The Chinese First Lady’s wardrobe

This year, the eyes of the Chinese fashion world have been attracted by the ‘Liyuan Style’, which means the fashion style of Peng Liyuan, who is the first lady of China.

Peng Liyuan is considered to be a style icon, and well positioned to be the focus of media. Let’s see some of the lovely clothing the first lady wore in 2014.

 
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Peng Liyuan seems to be an epitome of Oriental chic at a state dinner at the Elysee Palace in Paris in March. Her black cheongsam-style gown featuring a sheer floral-patterned top makes her overall look modern and elegant.

 
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For her final stop on the European trip in Belgium, Peng Liyuan opted for a lovely traditional embroidered Chinese outfit. The fabric, fine embroidery and soft colors all add up to an elegant style.

 
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In May 2014, during the 4th Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia summit in Shanghai, Peng Liyuan wore a black tailcoat style jacket, and a graphic batik print, white and navy floor length dress, enhancing her style-icon image.

 
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At the welcoming ceremony for the Congolese President in Beijing in June, Peng Liyuan opted a blue-and-white printed jacket, with a long blue skirt and dark blue heels, giving her a Chinese style that looks modern.

 
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In July 2014, during her visit to Seoul, Peng Liyuan amazed Korean media with her lovely clothing choices featuring white and green, with details such as the exquisite flower brooch, cute little handbag and elegant heels.

 
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In August 2014, Peng Liyuan accompanied her husband Xi Jinping to the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing. She wore an embroidered blue Cheongsam, with a matching small purse, displaying lovely traditional Chinese style.

 
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When Peng Liyuan landed in Ahmedabad in September, she wore a pretty pink dress, with a flowing scarf stitched to one side. She accessorized her look with a white clutch, cream pearl studs and beige suede heels.

 
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In October 2014, Peng Liyuan was named WHO ambassador for the fight against HIV/AIDS in Beijing. She attended the event in a formal long jacket accented with the red ribbon symbolizing support for the fight against HIV/AIDS.

 
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In November 2014, Peng Liyuan wowed all with her delicately embroidered Cheongsam when she showed up at the APEC in Beijing.

 
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In December 2014, Peng Liyuan opted for a formal grey jacket and a knee-length polka dot skirt with a chic pin when the South African President Jacob Zuma paid a state visit to China, showing her graceful style as the Chinese first lady.

by Xiao Xiao xiaoxiao@interactchina.com

About Interact China


“A Social Enterprise in E-commerce Promoting Oriental Aesthetic Worldwide”

We co-founded Interact China in 2004 with specialization in fine Oriental Aesthetic products handmade by ethnic minorities & Han Chinese. Having direct partnerships with artisans, designers, craft masters and tailors, along with 10 years solid experience in e-commerce via InteractChina.com, we position well to bridge talented artisans in the East with the rest of the world, and bring you direct finely selected products that are of good quality and aesthetic taste.

So far we carry 2000+ goods covering Ladies Fashion, Tailor Shop, Home Furnishings, Babies & Kids, Painting Arts, Textile Arts, Carving Arts, Tribal Jewelry Art, Wall Masks and Musical Instruments. Our team speak English, French, German, Spanish and Italian, and serve customers worldwide with passion and hearts.

P.S. We Need People with Similar Passion to Join Our Blogging Team!
If you have passion to write about Oriental Aesthetic in Fashion, Home Decor, Art & Crafts, Culture, Music, Books, and Charity, please contact us at bloggers@interactchina.com, we would love to hear from you!

Chinese fashion struts to the West

Hermès, Louis Vuitton, Prada, Chanel, even people who are not interested in buying luxury products can name a few brands and recognize their logos in China now. Chinese consumers have become so powerful and obsessed with luxury items that many of the brands view the Chinese market as a cash cow. However, luxury fashion lovers elsewhere in the world may not be familiar with any Chinese brands.

Though not widely recognized, some domestic luxury brands are seeing healthy growth and showing potential to become well-known luxury lines.

Hong Huang, creator of Brand New China (a business dedicated to promoting local designers), wrote in her blog earlier this week that in the past decades, Chinese aesthetics and values used to be at the edge of mainstream fashion. But as brands like Exception de Mixmind, Ziggy Chen, Chictopia and ZUCZUG have emerged, Chinese fashion has begun to make some noise.

