The sophistication of Chinese shoppers should no longer come as a surprise to brands and retailers.
"Chinese women do a staggering amount of fashion research." -Brian Buchwald, Founder of Bomoda
Speaking of Hyères, this year of 350 designers, only 10 made the cut to the finals, including Shanshan Ruan, a Paris-based Chinese designer, who was awarded with the Public Prize of the City of Hyères for her collection of ephemeral multi-layered, weightless, breathtaking garments.
Check out an interview with here on Another Mag.
More images on Ruan’s Tumblr, and The VOGUE France behind-the-scenes video of the finalist selection process.
This Yiqin Yin custom “Absinthe” dress, worn by Audrey Tatou at Cannes this year, took 400 hours to create. Needless to say, Ms. Tatou’s decision to wear the frosted mint organza and silk chiffon gown is a boon to the young designer’s profile and business.
Born in Beijing in 1985, Yin left China at the age of four. Of her peripatetic life, she’s said that clothes gave her “points of reference” as she moved from country to country, eventually landing in France, where she studied at Paris’s National School of Decorative Arts.
Soon after, Yin was “discovered” at the 2010 Hyères fashion festival, a showcase of growing international importance to scout emerging creative talent. Since 2012 she has shown during the Haute Couture in Paris as a guest member of the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture. She sells her couture to American and Chinese clients, but something tells me she’ll be doing a whole lot of brisk business from here on out!
Find Yiqin Yin at: Montaigne Market and ModeWalk
Flying Scissors is my favorite Chinese handbag brand because they make original, on-trend, quality designs in that golden contemporary price point for handbags that hits just below entry designer (a category Phillip Lim and Alexander Wang have lucratively pioneered for handbags). It took a bit of coordinating to buy, but I absolutely love my red Moonlight Satchel and I am now obsessed with this exotic black and white tote. Also on the list? The Rockola cross-body bag, Bi-Colored convertible backpack/messenger bag, and Spikes evening bag (would be great in a black/gold combo).
Donations welcome to my Flying Scissors handbag fund!
Photo: Flying Scissors
So much to catch up on and cover, I know, but some other developments have been requiring my attention. Be back soon, hang in there!
One of my favorite blogs, Business of Fashion, has just picked up $2.1M in seed funding led by Index Ventures and other relevant industry players like LVMH. The money will be used to build out the site, which was recently re-vamped and re-launched this week, and bring on new employees.
As a boot-strapped site of 1.5 employees (now 5) and a network of contributors, B of F was an interesting read that drew hundreds of thousands in the fashion space from professionals, to “prosumers” and students, a testament to founder Imran Amed’s talent. I’m excited to see how things develop with this new backing.
Tom Ford is BACK and on-schedule. SO happy to see him give the “rat race” another go, in the way only he can, of course.
Awesome collection (see it here). Of course I’m biased toward the more subtle and subdued looks, but even the colorful and crazy ones are fun and not totally tacky. I love the inverted mitre skirts (a detail that reminded me of Givenchy’s Spring ‘12 skirts, which I also adore).
London Fashion Week seems to be the go-to place for Chinese designers to show their collections. Yifang Wan is another example of this growing contingent of strong designers with an affinity for the UK.
This dynamic between emerging Chinese design talent and London seems apt since LFW itself has recently emerged as a city that can once again churn out top-notch creativity consistently enough for the international press, buyers and editors to deem it worth their time to stop over. It also seems surprising, given the top schools in other fashion capitals, New York, Paris, Milan, that many of the most promising Chinese designers are choosing to study instead at one (or more) of London’s prestigious design schools: Central Saint Martins and London College of Fashion.
And among the designers who choose not to return home to work on their own brands, they often opt to build their brand in London. Below, an non-exhaustive list of Chinese designers, where they were educated and where they’re now based.
Designer: School (Based)
Huishan Zhang: Central Saint Martins (London)
Kim Kwang: Central Saint Martins, London College of Fashion, Instituto Marangoni (London)
Yang Du: Central Saint Martins (London)
Vega Zaishi Wang: Central Saint Martins (Beijing)
Uma Wang: China Textile University, Central Saint Martins (Shanghai)
Yirantian Guo: London College of Fashion (London)
Qiu Hao: Central Saint Martins (Shanghai)
Alison “Mary Ching” Yeung: King’s College, Central Saint Martins (Shanghai)
Masha Ma: Central Saint Martins (Paris, Shanghai)
Yifang Wan: Central Saint Martins (London)
Fei Wang: Oxford Brookes (London, Shanghai)
Xander Zhou: Royal Academy of Art in The Hague (Beijing)
Chi Zhang: Instituto Marangoni (Beijing)
Ji Cheng “Jenny Ji” (La Vie): Instituto Marangoni (Shanghai)
Liu Lu (LUVON) Parsons (Beijing)
Photo: Yifang Wan