Fanning fashion's cultural flame

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail China Daily, December 2, 2019

[Photo provided to China Daily]

Oriental aesthetics

These oriental aesthetics have long been a subject and the highlight of the designs for many local brands.

Ne Tiger, as the fashion brand that has opened China Fashion Week for 19 consecutive years, brought its collection based on the travels to the west of Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) explorer, Zheng He. The collection displays the exotic charm and culture of countries along the ancient Silk Road, as well as offering modified Chinese traditional costumes, such as qipao dresses made with breezy fabric more suited to the hot weather in regions of Southeast Asia.

Meanwhile, Guyan, a brand from Shenzhen, Guangdong province, draws inspiration from plum blossoms, orchid, bamboo and chrysanthemum-four kinds of flowers that are widely used to eulogize noble virtues in China since ancient times. They are embroidered on modern-styled Tang suits and qipao while, once again, fans also play a role.

It brings us neatly back to Yaying's latest collection, which portrays Chinese aesthetics and traditional elements in a more abstract form, with motifs taken from Chinese fans appearing throughout the collection.

The geometric tailoring and structures allude to the ceremonial fan used by the royal family that symbolizes their majesty. Dragon, river and cliff patterns add a cultural and poetic elegance, as well representing the independent and self-confident feminine spirit today.

The three-dimensional structure of the folding fan is recreated using a number of precise, hand-pleating techniques, underlining a women's strength underneath her gentle temperament.

The circular court fan is a symbol of refinement and is piece of exquisite art in itself, and is adapted to include iconic Chinese elements such as the ruyi cloud, which symbolizes blessings and harmony, and peony flowers that exude energy and elegance.

Exquisite Craftsmanship

With its suits, the brand is looking to accentuate a woman's strength with simple, yet strong, silhouettes, especially that of its three-dimensional curved shoulder blade design-masterfully made-to-measure and adorned with beaded patterns, once again alluding to ruyi clouds, rivers and cliffs. Each pattern is the product of 351 hours of hand-sewn craftsmanship.

Inspired by a Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368) blue glazed plum vase with a white dragon pattern, the brand's artisans spent over 104 hours recreating the pattern with embroidery entirely by hand, emblazoned with iridescent sequins of 15 different colors and sizes. There is even a stunning black gown covered with 1,032 small, hand-pleated fans that required 205 hours of skill and precision to create.

Just a month after the celebration of the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China, Chinese fashion continues to be buoyed by the increasing popularity and attention given to Chinese culture.

And as Zhang Huaming, chairman of EP Yaying Fashion Group, will attest, culture is the soul of a country and its people. It is also something the brand has remained committed to protecting in its role as both inheritor and innovator.

Founded in Jiaxing city, Zhejiang province, in 1988, Yaying's fortunes have been almost directly tied to the country's reform and opening-up policy of the past 40 years. The fashion group has grown from a small garment factory into a modern business with more than 5,000 employees and an enviable portfolio of luxury fashion brands and retailers, including EP Yaying, Doublelove, N. Paia, Da Ya Jia, GraceLand, and Little Space.

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