Brands with potential

For most Chinese consumers just learning the “luxury” concept, the items they want and have become familiar with are fashion products. Clothes, shoes, bags, watches and jewelry are on most wish lists.

But designing and producing these items are not China’s strong suit. Due to differences in culture and custom, a typical list of luxury items in China is vastly different: liquor, tobacco, porcelain, furniture and tea. As a result, many firms that intend to create luxury fashion items fail to compete with brands from France and Italy and resort to copying their ideas.

 
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“I am not producing a Chinese Cartier but a jewelry brand that belongs to China and speaks an international language,” Wang Yunhe, president of Zhaoyi Jewelry, said on sina.com. Emerald with traditional Chinese handicrafts sounds a bit old-fashioned. But putting it into a modernized design and package can turn the “antique” into a fashionable luxury item with Chinese style. More importantly, it imbues the product with the Chinese culture of the emerald.

 
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Qeelin, also a jewelry brand, provides China with another possibility of selling luxury items to the world. Its approach is to open a store in Paris targeting the foreign market firstly and directly. After seeing so many top luxury brands’ stores in Paris, Chen Ruilin, the founder and designer of Qeelin, decided to become neighbors with them. Chen’s shop is decorated with a bit of Buddhist style and each item purchased is boxed in the shop’s signature look.

Shanghai Tang Store
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Franz Store
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These brands along with Shanghai Tang, born in Hong Kong and now has dozens of stores around the world; and Franz Collection, originally from Taiwan and now selling fine porcelain in 56 countries, are all examples of companies profiting from China’s well-established reputation for certain specialties.

However, as relative newcomers in the global luxury industry, Chinese brands are unable to speak of long-held traditions or legendary stories. Still there are ways to add a soul to the name.

Not built in a day

Wang Yuexin, editor-in-chief of Fashion Weekly told the Global Times that although there are a few relatively successful high-end Chinese brands in fashion, they are not on a scale to be qualified as “luxury brand,” especially in women’s and men’s wear. While Chinese names are appearing more often in international magazines as designers, and dresses worn by Chinese actresses are catching attention on the red carpets of the world, the fame and reputation of a person or a dress cannot represent an entire brand.

NE-Tiger
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Guo Pei’s Works
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Zhang Zhifeng’s NE-Tiger and Rose Studio by Guo Pei are the most famous Chinese fashion brands in the world; both started with haute couture but now also produce ready-to-wear items. Cathy Horyn from The New York Times has reported on Guo and highly praised her designs. However, the two brands are largely based on the designers’ personal reputations and have not become chain businesses like the best luxury brands in the global market.

Wang explained that many entrepreneurs and enterprises are aiming high but few have the resources and courage to achieve their goal. They understand building up a solid and reputable brand is not a one-day task. “The top luxury brands all started with a designer and developed for a century to turn a fashion studio into a real global business. Only time can solve many of the problems we have at the moment,” said Wang.

Cai Sujian, the president of China Luxury Institute, a Hong Kong registered association, said the difference between top Chinese fashion brands and the world-class luxury brands mainly exists in the brand content, taking into account its originality, popularity, quality of services and cultural meaning.

“It is why NE-Tiger and Rose Studio products keep pace with the world standard in terms of craft and quality, but the brand as a whole still keeps a distance,” said Cai.

Culture is key

In an article by Michel Gutsatz published in Forbes last year, Qeelin was described as a brand that successfully combines traditional Chinese culture with French techniques. He emphasized that this is an advantage of the brand management but does not necessary lead to a real luxury brand. And it’s the same for the rest of the Chinese high-end fashion brands.

“The soul of a brand and fashion industry is its culture. Without culture, great investments and extremely high prices do not define the brand as luxury,” said Wang.

Cai pointed out that a key issue here is that China does not have a clear modern culture. Modernism or postmodernism, contemporary culture in China is hugely influenced by the West so developing an original culture is at the issue’s core.

