By Ava Gilchrist

Artist’s Eye: Taili Wu

In an industry that is increasingly operating under a ‘high risk, high reward’ mentality, burgeoning fashion designers from all corners of the globe are adapting to our ostentatious desires with unanticipated reverence. GRAZIA commissions nine artists to chronicle fashion’s vanguard, those marking a ‘coup de théâtre’ for the Spring/Summer 2023 season


The musings of a Central Saint Martins graduate are always amongst the most profoundly conceptual within the fashion industry.

So, for emerging womenswear designer Jessan Macatangay’s Spring/Summer 2023 show, presented as his masters showcase, titled Sculptural Sensuality – the notion of ‘nearly naked’ dressing took on new meaning through his collection of The Fifth Element-worthy knicker-skirts and protruding bodices.

Here, on the hallowed King’s Cross catwalk which once played host to freshman collections for the likes of John Galliano and Alexander McQueen, Macatangay examines the body as a vessel to deconstruct and reconstruct, to proverbially nip and tuck into a sculptural delight.

Skin tight and skin toned, we can’t help but wonder if the discourse around Barbiecore unconsciously influenced Macatangay’s line up, with floor-grazing nude sculpted maxi skirts and jutted-out bustier crops emblematic of a high fashion take on an undressed Barbie doll. But is the collection Barbie, or Barbarella? The space-age-infused silhouettes are undoubtedly cartoonishly camp, with unequivocal sex
appeal embedded into the very stitching of the collection.

Macatangay’s theatrical approach to dressing women balances the boundary between costume and couture with subversive undertones that poke fun at the dichotomy between modesty and autonomy.

Where does conservative clothing lie in the age of seductive silhouettes? Can you cover up while still remaining completely exposed? How can you embrace your sexuality without fear or shame? For Macantangay, it’s this discourse and the perpetual tension between two states of being that fuels his work – an ever-evolving display of modification and adaptation.

TALI WU: Multi-hyphenated visual artist Taili Wu brings a surreal, albeit lighthearted, perspective to both 3D and 2D art, exploring the dialogue between imagination and reality. Affectionately coining the term ‘Monster Shaper’ for her fondness of crafting expressive and thought-provoking creatures, Wu’s unique perspective invites the viewer into a world of unbounded curiosity and playfulness.

Follow Taili Wu @tailiwu