Such mixture with an innovative emphasis has not only brought with it numerous fans, but the crossover way of thinking has pushed the brand to join in experiments that blend East and West tastes in various industries and fields. In March 2018, MUKZIN unveiled its very first overseas show in Paris and gathered a Wulin (a term used in fictions and media to describe the community of martial artists) event on the theme of “Woman Xia”, and establish the voice of fashion from the Orient in the name of Chinese Women Xia’s revolutionary spirits. In September 2018, MUKZIN released "Daan" its Spring/Summer 2019 collection at London Fashion Week.
Born in Dalian and graduated from Leeds University Art School in the UK. The designer brand MUKZIN was established In 2014 by Han. She deconstructs the majestic and myriad Chinese traditional culture via original modern costume design and bring about a neo-orientalist aesthetic language in a brand new dimension. Since founding MUKZIN, Han has been invited to join in the opening show of Shanghai Fashion Week for three consecutive years. Han won the Pioneer Designer Award from the Asian Fashion Federation in 2017. Han launched MUKZIN 2018 AW collection “Jade in the Shadow” series in Paris and gained extensive attention from the fashion industry. Han ’s designs embody the “traditional yet rebellious” spirits. Han and her brand MUKZIN are the representatives of the contemporary oriental aesthetics.
Spring/Summer 2019 collection
“ DAAN ”
After bringing out a series of fashion collections such as “The theatre of mao’er” and “Jade in the shadow”, MUKZIN – the Chinese designer brand – has gradually built up its unique and distinguished features. Inspired by elements that were in traditional Chinese cultures, MUKZIN has established this fashion brand that blends the styles of both East and West from the perspectives of philosophic thought, aesthetic appreciation, and workmanship. In March 2018, MUKZIN unveiled its very first overseas show in Paris and the brand released "Daan" it's Spring/Summer 2019 collection at London Fashion Week.
This season, MUKZIN’s designer Kate Han aims attention at the packaging design of time-honored Chinese patent medicine brands in Hong Kong. She believes that the packaging of Chinese patent medicine in Hong Kong contains a sense of humanity and a profound touch of traditional Chinese culture while conveying the philosophy and essence of Chinese medicine culture to the audience. As a product of cultural fuses between the East and West, the packaging of Chinese patent medicine started to flourish against the unique cultural background in Hong Kong. As a result, these symbols have been transformed into details inside and outside of MUKZIN fashion designs in the coming new season.
Starting from classic packaging of four major medicines, i.e. Gao (cream), Wan (small round pills), Daan (granule) and You (embrocation), Kate Han takes efforts to investigate into the clothing and the questions how those combinations of China and the West present a unique retro feeling in the contemporary context from the perspectives of eastern aesthetics. The new series has an intention-revealing name: DAAN (Dan Medicine). As one of the most representative images in Chinese culture, Dan Medicine has been marked with specific cultural attributes, particularly in the manufacture process of Chinese patent medicine: Dan Medicine no longer simply representing the appearance of Chinese patent medicine, with its appearance and core gradually being “integrated”. Meanwhile, she also looks forward to maintaining the aesthetic system imbued with Chinese cultural legacies through this collection.
Bright and colorful packaging design's of the time-honored Chinese patent medicine brands are eye-catching but harmonious, which complies with the traditional coloring concept of “Pure, Bright and Colorful” in China. MUKZIN has always been maintaining the oriental style of high saturation colors. Therefore, about the color choice for Spring/Summer 2019, Kate Han tries to follow the coloring concepts of the packaging of Chinese patent medicine as much as possible, be it visually or potentially: the concept of Five Colors, i.e. Qing (a non-western color, blue-ish green), Red, Yellow, White, and Black.
Nowadays, these time-honored Chinese patent medicines, from which MUKZIN obtains its inspiration, are still commonly used in people’s daily life. Unfortunately, the exquisite packaging designs and the aesthetics they conveyed are not fully inherited. DAAN (Dan Medicine) series introduced by MUKZIN is an excavation to this low-key topic as well as an attempt to re-create and express traditional Chinese culture in a modern form.
Fall/Winter 2018 collection
“Jade in the shadow”
MUKZIN unveiled its Fall/Winter 2018 collection on the theme of “Woman Xia” in Paris on March 1st 2018. Kate Han, chief designer of MUKZIN gathered a Wulin (a term used in fictions and media to describe the community of martial artists) event on the theme of “Woman Xia (a title of legendary female with both chivalrous spirits and Kung Fu, who not frail beauties lamenting in boudoirs in most Chinese beauty-and-hero romances).” In regardless of the boundaries among cultures and spaces, this event aimed to dispel the fallacy and misunderstanding over the Xia culture in the past century, and establish the voice of fashion from the Orient in the name of Chinese Women Xia’s revolutionary spirits. The corresponding English title of this theme is “Jade in The Shadow”: Jade, or jadeite, is the name of the Woman Xia; Shadow means the silhouette, their figurative hidden identity in the community of Wulin. The image of Woman Xia’s shadow accompanied by her sword aims to insinuate a traditionally biased concept of Xia – only on martial arts. And another image of Woman Xia with her sword hidden behind performs as a frank illustration of the veiled Orient Xia spirit after accomplishing the mission of “sacrifice for the sake of others.”
In this Wulin event through ancient and modern times, there are various mysteries hidden behind the clothing. In ancient China, Woman Xia usually tends to hide their secret identities with the help of clothing. It has inspired the designer Kate Han, taking clothing as the medium, to discuss the relations between clothes itself and the “another self” hidden in it. Tailored in a geometric way of design, the Mobius-strip-like skirt is connected both inside and outside. With a slight pull of the gadget on the clothes, the model, dressed up as a Woman Xia, can finish her changing in a flash, from inside to outside; and her identity can therefore be redefined with the change in the way of dressing, enabling women to reconstruct themselves. And this design also suggests a very diverse but concealed relationship between Women Xia and their other hidden identities. As the Japanese philosopher Washida Kiyokazu has written, “Fashion, the game on the surface of human body, is our social skin, through which we are seeking for ourselves.”
Kate Han has deconstructed the symbols of Women Xia and their spirits throughout history and mixed those elements in a new way to create a splendid image of modern woman as reflected in the hall of the World of Mirror. Women Xia characters including Nie Yinniang and Hong Xian in the legends of Tang Dynasty are presented in styles of popular Hong Kong comics in the 1980s, and are taken down on composite technological fabrics made by paper and memory metal, together with structural tailoring as well as hand-shaping techniques. Through the above processes, a piece of fine-fabric clothing tailored for Woman Xia has been presented in front of the audience with the softness of paper and the toughness of steel, featuring the characteristics – a harmonious combination of strength and gentleness – of the Woman Xia in the Orient.
Inspired by the multi-layered design of jewelry boxes in ancient Orient, Kate Han constructs a weapon collection exclusive to Women Xia in another section of the main show, in which the blades, swords, spears and halberds exhibited are given feminine colors to reduce their relentless nature. Arrows are decorated with carved flower patterns on the belt, and darts are structured as delicate rings. Those symbols of blades presented on the clothing and accessories of the models are not only blazing and enchanting, as hidden magic sword behind Nie Yinniang, but also contains a great force.