For Wang, the culture we are talking about does not necessarily refer to any symbolic figure: “China today is within the globalized context. As long as the products are designed and made in China, they represent China, with or without looking Chinese.”

by Xiao Xiao xiaoxiao@interactchina.com

About Interact China


“A Social Enterprise in E-commerce Promoting Oriental Aesthetic Worldwide”

We co-founded Interact China in 2004 with specialization in fine Oriental Aesthetic products handmade by ethnic minorities & Han Chinese. Having direct partnerships with artisans, designers, craft masters and tailors, along with 10 years solid experience in e-commerce via InteractChina.com, we position well to bridge talented artisans in the East with the rest of the world, and bring you direct finely selected products that are of good quality and aesthetic taste.

So far we carry 2000+ goods covering Ladies Fashion, Tailor Shop, Home Furnishings, Babies & Kids, Painting Arts, Textile Arts, Carving Arts, Tribal Jewelry Art, Wall Masks and Musical Instruments. Our team speak English, French, German, Spanish and Italian, and serve customers worldwide with passion and hearts.

P.S. We Need People with Similar Passion to Join Our Blogging Team!
If you have passion to write about Oriental Aesthetic in Fashion, Home Decor, Art & Crafts, Culture, Music, Books, and Charity, please contact us at bloggers@interactchina.com, we would love to hear from you!

Chinese Designers Embrace Global Fashion Stage(2)

For Chinese fashion icon Mark Cheung, an outstanding Chinese designer must have a deep understanding of his own culture and land to be able to make beautiful designs.

 
 Chinese fashion

Cheung is regarded as representing of the first generation of Chinese designers and his annual fashion show is seen as the most important event in Chinese fashion circles. The 45-year-old wears many hats, including vice-chairman of the China Association of Fashion Design and chairman of the China Fashion Committee of Asia Fashion Union.

Whereas Zhang’s collections incorporate underlying ethnic tones, Cheung’s work has widely recognized landscapes and patterns of China as its crucial motifs.

Since 2000, the veteran designer has held fashion shows every year featuring Chinese landscapes and ethnic culture. For instance, The Soul of the Nations collection expresses the splendid and varied styles of 56 minorities; Royal Flavor radiates the glory and luxury of royal courts of the different dynasties of the past; Forbidden City reproduces the beauty and grandeur of the old buildings, and South China captures the striking scenery of ancient water towns and gardens.

 
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All of Cheung’s collections are known for their rich palette, which includes pure whites, darker tones of brown and jade, bright red and the shining yellow of the imperial Forbidden City. Cheung’s fascination with ancient building styles can be seen in the lavish use of symmetry, bias cutting, pleating, carving lace-trimming, fagoting, sequining and beading. These techniques, combined with pure innovation, have enabled Cheung to fuse traditional culture with cutting-edge fashion.

Unlike Mark Cheung and Zhang Zhifeng, young designer Ma Ke has taken a different route.

 
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Ma caused a sensation in February last year with her debut during the Paris ready-to-wear season. More performance art than fashion show, her models appeared on the catwalk with their clothes and skin caked in mud, like warriors from the terracotta army of Emperor Qinshihuang.

 
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Buoyed by the success of her Exception label, which is sold in around 50 boutiques across China, she has recently launched her couture line Wuyong (“useless” in Chinese.)

And at the recent Paris Fashion Week, her invitation to show on the sidelines of the collections presented by the grand couture houses is a first for China, which has already marked a presence in the ready-to-wear segment in Paris since 2006.

The Chinese designer is also the only newcomer this season among the 20 or so would-be couturiers invited to show their collections alongside the houses officially deemed worthy of the “haute couture” designation.

Ma has given up the stereotyped Chinese elements such as stand collars and embroideries in her designs. A naturalist, she uses cotton and flax in all her collections and focuses on simple and natural styles in white, brown, grey and blue.

