“Metamorphosis” Heavy On Butterfly Imagery, Key To Miao Culture
The Hong Kong-based, Richemont-controlled luxury fashion house Shanghai Tang, which recently turned heads with its Mongolian-influenced “Devastating Beauty” Autumn/Winter 2010 collection, pulls inspiration from the Miao minority of southern China with its upcoming “Metamorphosis” Spring/Summer 2011 line. Numbering around 10 million in China, with significant populations in Vietnam and Laos, ethnic Miao are traditionally concentrated in the southern Chinese provinces of Guizhou, Hunan, Yunnan, Sichuan, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, Hainan, Guangdong, and Hubei.
Renowned for their skill in silk-weaving, embroidering and jewelry making, the Miao place importance on symbols such as the phoenix, birds and butterflies. Re-imagining traditional Miao imagery in colorful, modern pieces, Shanghai Tang’s “Metamorphosis” Spring/Summer collection focuses on the butterfly, which embodies rebirth as well as the close relationship between the Miao people and nature. From a release:
Each season, Shanghai Tang presents fascinating aspects of China’s rich culture on its continuing mission as the global ambassador of contemporary Chinese chic. For Spring/Summer 2011, the focus is on the Miao, one of China’s most captivating ethnic minorities. They live predominantly in the hills around Southern China, and their profound respect for nature is reflected in the motifs, embellishments, and colours of their clothing.
The butterfly, for example, is a mythical Miao symbol of metamorphosis and beauty, and is reinterpreted in delightful ways throughout this new collection.