The power, passion and energy of Atelier Rouge Pékin make for a flash of hot clean androgynous incoming around the world. A flash in the pan, though, this Beijing-launched brand is not. Time to push some red-hot boundaries!
“With Atelier Rouge Pékin, we blend traditional Chinese design with the energy of the contempo culture that surrounds us. Inspired by the past, we want to redefine Chinese fashion.” Founders PJ and M
A cross between fashion and design, Atelier Rouge Pékin (ARP) offers 100 percent Made In Beijing ready-to-wear collections and jewelry. The brand’s products range from minimally cut Mao jackets to the more traditional and colorful peasant patterns. Sold from the online realm right down to the brick and mortar storefronts located across Beijing, Chengdu, Paris, The Big Apple, The City Of Angels and Brussels, ARP has been getting palsy-walsy with the global fashion industry.
ARP is the apotheosis of sweltering China Fashion fieriness ready to set ablaze the hearts and souls of dernier cri devotees far and wide. With one look-book shot by late and great photographer Ren Hang, one most definitely has a flare of legit leading-edge ready-to-wear Rouge heat to capitalize on. Incoming!
Red stands for communism. Red stands for censorship. Red conjures up thoughts of a mystical Middle Kingdom located far far away. And red represents passion. Red has more personal associations than any other color. Recognized as a catalyst “drug”, this color genetically generates a feeling of excitement and, what’s more, the amount of red is directly related to the level of energy perceived. Red draws attention and sparks debate. A keen use of one shade of red as an accent can immediately focus the eye on a particular element.
In Chinese culture, colors correspond with the five primary elements, the four cardinal directions and the four seasons. Red is associated with fire, south and summer. Traditionally speaking, the color red represents the boding of good luck and fortune; a symbol of perpetual happiness. Putting a little 21st Century spin on things, we have witnessed the rise of the term “Red Capitalism”, a reference to the unique and unparalleled Chinese form of capitalism that at 30+ years of age still finds itself lingering between planned economy and privatization.
“Chinese capitalism is characterized by an opportunist State, a market economy built on particularistic relationships and a culturally self-sustained society with strong pragmatist tradition,” quote Associate Professor Wei Zhao, ESSCA School of Management. A little fact du week for those socio-politico buffs among you. In sum, the color red and its associated meanings have seen a revolution in their Chinese being. And so we travel from revolutionary red to adrogynously Rouge…
The dynamic ARP duo conveys through their designs the message of a new and modern China, incorporating all the paradoxes that come with this vast territory.
Clothing for women and men alike. A very communist thought right there. At the risk of sounding like a political op-ed about the Khmer Rouge regime and its ramifications throughout East Asia’s communist history, let’s get one thing straight: We at Temper don’t do Pol Pot, we do polka dots — yes, uslikey a good polka dot.
ARP is a fashion brand launched in Beijing in 2013, inspired by China’s modern-day creativity and traditional craftsmanship. The ARP team constantly pushes the boundaries of these design inspirations, and has earned a reputation as one of China’s most innovative brands. ARP blends the subtlety of traditional Chinese design with the energy of contemporary culture, for women and men alike. Clean lines, androgynous silhouettes, trend-challenging designs, top-quality materials and high-attention to detail are the platform’s hallmarks and embody the very best of authentic avant-garde Chinese creation.
Inspired by the past, ARP aims to redefine Chinese fashion, stitching up a solid New Made In China label with a strong and unique identity. Their sleek and timeless touch gets another innovative boost from a little crazy and provocative input by the brand’s Franco-Chinese Founders M and PJ. Just like many contemporary artists in China, this dynamic duo aims to convey through their designs the message of a new and modern China, at the same time incorporating all the paradoxes that come with this vast territory.