 
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“Promoting Chinese fashion doesn’t mean you have to stick to Chinese icons. Heavily Chinese designs are not trendy and can hardly be accepted by international fashion circles,” says Ma. A believer in the philosophy of Lao Zi that sees clothes as the servant of the wearer’s soul, Ma Ke is recognized for her silent, organic and reflexive clothing that is creative and experimental. She has been praised by Le Monde and Vogue as a genius and her collection lauded as everlasting artwork.

by Xiao Xiao xiaoxiao@interactchina.com

About Interact China


“A Social Enterprise in E-commerce Promoting Oriental Aesthetic Worldwide”

We co-founded Interact China in 2004 with specialization in fine Oriental Aesthetic products handmade by ethnic minorities & Han Chinese. Having direct partnerships with artisans, designers, craft masters and tailors, along with 10 years solid experience in the industry via InteractChina.com, we position well to bring you direct finely selected products that are of good quality and aesthetic taste.

So far we carry 2000+ goods covering areas in Ladies Fashion, Tailor Shop, Home Furnishings, Babies & Kids, Painting Arts, Textile Arts, Carving Arts, Tribal Jewelry Art, Wall Masks and Musical Instruments. Our team speak English, French, German, Spanish and Italian, and serve customers and artisans with hearts.


P.S. We Need People with Similar Passion to Join Our Blogging Team!

If you have passion to write about Oriental Aesthetic in Fashion, Home Decor, Art & Crafts, Culture, Music, Books, and Charity, please contact us at bloggers@interactchina.com, we would love to hear from you!

Chinese Designers Embrace Global Fashion Stage(1)

When foreigners are amazed and enchanted in the mysterious culture and arts of China, Chinese element has already joined the rhythm of global fashion. Cuties bring forth the vogue of minority style on world stage. You may pick them up in most fashionable cities like Paris or Milan.

Embroidered shoes, pleated batik skirts, shining silver accessories of the Miao minority – these are the exotic Chinese flavors that will pervade the Paris fashion trade fair, which begins in the world’s fashion capital today.

 
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 Chinese fashion

China’s promising young designers, He Jian, Zhu Xiaoyu and Yang Jie – all of whom are winners of the latest Seven Brand Cup China Style Costume Creation Contest – will debut at this premier fashion event that brings together the most cutting-edge designs and collections in Europe.

“We think Chinese designers can win international recognition by incorporating unique Chinese elements into world fashion trends,” says He Jian. His collection features innovative combinations of ethnic costumes and modern men’s casuals, while Zhu Xiaoyu and Yang Jie both derive inspiration from the costumes of the Miao and Zhuang minorities. Today’s youngsters have been inspired by the success of other Chinese designers who have starred previously in such fashion capitals as Milan, New York and London.

Zhang Zhifeng, art director of NE Tiger Clothing Company, is one such example. The veteran designer wants to build NE Tiger as an international luxury brand in China – in the same league as Louis Vitton and Armani.

 
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Zhang has explored the use of Chinese Yunjin, the special brocade once reserved for royalty, in his collections. He adopts the traditional “seamless” weaving method in his haute couture fabrics, once used exclusively for the brocade dragon robe of the emperors. Exquisite handmade Chinese embroideries of the phoenix and peony are also widely used. As the making of the brocade and the embroideries are extremely time-consuming and complicated, it usually takes Zhang and his skilled craftsmen months to make one suit, with the price hovering in the region of 50,000 yuan ($6,756).

 
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“Yunjin and embroidery mark the high points of Chinese clothing culture. I hope to arouse an awareness and appreciation of these rare gems through my designs,” says Zhang.

 
 Chinese fashion

His collections feature a harmonious combination of traditional culture and modern fashion elements. He includes Western fashion inspirations and solid cutting techniques into his designs and applies georgette, damask, Italian baldachin, lace and Swarovski crystals to Chinese silk and brocade to redefine the Western gown, corsage, pleat skirt and fish skirt.

 
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Zhang’s persistence has helped NE Tiger, the once barely known local brand, to become the leading Chinese haute couture brand for furs, evening gowns and wedding clothes, in just 10 years. His studios are scattered across the United States, France, Italy and Russia, and his designs have even won over royalty in Europe. For instance, Joachim Holger Waldemar Christian, the prince of Denmark, chose NE Tiger, to make the evening gown for his fiancée.

by Xiao Xiao xiaoxiao@interactchina.com

About Interact China


“A Social Enterprise in E-commerce Promoting Oriental Aesthetic Worldwide”

We co-founded Interact China in 2004 with specialization in fine Oriental Aesthetic products handmade by ethnic minorities & Han Chinese. Having direct partnerships with artisans, designers, craft masters and tailors, along with 10 years solid experience in e-commerce via InteractChina.com, we position well to bridge talented artisans in the East with the rest of the world, and bring you direct finely selected products that are of good quality and aesthetic taste.

