Great images from designer Yirantian Guo’s ”UN-” collection.
P.S. I don’t believe in platforms, but these are amazing.
Pantone’s 2013 Color of the Year: Emerald #17-5641.
Now you know.
Photos: somethingdetailed.com, Chictopia SS ‘13 dress
Central St. Martins-trained textile designer-cum-fashion designer, Liu Qingyang (English name: Christine Lau) has developed quite a following with her label, Chictopia, among Chinese and foreigners in-the-know with her “pretty” designs featuring innovative prints, fabrics and digital embroideries. Here, a glimpse of her Spring/Summer ‘13 collection inspired by Henri Matisse. I don’t typically consider myself a “prints person,” but Ms. Liu’s clever designs just might make a print fan of me yet.
Photo: Liu Qingyang
Hong Kong Fashion Week is less of a true “Fashion Week” as the rest of the world knows it, and more of an extension of a trade show put on by the Hong Kong Trade Development Center (HKTDC) a few times a year: the editorial press is largely missing, as are traditional (majors) buyers, models are cast by HKTDC and shared among designers in group shows, and prizes are handed out to various up-and-coming designers, who invariably change from season to season, in contests like the Young Fashion Designers’ Contest (YDC). However, despite the inconsistency across seasons of designers who show, every now and again there are a few promising gems that crop up. This past HKFW, native Hong Konger, Elizabeth Lin Po-chun, who studied at Central Saint Martins, took the top honors in the YDC as Overall Winner, as well as two of the remaining three awards: Party & Evening-Wear Group Winner and Best Innovation Award Winner. As part of her prize, Ms. Lin will work with designer Martine Sitbon at Rue du Mail in Paris.
Ms. Lin is another example of the increasing number of Chinese designers who study abroad and return home to set up shop. Pictured is the best look from her collection shown at YDC, “Time Capsule,” which is admittedly more conceptual than commercial. But just as for other traditional maisons, this level of directional vision and originality—however impractical—is key to setting the tone of a brand; and it’s encouraging to see it in Chinese design.
Photo: Apparel News
I try to get out and see some demos at least once month, and last night I attended Fashion + Tech SF’s 3rd Year Anniversary to check out what was new in well, fashion and tech. There were three startups that seemed promising. The first two are StylSavvy and Flit. While StylSavvy is still pursuing the stylist/consumer market, given the direction the most directional retailers are going in terms of incorporating mobile technology into their brick-and-mortar shopping experience, StylSavvy’s intuitive shopping app is ripe for white-labeling. Flit, another shopping app, is busier in its interface, but more consumer-ready, plus I like the comparison feature. If pressed though, as a consumer, I’d pick StylSavvy if only because it’s the closest practical thing to Cher’s closet app from Clueless.
The third interesting startup is Ajent, and it’s interesting because it capitalizes on the paralyzing decision making process that comes from overwhelming choice by straight-up telling you what items to buy to get a certain look (looks are updated thrice weekly). Who knew lack of choice could be so liberating? The one thing I’d like to see improved is better matching between the look and suggested products, but overall they’re on the right track in terms of being streamlined and user friendly. Ajent’s competitors require uploading, tagging, and/or digging around for “get the look” options… tedious.
As an aside, every now and again, I’m amazed to think back to my childhood when none of this technology was around. “How did we get by?” I’d think. But then I saw this image and realized maybe it’s because no matter how sophisticated our technology gets, it’s in our human nature to do inane things. We just get to do them on spiffier platforms.
Vogue Italia editrix, Franca Sozzani, is probably the most vocal supporter of Chinese fashion—both design and model talent—among fashion’s elite. Case in point: the January 2013 cover featuring Chinese model Fei Fei Sun (Sun Feifei) in a Diana Vreeland-esque ‘do.
The Global issue is another example of how Vogue Italia pushes fashion past the traditional Western paradigm. ”In the images, Fei Fei perfectly embodies a timeless idea of an extremely chic, beautiful woman,” says Sozzani. In today’s world, fashion is truly global. I wonder how long it will take everyone else to catch up.
Photo: Vogue Italia, by Steven Meisel.
“What happened to Jason Wu only happens in the West. Can you imagine if the Chinese press talked more about a dress than the leader himself? The political clients I have all request that I make something very subdued and not eye-catching. The last thing they want is to outshine their husbands.”
-Guo Pei, Chinese couturiere to WWD, February 22, 2012.
Images: NYT, uk.fashionmag.com
Karl Lagerfeld has teamed up with architect Zaha Hadid for another Chanel branding exercise in China, called Culture Chanel, in the Guangzhou Opera House, designed by Hadid. (The opera also inspired Chinese designer, Vivienne Tam’s Fall 2011 collection) The exhibition launches January 16 and runs through March 3. Their last collaboration was the traveling container for the 2008 Chanel Mobile Art Exhibit.
Culture Chanel is curated by Jean-Louis Froment, who previously put together two other Culture Chanel shows in Shanghai and Beijing, and is put on in partnership with the Guangdong Museum of Art. The exhibition traces the connections between Chanel and the arts, showcasing 400 woks of art along with fashions by Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel and current Chanel couturier, Karl Lagerfeld.
Nowadays there’s nothing truly innovative in fashion in terms of silhouettes and styles (although there are very interesting and disruptive technological advances), which are constantly being reworked and recycled. And yet I’m surprised to see that the cycle of fashion references is getting shorter and shorter.
It used to be that fashion’s tastemakers would wait a few decades before re-working a look. Now, we’re referencing the aughts just barely after leaving them. Case in point: Karlie Kloss’s “Chop” by Garren, documented in the January 2013 issue of Vogue, immediately transported me back to the August 2000 issue, when Garren also chopped model of the moment, Carmen Kass’s long hair into a chin length ‘do.