NE·TIGER Channels Ancient Chinese Design For 2010 Haute Couture Series

Chinese Fashion House Releases New Collection Incorporating Distinctive Cultural/Historical Design Cues

NE TIGER is known for combining traditional and modern designs. (Photo courtesy NE TIGER)

NE TIGER is known for combining traditional and modern designs. (Photo courtesy NE TIGER)

Last November, we reported on the growing visibility of home-grown Chinese fashion houses at China Fashion Week. At that time, we mentioned the brand NE·TIGER, whose butterfly and fan-inspired designs attracted a good deal of attention:

Officially opening last night with NE TIGER’s Butterfly and Fan-Good Karma collection, the industry preview Sunday saw stunning film star Gong Li dressed in a Peking Opera-inspired Aimer evening gown by the label’s chief designer Zhang Hongyu.

The NE TIGER collection drew on traditional embroidery techniques with a modern interpretation, the combination of old and new expected by many observers to be a common thread this season.

Since Fashion Week ended, we haven’t heard much from NE·TIGER, but today we caught a (photo-heavy) article on the Chinese luxury blog Luxee (奢侈品) about the company’s 2010 haute couture line. Much like the series described at China Fashion Week, NE·TIGER’s 2010 line appears to combine design cues inspired by butterflies and fans with traditional Chinese fashion — showing that Chinese brands are becoming ever more confident in “pick-n-mix” design with distinctly Chinese features.

NE TIGER's men's collection is a distinctive fusion of East and West

NE TIGER's men's collection is a distinctive fusion of East and West

Although the Luxee article is short on details and long on purple prose, it does include a few decent details and plenty of photos. While the women’s collection is interesting in its use of striking colors and ornate detail, the men’s collection, we feel, is of particular interest. Possibly inspired by the (niche) resurgence of Hanfu (traditional Han Dynasty fashion) among some younger Chinese, NE·TIGER’s men’s collection mixes Chinese features like mandarin collars and knot buttons — more Tang Dynasty than Han — and silk with Western features like narrow jacket lapels and kissing buttons on the cuffs.

While it remains to be seen if Chinese luxury consumers will take to NE·TIGER’s 2010 line, it is a striking reminder that Chinese high-end fashion designers are no longer content to churn out imitations of trends set in Europe, South Korea or the U.S. — now they’ve just got to find their market.

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