So far we carry 2000+ goods covering Ladies Fashion, Tailor Shop, Home Furnishings, Babies & Kids, Painting Arts, Textile Arts, Carving Arts, Tribal Jewelry Art, Wall Masks and Musical Instruments. Our team speak English, French, German, Spanish and Italian, and serve customers worldwide with passion and hearts.


P.S. We Need People with Similar Passion to Join Our Blogging Team!

If you have passion to write about Oriental Aesthetic in Fashion, Home Decor, Art & Crafts, Culture, Music, Books, and Charity, please contact us at bloggers@interactchina.com, we would love to hear from you!

Jenny Ji’s Wedded Bliss

Recognised as one of China’s leading designers and influencers, Jenny Ji’s design philosophy blends Chinese chic with modern wit. Her designs feature elements of tradition tempered by intelligence and humour, resulting in a unique signature style.

After training at the Instituto Marangoni in Milan, Jenny Ji worked at Basic Krizia, Missoni Sport and D’A as a designer and visual director.

Modern Chic

Jenny Ji founded her eponymous label, La vie by Jenny Ji in 2002, a fashion and lifestyle brand that combines the essence of Chinese sophistication with contemporary tailoring. The brand resonates with the growing population of young, independent women.

Modern Chic

Since launching her own fashion label, many of Ji’s loyal followers have requested wedding dresses. “Actually, I don’t like most wedding gowns in China. Girls wear the same dresses with huge princess skirts and most brides look the same,” Ji says. “I finally said, ‘Okay, let me give this a try.’”

Modern Chic

Ji’s bridal line is marked with her signature touch – simple elegance and modern Chinese style. One gown that will be featured in a Shiseido cosmetics advertisement is classic white lace with a lavish red ribbon bow around the waist, draping down the gown’s modest train; while another dress has a cutout of the Chinese character for ‘double happiness’ on the lower back, adding a touch of both creativity and traditional auspiciousness.

Modern Chic

“A lot of brides come to us and they want too much for themselves. They want a dress that will make them look young, slim, perfect,” Ji says. “But I think girls have to remember, they’re not models and this should be the one time in your life that you should be the most like yourself.

“The most important thing is not the clothes. The dress cannot be more beautiful than the bride,” she adds.

One thing has led to another for Ji’s idea to delve into lingerie design, for example, wouldn’t have happened if she had not seen brides-to-be having difficulties finding lingerie to complement her gowns’ low backs and distinct shapes.

“There’s no designer lingerie,” says Ji, sorting through her laptop to show mock-ups of some of the 30 lingerie designs coming out in March. “A lot of my customers couldn’t find lingerie that wouldn’t change the shape of the dress. So we thought, why don’t we design wedding and honeymoon lingerie sets?”

On top of that, the La Vie lingerie collection will also include everyday wear and maternity fits. And perhaps, if she weren’t pregnant while working on this line, the latter and baby apparel wouldn’t have come to exist either. “It’s so difficult to find nice maternity lingerie. When you’re pregnant, you still want to be pretty, and not look ugly with a huge belly,” Ji says with a laugh.

East Meets West Becomes a Lifestyle fashion

Jenny Ji is a very strong proponent of “East meets West,” with modern collections that draw on cultural cues; For example, her 2010 “Blue Tiger Porcelain” collection, which took inspiration from Chinese porcelain. The classic style of “Old Shanghai” is a key element of all of her designs and a style guide that Jenny Ji constantly re-invents.

Modern Chic

Shanghaiist described her as a “soft-handed Vivienne Tam” and with a focus on being an ethical and eco-friendly designer, Jenny Ji is looking towards the future.

“We pick something traditional and use it in a modern way, make it more fashionable,” Ji says. “We’re proud of our history and culture, and we want to do something to remember them – not just put them away.”

Modern Chic

But don’t expect that Ji, who originally studied economics in hopes of becoming a teacher, will be making any qipaos. That just isn’t her style.

