It was still quite roomy when I stepped in Nice Neighbor’s exhibition room around 1 p.m. After checking in, and getting the ticket, I strolled from oqliq, Fu yue, wisdom and rightly straight to Ceci. I was first captivated by the accessory table. However, something else caught my eye immediately. It was the designer of Ceci, Cecilia Chang, standing in the left front of me. “Are you the designer?” I asked impetuously, showing somehow some rudeness. “Yes, I am.” Then, this fabulous S/S tour began.
下午一點多一些，走進了好鄰居風格時裝展的展場，此時人還不太多。領完票，晃悠晃悠經過了 oqliq、Fu yue 和 wisdom，而後來到了 Ceci 的攤位。才剛要仔細看看陳列著的精工飾品，一抬眼，發現左前方一個高挑的人影，當時完全沒有任何思考，有點沒禮貌地直接問：「妳是設計師嗎？」「是，我是。」於是，便開啟了這場細膩的春夏新品導覽。
（About Ceci：Ceci, the Urban Nomad 台灣旅美設計師 Cecilia Chang 的城市遊牧）
2017 S/S Concept: Into the Woods
When you’re tired of the hustle and bustle of the city, go to the forest, explore the nature, and refuel yourself. “Forest” is indeed the main concept of Ceci’s 2017 S/S collection. Cecilia, the designer, adopted the colors of the forest, the scenery of the nature, and what people might feel within the greens as inspiration, utilizing fabrics, texture and tailoring to tell a fascinating story, and trying to express her thoughts through details.
Black resembles the negative emotions everyone all encounters sometime, while white represents beliefs. Green reflects the color of the leafs, nude symbolizes the warmth of the sun, and the whitened ripped denim indicates the scratches of clothes by branches when one goes into a forest; meanwhile, the light blue color is the color of the sky as well.
Colors are endowed with profound meanings in this season. Cecilia used the common understandings of each color, while adding her unique interpretations into her design. When you see this collection as a whole, each of the apparel tells a part of the big story; however, every garment is a story itself, and is about to tell more stories with the people wearing it.
都市生活略顯疲憊的時候，不妨來場森林漫遊。Ceci 2017年春夏的設計，正是以「森林」為主軸。Cecilia 將森林裡的顏色、大自然的景觀，以及身處其中的人們所可能產生的心境，藉由具體的布料、質感和剪裁，訴說一個完整的故事，並由每個小細節傳達幽微的心思。
As a vegetarian, Cecilia cares a lot about the environment and chooses materials without obnoxious ingredients to the planet. She also dexterously highlighted the story she wanted to tell with disparate texture of fabrics.
The bamboo green color stands out from the rest, correspondence to the “forest” concept. One of the tops in this bamboo green has its right side longer than its left one, in mimesis of the wind blowing the leafs, leaving it drape to one side. In addition, Cecilia adopted silk fabric of the nude symbolizing the sun. The most special and also Cecilia’s favorite of the season, the ripped whitened denim, is actually whitened from black denim! How many works should be done to whiten the original black denim to this nearly white light blue one! Besides, the ripped parts are energetic and wild as well.
In the tour, I wowed so many times as listening to Cecilia’s design concept and seeing and touching the apparels on my own. That really is incredible.
Cecilia 吃素，也相當關注環保，她選用對環境無污染的素材時，也巧妙運用了布料各異的質地，來深化她想說的故事內容。脆竹混紡的青竹綠，是這一季最突出的顏色，也是最直接符合本季「森林」主題的視覺意象。其中一件青竹綠上衣的設計，以左短右長的剪裁，仿擬風吹過竹林，樹葉傾向一側的形態。而象徵陽光的裸色，設計師則選用了緞面材質，光滑明亮而柔軟。最特別，同時也是 Cecilia 這一季自己最喜歡的一系列，莫過於刷破的水洗牛仔布。誰能想得到，這款看似近乎白色的淺藍牛仔布，竟然是由全黑的牛仔布洗白而成！其上的刷破也相當徹底，狂放而有力量。
導覽過程中，聽了 Cecilia 的設計理念，並看到實品的呈現，常常讓人發出「哇，原來如此！實在太厲害了」的讚嘆。
In my opinion, Ceci is a relatively intact, compact and mature brand among all the other brands in the Nice Neighbor trade show. Other brands of course have very brilliant concepts and executions, but most of time, they tend to be trivial. Nevertheless, the concept and story of Ceci is a unity. Every piece circles around the core concept, whereas each of them extends out to other stories. What absolutely astonished me is that Cecilia especially wrote a poem with her colleagues just for Ceci’s 2017 S/S collection! The lines of the poetry are engraved on the inner side of the rings, and embroidered on the corner of the clothes. With the power of words, the design concept is strengthened and deepened. (If you’re interested in the poem, check it out at the bottom of this post.)
