Three Trends Seen At China Fashion Week In Beijing

Tailoring, Simplicity And Traditional Elements Seen At Ongoing Event

Gioia Pan

Running through November 3, the ongoing 15th China Fashion Week in Beijing continues to showcase established players and up-and-coming names in Chinese fashion design. From newer designers like Chu Yan and Wei Hua to fixtures like NE-TIGER’s Zhang Zhifeng, the Mercedes-Benz-sponsored event continues its tradition of being more inwardly focused than its counterpart in Shanghai. Aside from this past weekend’s J. Lindeberg show at D•PARK Central Hall, China Fashion Week has been a largely domestic affair.

However, a more local focus is one of the distinguishing factors of Beijing’s iteration of Fashion Week. Last year, Jing Daily picked out designers like VLOV’s Qingqing Wu (interview), Qi Gang, Guo Baobao, and Yuan Bing as standouts, but which designers and trends are showing up this year?

Trend 1: Couture Continues

Proponents: NE-TIGER, Qi Gang, Wang Peiyi

Trademarks: Ornate craftsmanship, traditional materials like silk, natural dyes and earth tones, references to ancient Chinese design cues.

NE-TIGER

Trend 2: What’s Old Is New, In Style And Ambiance

Proponents: Chu Yan, Zhang Jingjing

Trademarks: Ancient Chinese elements in presentation or design. Examples this year included Chu Yan’s use of scenery and fragrance to create the ambiance of a traditional Chinese garden for her Chuhetingxiang show. To create a “4D” experience, Chu included audio and visual effects as well as a specially created perfume by Vicki Chen, “Chando.”

Chu Yan

Trend 3: Rising Stars Few & Far Between

Aside from up-and-coming designer Simon Gao, rising stars in China’s burgeoning home-grown fashion scene have been few and far between at China Fashion Week in Beijing. With top Beijing designers increasingly making the scene at Fashion Week in Paris, Milan or London rather than in their hometown — unlike their counterparts in Shanghai, who still do make appearances at Shanghai Fashion Week — the Beijing installment continues to look far more local and less global than its organizers would likely hope. Whether the dearth of international labels and designers at this year’s installment is by design or accident, the Beijing iteration is far less globally minded or world-class than its counterparts elsewhere.

While it still has potential, and there are standouts each year, in our view the 15th China Fashion Week in Beijing has not, on the whole, lived up to the hype this time around. Hopefully we see a different story next spring.

Li Zuliang

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