A look from Yiqing Yin's haute couture collection at Paris Haute Couture Fashion Week 2013. (Women's Wear Daily)
This year's Paris Haute Couture Fashion Week for Fall/Winter 2013-2014 saw a range of designers from a diverse range of backgrounds presenting their creations on the runway. Among them were China-born emerging designers Laurence Xu and Yiqing Yin, both of whom utilize traditional Chinese elements in their couture lines to create their own distinct aesthetics.
Making his mark on the French fashion world, Xu held his first ever haute couture fashion show at Pavillon Cambon. Themed Xiuqiu, which literally means "embroidered ball" in Chinese, the show seamlessly integrated Chinese style and Western elements. As Women's Wear Daily reported, Xu paraded highly embellished, vividly colored gowns on the runway in an opulent melding of Western cuts and traditional Chinese symbolism and techniques. The show's highlights also included a performance of Chinese artist Li Yugang, as well as Taiwanese actress Pace Wu, who modeled the designer's finale gown.
A graduate of the Central Academy of Craft Art with additional French fashion education, Xu is best known for designing the gown worn by Chinese actress Fan Bingbing during her stunning appearance on the red carpet at the 63rd Cannes Film Festival in 2010. The dress featured two embroidered leaping dragons and a number of rolling waves, which are traditionally thought in Chinese culture to bring eternal peace and prosperity. Check out some of his designs below, and scroll further to learn more about Yin:
Yiqing Yin was the week's other China-born, Paris-based designer whose designs graced the runway. Younger than Xu, Yin had previously been invited as a special member to participate in Paris Haute Couture Fashion Week in 2012.
Unlike Xu, who tends to adopt a more purely "oriental" style, Yin focuses more on Western modernism. Her design is characterized by detailed handicraft and audacious cuts, featuring innovative fabrics and treatments such as liquid organza and resinated embroidery. Yin has become a celebrity favorite after Amélie star Audrey Tautou wore the designer's clothes on the Cannes red carpet.
After emigrating from China to France at the age of four, Yin later studied at the École Nationale des Arts Décoratifs. She first presented her creations at the prestigious Hyères International Fashion Festival, and in 2011, her dreamlike creations won her the prestigious Association Nationale pour le Développement des Arts prize. She was most recently selected by French Vogue as one of the eight young designers to follow.