“For me, qipaos are too traditional and La Vie is about being modern. I don’t want to go the wrong way,” says Ji.

“I always say that fashion is something I can control. There are so many things you cannot control in your life, like your business, income or relationships. But fashion is something you can do for yourself and choose for yourself.”

by Xiao Xiao xiaoxiao@interactchina.com

 

About Interact China


“A Social Enterprise in E-commerce Promoting Oriental Aesthetic Worldwide”

We co-founded Interact China in 2004 with specialization in fine Oriental Aesthetic products handmade by ethnic minorities & Han Chinese. Having direct partnerships with artisans, designers, craft masters and tailors, along with 10 years solid experience in e-commerce via InteractChina.com, we position well to bridge talented artisans in the East with the rest of the world, and bring you direct finely selected products that are of good quality and aesthetic taste.

So far we carry 2000+ goods covering Ladies Fashion, Tailor Shop, Home Furnishings, Babies & Kids, Painting Arts, Textile Arts, Carving Arts, Tribal Jewelry Art, Wall Masks and Musical Instruments. Our team speak English, French, German, Spanish and Italian, and serve customers worldwide with passion and hearts.


P.S. We Need People with Similar Passion to Join Our Blogging Team!

If you have passion to write about Oriental Aesthetic in Fashion, Home Decor, Art & Crafts, Culture, Music, Books, and Charity, please contact us at bloggers@interactchina.com, we would love to hear from you!

 

Rainbows from the East– NE●TIGER shines at 2013 German-China Culture Festival

Modern Chic

Top fashion brand NE TIGER attended the 2013 German-Chinese Culture Festival at the Chinese Culture Center in Berlin from May 24 to June 16. The event coincided with Premier Li Keqiang’ s visit to Germany.

Titled “Rainbows from the East Inherit Classics” NE TIGER’s collection of luxury garments exemplified the pinnacle of China’s fashion culture – a 5,000-year evolution that incorporates the art of 56 ethnicities.

Modern Chic

Distinguished guests from political and business circles were stunned by NE TIGER’s splendid Chinese garments. Among its models was Hu Bing, an international male fashion model and actor who has long cooperated with the brand.

NE TIGER’s designs draw on history and blend Chinese elements with Western styles. The garments frequently incorporate minority ethnic elements in ways that suit modern styles and appeal to Chinese tastes.

Chinese Traditional Clothing

It makes frequent use of Yun embroidery, where one inch is considered as valuable as a pound of gold, as well as precious and colorful silk needlework, knots, papercuts and paintings. Each garment radiates Chinese flavor and NE TIGER luxury.

Chinese Traditional Clothing

China has a long history of producing luxury goods such as silk, porcelain, gold, silver, jade and tea, all of which met with incredible worldwide demand. Today, Chinese luxury brands are emerging again to compete with the world’s best, and NE TIGER is at the forefront.

Chinese Traditional Clothing

The brand remains dedicated to competing with Western luxury brands on the world market and reviving Chinese luxury culture.

“Chinese garments represent the spirit of China’s nationalities,” said Zhang Zhifeng, creator and art supervisor of NE TIGER. “In a globalized world, the 5,000-year history of Chinese fashion is an important element of shared culture. China is leading world fashion trends together with European and American culture, and will open a new era of splendid civilization and fashion!”

NE TIGER’s latest collection is more than an assortment of Chinese emblems: it is a symbol of national strength and rich history. The brand sees itself as personally responsible for reviving Chinese fashion culture and bringing traditional Chinese garments to the world.

by Xiao Xiao @ InteractChina.com

P.S. We need people with similar passion to join or partner with us in promoting ethnic handicrafts! Please contact us at interact@interactchina.com to make any suggestions that you may have in co-operating with us, or join as Affiliate.

Modern Chic with Traditional Design– Guo Pei, China’s Top Fashion Designer

Guo Pei is a familiar name in China’s dress-making circles. For years, her works have been one of the shining highlights of the annual showcase of talent, the CCTV Spring Festival Gala. And she was also the designer behind the beautiful ceremonial dresses used in the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Modern Chic

The closing ceremony of the 2008 Beijing Olympics saw a duet between Chinese singer Song Zuying and world famous tenor Placido Domingo as they performed “The Flame of Love”. Standing on a high elevator platform in the center of the stadium it wasn’t only their voices that impressed the audience. Song Zuying’s long robe also dazzled, adding even more glamour to the event.