Ceci 是這一季 Nice Neighbor 參展的品牌中，我覺得理念相當完整、成熟的一個品牌。其他品牌當然都有著很棒的設計理念與實踐，然而往往都比較片段。然而 Ceci 的理念相當圓熟且統一，皆圍繞著一個可以繼續發展下去的故事打轉而又各自延伸。更讓我驚豔的是，設計師竟然還為了2017年春夏的設計，和同事們一起寫了一首詩！這首詩的詩句或被雋刻在戒指內圍，或被秀上衣服的一角，以更具體的文字強化了踡伏在衣物底層的設計想法。（詩作請見文末）
Congruity of the Ambiguity 矛盾的統一
Cecilia embraces freedom, which is displayed throughout her loose, floating and casual design. Characters are also showed in the concern of details in Cecilia’s works. In comparison to the softness of the apparels, the silver accessories present somewhat some roughness.
Silver and black stay as the main colors of Ceci’s accessories, as their chunky and bulky size differs from most of the delicate feminine accessories in the market. Cecilia chooses this kind of colder shades rather than the warmer ones of gold or rose gold, as if to refer to the toughness of an urban woman when facing frustration and difficulties. The tenderness of the clothes and the hardness of the accessories juxtapose a distinct ambiguity. However, you feel harmony within them. I call them congruity of the ambiguity of Ceci.
Cecilia 喜愛自由，自由表現在其服飾寬鬆、飄逸、隨性的設計上，而在恣意之中，又可見得許多設計的巧思，展現了都會女子獨一無二的個性。有別於服裝的柔軟，Ceci 的925純銀飾品系列相較之下就顯得粗獷。
飾品以銀、黑為主，較為寬大、有分量的形式，表現了另一個 Cecilia 喜歡的特質：中性。體積較大、較厚重，且不用較為女性化的金色或玫瑰金，而以偏冷的銀色與黑色，彷彿訴說著都會女子面對挑戰與挫折的堅韌特性。服飾的柔與飾品的剛形成了鮮明的矛盾，然而在這顯而易見的衝突感中，卻又感到意外的調和，好像這就是一個人可能也可以有的樣子。
The Unknown Ceci & Cecilia
Q: Do you want to be a designer since you were little?
A: Actually, no. At first, I wanted to be the one washing others’ hair (even not a hair stylist, just the one washing hair) hahaha. Every time I saw my mom had her hair washed, I felt that so much fun to wash somebody’s hair with so many bubble!
Q: Why do you choose topics like this as your core concept?
A：Ceci 呈現的風格韻味都是我喜歡的，就是一個獨立堅強有個性的都會女子。我受紐約這個城市的創意與脈動影響很深，Ceci 這個品牌也是從這裡開始的。
A: What revealed through Ceci is what I adore. It tells stories about an independent and tough woman with characters living in a metropolitan. The vibe and creativity of New York City influences me a lot. And that’s also where Ceci was launched.
Q: Do you plan to open up a concept store or a showroom in the future?
A：目前還是採取設點方式，像是我們在臺北的 #nude 和新竹的 Cupboard 都可以買到。現在比較努力往國際發展，我們在日本、紐約也有設點，在柏林的櫃位也即將開幕。
A: Ah, in fact, pushing Ceci onto the international stage is our top priority. We collaborate with local stores instead of opening up our own. In Taiwan, you can see our collections at #nude in Taipei, and at Cupboard in Hsinchu. We also have Ceci root in Japan and New York. And we are about to launch our line in Berlin.
Albeit Cecilia had a serious cold that day, suffering from fever and running nose, you can tell that she absolutely did not feel well from her pale look, she still passionately introduced me the concept, stories and details about this season of Ceci. I really can feel her sincerity, which from my perspective, the quintessence of a brand.
Last but not least, the attached is the poem Cecilia wrote about Ceci’s 2017 S/S collection. Through the lines, I can really feel the anxiety, the yearn for being alone but not lonely, the sparkles of hope now and then, and the tranquility after calming down and pondering through.
最後，附上這首 Cecilia 為 Ceci 2017 S/S 寫的詩，一個音節、一個字母敲出我們心底的彷徨焦慮、心靈對獨處的渴望、生活中偶爾有的希望，以及冷靜沉澱過後的清明。
Burn off layer by layer
Hiding in the woodland,
I grasp the drizzly and misty scents.
Feeling sunlight on my skin,
I bare my soul a little bit.
Silence is all I hear.
I gaze behind the mask of mine,
a symbiosis of devotion and unrest.
I want to be alone, yet not left behind.
Exposing my soul in the woods,
I feel fully unveiled.
All lies do not matter,
all forbidden fields disappear.
blame and ruins I have to let go,
Honest serenity I desire.
In gleam and tears,
I seek for honest truth.
Between the clouded sheets,
a moment of blaze,
where all mysteries vanish.
I can hide to reveal and set myself free.