Traditions And Culture Collide
Award-winning Chinese designer Ji Cheng (Jenny Ji) has been showcased at Shanghai Fashion Week so many times, you would need more fingers to count her appearances. Yet in London, the designer is still a relatively fresh face. This week, Jing Daily was invited to see Cheng present her A/W 2013 collection, Koi’s Whisper, during London Fashion Week. The collection was shown in association with “Design By Shanghai,” an initiative that gives established Chinese designers exposure to international markets.
Backstage the models are prepped and relaxed for the catwalk rehearsal, and there is a lack of the panic and chaos that’s synonymous with Fashion Week. Then it dawns on me that this is not Ji’s first rodeo. Mid-thought, I’m ushered out, led into the VIP room to sip champagne and mingle with other press, who are just as eager to see Koi’s Whisper. Several top-ups later, we’re asked to leave our glasses behind and enter the show space.
Seated at a reserved spot in the front row, after the obligatory minimum fifteen minute delay the lights go off, the music starts, and models appear. Suddenly the lights pierce through, showing the detail in the layering and technical ability in Ji’s tailoring. As with most Chinese contemporary designers, the lines are clean, structure minimal and the elegance dominated by Eastern influence.
The collection translates globally, the luxurious aesthetic influences innovation. It’s a reminder at how beautiful it is when traditions and culture collide — it demands an international audience.
Alexa Beatriz is a London-based Economics graduate and independent journalist from Spain. In addition to being the UK correspondent for AnyWearStyle.com, Beatriz is the blogger behind www.thebeatrizpotter.