui Included a Key 'Mulan' Reference

Kim Shui Included a Key 'Mulan' Reference

Kim Shui's spring 2019 collection was all about deconstruction (paging Derrida). Panels flew off pant legs, white sleeves billowed in the air. "You can reconstruct the garments and piece them back together," she said. "We ripped some parts, and everything can be worn buttoned, unbuttoned."

Shui makes clothes for club girls. You want to shimmy in her body-con dresses, remove panels and detachable sleeves and fling them around on the dance floor. The designer played with baroque aesthetics and remixed traditional garments, like using leopard print on a mini version of a qipao (she sported the same style backstage). One obvious highlight was a flowing dress worn over matching trousers, each rendered half in leopard, half in a glittering green floral print.

And to the audience's (which included guests like the Clermont Twins and Venus X) delight, Shui soundtracked her finale with "Reflection," from Mulan. She used the original film version, by Broadway legend Lea Salonga. By her own description, it was chosen out of nostalgia and because it was "everything." We agree! Kim Shui may not dress perfect brides or perfect daughters, but her girls know how to have fun.

Photos by Stacie Yue, courtesy of Kim Shui