The feature image is a Qiu Hao design as shot by Matthieu Belin. Is fierce. I dig.
A few China Fashion Finds (read: Fast Facts) of the day: Haute Couture, Guo Pei, monkey-crazy NYE spending and Woolmark (yes, Woolmark). Only for the die-hards who a. don’t do Valentine’s Day (hello there, fellow Europeans), b. don’t have a date for Valentine’s Day or c. celebrate Valentine’s Day or Qixi Festival (七夕節 or Double Seventh Festival) in August of this year (and presumably are Chinese).
Fact: Guo Pei (郭培) continues to make waves after showing her Spring 2016 Haute Couture collection in Paris. The “richly embroidered and jewel-encrusted dresses, skirts and cloaks in gold, pastel blue and pink, yellow and white” left quite the impression on attendees of this swanky fashion shindig. Her Middle Kingdom tradition meets modern China designs have been rolling off blogger tongues, swaddled in delight and desire. “Vast skirt volumes, lashings of beaded semiprecious stones or rich explosions of embroidered color,” thank you New York Times, make up the gentlewoman’s seasoned recipe for success. It’s highly likely Riri’s not-so-seamlessly received Met gown, remember?, also had a stitch or three to do with it. The designer has also played down concerns over China’s current economic slowdown, which brings me to…
Fact: “As China’s economic growth slows and its stock market remains turbulent, consumers are still willing to spend as confidence remains high, according to recent data,” reads Jing Daily. As always, and as mentioned many times before, Chinese consumers tend to go bananas (TOO easy) for brands when the new year comes lurking ’round the corner, but apparently nothing stopped them from going ape (I’ll stop, for now) for luxury over the course of 2015 either. “The question for the luxury market in 2016 is whether the combination of devalued currency, shaky stocks, and slowing growth will damage consumer optimism,” ponders the newspaper. Fair enough, yet my question is: Is the Chinese consumer (fully) aware of China’s “volatile stock market” woes? Diamonds may be transparent, but China’s governance and politics are not. Nor are the designs of the following …
Fact: British design duo Teatum Jones (Catherine Teatum and Rob Jones) on February 12 won the International Woolmark Prize, “an award for the next generation, shifting the focus from glamour to true talent as a way to highlight wool’s eco credentials.” For the diehards: You can find more information on this prize right here. That’s all fine and dandy plus congrats to all, but we must bring it back to China for a bit. In 2008, Shanghai-based designer Qiu Hao (邱昊), with his exquisitely tightly boldly sculptural&streamlined Tilda creations, was presented with the prestigious honor in Paris. (The man and Tilda are firm favorites here, indeed.) The 2015 competition actually took place in Beijing last March, with judges including Victoria Beckham, Editor-in-Chief of Vogue Italia Franca Sozzani and good ole Angelica Cheung of Vogue China. Just FYI. And that’s a wrap.
In the words of Sally Singer, global fashion authority and 2008 Woolmark Awards judge:
“Artisanal work in fashion is always going to be synonymous with knitwear and it’s the time to buy luxurious things that are made and designed with care.”