“In a country that has never before experienced the feel of individualizing fashion, let alone had the money or power to acquire it, this newly trending world creates a patchwork of styles that can often get a bit gaga across the nation’s second tier cities.” Designer PJ
The Birth Of An Individual
The development of the individual and with that individual tastes plus clothing styles has never been more obvious in the Middle Kingdom as it is today. What you put on is, in this humble Temper booklet, the ultimate expression of you as an individual. What you wear is a daily conversation between you and the outside world. The role China Fashion has taken on, hereby conveniently set against the backdrop of the developing society found mostly in the nation’s first- and second-tier cities, is one interesting topic of socio-fashio investigation.
“China is changing at a fascinating speed and at the center of this inspirational goldmine, you will obviously find money. And with money, comes the arrival of luxury goods from abroad,” Designer PJ explains, “In a country that has never before experienced this kind of trendy development, let alone has had either the money or power to acquire these luxury purchases, we can now see the creation of a patchwork of styles… A patchwork that can that often get a bit crazy when you look at the country’s second-tier cities, true. The first-tier cities, on the other hand, are now very much educated in the area of style and are creating their very own individual Chinese style, showcasing a mixture of foreign luxury brands with the infusion of some homegrown Chinese design. It’s quite the amazing concoction, I must say!”
Of particular interest to many a society- or fashion-watcher, is the sight of Chinese women and men who, after some 20 years of foreign fashion “invasion”, are going back to the traditional Chinese cuts and materials, reinvented to suit their needs and styles anno 2017. And that’s precisely what ARP stands for. “Fashion, in China, is nowadays seen as a way to go back in time and re-discover your roots. It can create a new culture and identity with the help of its many influences. Fashion is an art that allows people express themselves freely, in every way, everywhere,” PJ clarifies.
Now that China’s post-80 and -90 generations have, in the Temper POV, hit fashionable puberty and are exploring the realms of clothing, sexuality, gender, plus the crossroads in between, a last question remains on our lips… How does today’s Chinese Woman — a smidgen of generalization for the sake of convenience, mea culpa — interact with her wardrobe? PJ sums up the status quo:
“Well, I have had the chance to travel a lot and see how women express themselves via fashion; every country has its own style muse. In China, we can take in a history that has witnessed everything and everyone with every style from concubines in the dynasties, to the famous qipao in the 1920s to the Cultural Revolution’s women dressed in Mao suits. I myself tend to mix all of the aforementioned in different ways, producing the items in new materials and opting for different cuts. The Chinese woman anno 2017 is a blend of elegant discretion with a hint of sexiness and provocation. But never going over the top — we are a pretty shy society, after all [insert wink, of course]. Shy, but strong-looking, that is!”
The brand is growing up fast. After the Tranoi International Fashion Trade Show in Paris, kicking off at Opening Ceremony NYC and the American Rag LA adventures, ARP is starting to feel the international itch. With a growing demand for the new Made In China label, ARP has now set up an additional camp in Brussels, cementing a central European touchdown, if you will. The brand is seeking out more foreign designers to work with and give ARP another dose of that newly-coveted hybrid touch of East-meets-West. Feel the revolutionary heatwaves Rouging in!
Images: Courtesy of Atelier Rouge Pékin
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For more information, please visit www.atelierrougepekin.com
After tackling Beijing for some six years where she worked for China International Publishing Group, she spent a moment in time moseying down steep alleyways and writing about their fashionable and underground features in Hong Kong.
Van Paridon most recently managed to claw her way through a Europe-based academic endeavor called "Journalism". 'Tis in such fashion that she has now turned her lust for China Fashion/ Lifestyle and Underground into a full time occupation.
Van Paridon hunts down the latest in Chinese menswear, women’s clothing, designer newbies, established names, changes in the nation’s street scenery, close-ups of particular trends presently at play or of historical socio-cultural value in Chinaplus a selection of budding photographers.
Paired with a deep devotion to China’s urban underground scene, van Paridon holds a particular interest in the topics of androgyny, the exploration of individuality and the power that is the Key Opinion Leader (the local term for “influencers”) in contemporary China.
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