Luchen brings theatrics to the runway


When the pandemic lockdowns happened, many of us longed for the theater to make a comeback and speedy recovery. It finally seemed like ages before we could enjoy a theatrical performance again. When theater performances returned, the fashion industry took note. It was time for a return to theatrical runway shows. After surviving two physical Fashion Months, the runway show is back, bold, and beautiful.

Lu Chen debuts fall/winter 2022 runway collection

Parsons graduate Lu Chen, who recently launched her eponymous label Luchen, opted to show her fall/winter 2022 collection off calendar this season. Her show was held at the Daryl Roth Theatre, and it was fitting given the theatrics that took place. What at first seemed a traditional runway show quickly morphed into a devised theater piece. One model in a black jacket with red piping and a pleated black skirt walked the runway while videotaping the audience.

For most of the runway show, there was a bed on stage where models appeared to be miming. One walked the runway in an elaborate headpiece designed to look like a bird. The first several looks featured black and white neutral pieces. The collection would develop into more colorful pieces in plum, red, pink, and blue. The closing look was literally stripped down to the bare bones. A gender-ambiguous closed the show in a sheer black coat and black underwear. All the world was a stage, and all the men, women, and gender non-conforming are merely players after all.

Chen said her goal with the collection was to explore the notion of how our intangible thoughts and beliefs may truly exist, and further question what they may look like. It’s been an interesting journey for Chen, who first came into focus for dressing Broadway producer Jordan Roth.

Chen has managed to position herself as an emerging luxury brand with 325 dollars to 4920 dollars on her e-commerce site. The theatrics are paying off for the designer as she works on growing her brand, she’s already building a small and mighty customer base. The brand is just beginning to explore its creative possibilities.

Filippo Fior for Imaxtree
Filippo Fior for Imaxtree
Filippo Fior for Imaxtree
Filippo Fior for Imaxtree



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