‘Dis­tinctly Chi­nese’ el­e­ments steal fash­ion spot­light

China Daily (USA) - - TOP NEWS - By CECILY LIU in Lon­don cecily.liu@mail.chi­nadai­lyuk.com

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.”

QIAN XINGQIANG / CHINA NEWS SER­VICE

Creations by Chi­nese de­sign­ers are show­cased dur­ing Lon­don Fash­ion Week Spring/Summer 2017 on Monday.

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