Dalian Looks To Get On The Fashion Radar With Versace, Young Designer Shows

38 Young Designers Took Part In “Dalian Cup” Fashion Competition

Local designs at the Dalian Cup

Local designs at the Dalian Cup

Dalian might not rank alongside Paris, Milan or New York as a world-class fashion hub just yet, but no one can blame designers there for lack of trying. This week in Dalian — which, incidentally, ranked among the top 10 most luxurious Chinese cities as well as its 10 happiest in recent Chinese-language lists — two fashion events were held that highlighted both the city’s rising fashion talent as well as its draw for major international fashion brands: the “Dalian Cup” young designer competition and Versace’s autumn/winter 2010 runway show.

The Dalian Cup, which included designs by 38 young local designers, was held this weekend at the city’s Z28 Fashion Valley Innovation Center. As this Chinese-language article points out, Dalian city officials have been keen to promote their city’s fashion and textile industries in recent years, and with more than 15 universities and city organizations working together on the Dalian Cup to sort through the nearly 600 applicants and provide logistical support, the event proved, if nothing else, that Dalian is serious about cultivating local design talent.

In the end, Dalian University of Technology sophomore Song Wei took home the gold medal, with judges lauding the “low-key luxury”, simple but rich layering and black and gray color scheme of her pieces. Yan Shuai and Mi Huihui shared the silver medal for their works “Yes and No” and “Our Story”, respectively. The bronze was shared by Yang Lei, Pang Lijuan, and Yang Tingting.

Photos from the Dalian Cup, via Xinhua:

Dalian Cup

Dalian Cup

Dalian Cup

Dalian Cup

Dalian Cup

Dalian Cup

On the same day, another event on the other side of Dalian showcased Versace’s autumn/winter 2010 collection. Dalian may hope to establish itself as northeast China’s fashion capital, but for global fashion houses the relatively wealthy second-tier city is irresistible. In recent years, some of the world’s top luxury brands set up shop there, and — like in other second-tier cities — companies like Versace are looking to tap the growing spending power of the small proportion of wealthy urban consumers they see as easy targets. (Compared to their more sophisticated counterparts in top-tier cities.)

Photos by Chen Hao:

Versace autumn/winter 2010, shown in Dalian

Versace autumn/winter 2010, shown in Dalian

Versace autumn/winter 2010, shown in Dalian

Versace autumn/winter 2010, shown in Dalian

Versace autumn/winter 2010, shown in Dalian

Versace autumn/winter 2010, shown in Dalian

Versace autumn/winter 2010, shown in Dalian

Versace autumn/winter 2010, shown in Dalian

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Art & Design, Events, Fashion, Market Analysis