The diamond-studded garment was a product of Guo Pei, one of China’s most prominent dress designers.

“I didn’t spend much time designing the dress but it did take a lot of time to make. I used more than 200,000 Swarovski crystals that we had to attach to the dress manually. Since we only had about 2 weeks, I hired a dozen people who worked shifts nonstop day and night to finish the dress on time.”

Few designers are bold enough to use 200,000 crystals on one dress. Guo Pei explains what lay behind this decision.

“I think I purchased almost all the Swarovski diamonds in Hong Kong! Why choose diamonds to decorate the dress? Since the Olympics was such a unique opportunity for our country, for the singer Song Zuying and of course for me to show my work to the world, I felt there was nothing else that could reflect the glamour of the occasion. I wanted my dress to glimmer like a precious stone, so I decided to use diamonds.”

Song Zuying and Placido Domingo performing on the closing gala of the Beijing Olympic Games and Song is wearing Guo Pei’s design with 200,000 crystals on it
Chinese Traditional Clothing

Song Zuying is not the only big star in China that has donned Guo Pei’s masterpiece. The actress Zhang Ziyi has also had the privilege. Guo Pei is now a household name in China after producing dresses for the hosts of the annual CCTV Spring Festival Gala.

Dong Qing, one of the most famous TV presenters in China, has hosted the gala since 2005.

Chinese Traditional Clothing

“When the curtain opens for the start of the show and we hosts step out, before we speak, the first scene billions of viewers see is our dresses, our make-up and our smiles. You can tell how important the dresses are.”

Every year, the Gala show attracts billions of Chinese viewers both at home and abroad with the whole world focused on the stage. Guo Pei also sees the Chinese New Year gala as a chance to represent her works to the public.

“All the singers and actors want to participate in the gala, since it has such a huge audience and that moment is key to the career of many singers and actors. As so many people pay close attention to the gala, the same number will also see the performers’ outfits, so I think it is an opportunity for me, too.”

Guo Pei took full advantage of the opportunity. In last year’s gala, she designed a stunning dress for China’s most famous folk song singer Song Zuying. To echo the song’s theme of spring, the robe transformed mid-performance from white to a multitude of colors, just like flowers bursting into full bloom.

Chinese Traditional Clothing

“I hope I could add more points to her performance through designing her dress. When I first brought the dress to rehearsals to show it to the directors of the show, the moment they saw it change color they all exclaimed ‘wow!’ No one expected the dress to ‘bloom’. I knew then that it was a success – although they were just directors, they were also my first audience.”

Guo Pei started her designer career when she was 19. In 1986, she graduated from college and became one of the first professional designers in China. Back then, most Chinese people didn’t know what design meant. People didn’t care much whether clothes were designed well or not. Even TV hosts and performers wore everyday clothes. But along with the development of society and thanks to the government’s opening up policy, people have become more aware of well made clothes. An increasing number of people are getting involved in design with many other experienced Chinese designers like Guo Pei winning recognition both home and abroad.

Chinese Traditional Clothing

Chinese Traditional Clothing

Guo Pei’s designs always contain Chinese elements, from embroidery to traditional patterns, but they also include modern influences. She combines oriental flavor with western cutting styles perfectly. It’s for this reason she was chosen to design the ceremonial dresses for the Beijing Olympics.

Now she runs a clothing design company called “ROSE STUDIO HAUTE COUTURE “. For ten years, she has been promoting the idea of high-quality tailor-made garments in china, and her clientele includes many of the biggest names in the country. Guo Pei says she will continue this work, and the pursuit of her lifelong dream, namely to design garments that will be remembered for generations.

by Xiao Xiao @ InteractChina.com

P.S. We need people with similar passion to join or partner with us in promoting ethnic handicrafts! Please contact us at interact@interactchina.com to make any suggestions that you may have in co-operating with us, or join as Affiliate.