When foreigners are amazed and enchanted in the mysterious culture and arts of China, Chinese element has already joined the rhythm of global fashion. Cuties bring forth the vogue of minority style on world stage. You may pick them up in most fashionable cities like Paris or Milan.
Embroidered shoes, pleated batik skirts, shining silver accessories of the Miao minority – these are the exotic Chinese flavors that will pervade the Paris fashion trade fair, which begins in the world’s fashion capital today.
China’s promising young designers, He Jian, Zhu Xiaoyu and Yang Jie – all of whom are winners of the latest Seven Brand Cup China Style Costume Creation Contest – will debut at this premier fashion event that brings together the most cutting-edge designs and collections in Europe.
“We think Chinese designers can win international recognition by incorporating unique Chinese elements into world fashion trends,” says He Jian. His collection features innovative combinations of ethnic costumes and modern men’s casuals, while Zhu Xiaoyu and Yang Jie both derive inspiration from the costumes of the Miao and Zhuang minorities. Today’s youngsters have been inspired by the success of other Chinese designers who have starred previously in such fashion capitals as Milan, New York and London.
Zhang Zhifeng, art director of NE Tiger Clothing Company, is one such example. The veteran designer wants to build NE Tiger as an international luxury brand in China – in the same league as Louis Vitton and Armani.
Zhang has explored the use of Chinese Yunjin, the special brocade once reserved for royalty, in his collections. He adopts the traditional “seamless” weaving method in his haute couture fabrics, once used exclusively for the brocade dragon robe of the emperors. Exquisite handmade Chinese embroideries of the phoenix and peony are also widely used. As the making of the brocade and the embroideries are extremely time-consuming and complicated, it usually takes Zhang and his skilled craftsmen months to make one suit, with the price hovering in the region of 50,000 yuan ($6,756).
“Yunjin and embroidery mark the high points of Chinese clothing culture. I hope to arouse an awareness and appreciation of these rare gems through my designs,” says Zhang.
His collections feature a harmonious combination of traditional culture and modern fashion elements. He includes Western fashion inspirations and solid cutting techniques into his designs and applies georgette, damask, Italian baldachin, lace and Swarovski crystals to Chinese silk and brocade to redefine the Western gown, corsage, pleat skirt and fish skirt.
Zhang’s persistence has helped NE Tiger, the once barely known local brand, to become the leading Chinese haute couture brand for furs, evening gowns and wedding clothes, in just 10 years. His studios are scattered across the United States, France, Italy and Russia, and his designs have even won over royalty in Europe. For instance, Joachim Holger Waldemar Christian, the prince of Denmark, chose NE Tiger, to make the evening gown for his fiancée.
by Xiao Xiao firstname.lastname@example.org