Jiayi Che’s Marginalia – An artful fusion of historical elegance and modern expression

New York City, a hub of creativity and innovation, has always been a melting pot of cultures and ideas. Among its many talents, fashion designer Jiayi Che has emerged as a distinctive voice, pushing the boundaries of conventional beauty standards and redefining femininity through her latest collection, "Marginalia."

Jiayi Che’s Marginalia. Photo: Stefy Lin.

With a keen eye for historical intricacies and a passion for self-expression, Che’s collection is a harmonious blend of chaos and elegance, inviting us to take a closer look at the intersection of past and present.

Unveiling Marginalia: A Glimpse into the Collection

Jiayi Che’s collection, “Marginalia,” is a visual narrative that traverses the realms of late medieval to early Renaissance Western historical clothing. Inspired by the vibrant colors, intricate patterns, and captivating textures of this bygone era, Che presents a captivating juxtaposition. The chaotic nature of the period finds unexpected harmony within her collection, drawing the viewer into a world that blurs the lines between tradition and modernity.

The metaphorical cornerstone of “Marginalia” is Che’s creation of her own “Garden of Earthly Delights.” Within this realm, her distinctive characters come to life, each donning ensembles that challenge the norms of femininity and historical fashion. A symphony of elements unfolds, weaving diversity into the fabric of each look. It’s a nod to her own journey of self-discovery and defiance against the conformities she encountered.

Defying Expectations: Jiayi Che’s Journey to Self-Expression

Before Jiayi Che embraced her role as a fashion trailblazer, she navigated the expectations and confines of societal norms. Memories of being dressed as a princess by her mother reflect a world of flashily decorated accessories and sophisticated styles that often clashed with her own burgeoning sense of self. Even as a teenager, she faced criticism for her bold choices, an experience that deeply resonated with her.

Growing up in an environment that demanded conformity, Che was determined to break free from the molds that confined her. The concept of looking like a princess, while rooted in historical fashion traditions, became an avenue for her to explore the intricacies of self-presentation. Her fascination with ancient fashion norms and systems played a pivotal role in shaping her creative vision. This fusion of historical elegance and modern expression is the cornerstone of “Marginalia.”

Jiayi Che’s journey to becoming a fashion designer began at Parsons, an institution renowned for nurturing creative minds. Her evolution as a designer is a testament to her dedication and growth. Through her collections, Che not only showcases her progress but also invites us to witness her artistic maturation.

Jiayi Che’s “Marginalia” collection is more than a mere display of fashion; it’s a manifesto of self-expression, an homage to history, and a celebration of the fluidity of beauty standards. In a world that often confines us to predefined notions, Che’s work challenges us to embrace the richness of diversity and the allure of breaking free from the norm. As she stitches together the threads of the past and present, she reminds us that fashion is more than clothing—it’s a canvas for the soul.

Designer: Jiayi Che.
Photographer: Stefy Lin.
Models: Helga Hitko, Dayton Aubrey.
Makeup artist: Lindsay Kastuk.
Hair stylist: Tomoaki Sato.
Visual consultant: Stoker Kou, Carrie Chang, Brian Bollin.

Harper’s Bazaar Vietnam