‘Distinctly Chinese’ elements steal fashion spotlight
Chinese fashion designers who have studied and lived overseas are pushing forward a new wave of modern design that champions cultural elements from China, and their collections are increasingly popular at home and abroad. At this year’s London Fashion Week, many Chinese designers exhibited garments, accessories and jewelry incorporating Chinese materials, such as silk and precious stones, as well as Chinese design elements like traditional qipao dresses. Common to these designers is a deeper appreciation of Chinese culture developed while living abroad. This has coincided with a new trend among Chinese customers, many from the middle class and with disposable income, who are seeking Chinese-influenced design in their search for new identity and individual expression. “There is so much depth and volume to Chinese culture, which we can use to express ourselves, to express our feelings, emotions and character as Chinese, and that’s what fashion is all about,” said Wang Yang, who founded the jewelry brand Hera Moment eight years ago. Although this year’s London Fashion Week marks the first time that Wang has exhibited her jewelry overseas, she said the interest from buyers and individual overseas Chinese customers has been enormous. “They want something distinctly Chinese, which will shine when they go to meetings dominated by Western management leaders,” Wang said. Courtney Blackman, managing director of Forward PR, said she had noticed an increasing presence of Chinese design during international fashion weeks. “Chinese designs are increasingly appearing in international catwalks, because many Chinese designers are educated in international fashion capitals like London, New York and Milan. So naturally they bring their collections to these cities.”
Creations by Chinese designers are showcased during London Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2017 on Monday.