Saturday, February 19, 2011

Visions of China: Hong Kong Fashion Week vs Ralph Lauren

Hong Kong Fashion Week(end) was January 17 - 20. At the Hong Kong Fashion Extravaganza, Alex Wang (no, not Alexander Wang) and Barney Cheng strutted their skills with gorgeous craftsmanship and very modern visions. 

But that wasn't the only Far Eastern event in the fashion world. Interestingly enough, many designers were working Chinese elements into their designs this week in New York, especially at Ralph Lauren.

After comparing Hong Kong Fashion Week with Ralph Lauren's Eastern show, I found it very interesting that the Chinese designers were far removed from their "stereotypes" (cheongsams, Oriental prints), but Ralph Lauren was using them as "classics" (not to say RL wasn't beautiful, just pointing this out).

Personally, I thought the Chinese designs were much more inspiring; I saw statement rather than re-statement. On the flip side, 30's styles in general are eternal and always elegant, which is why Ralph Lauren was still major eye candy. I'll leave it up to you: which image of "China" do you like better?

Alex Wang vs Ralph Lauren

More Alex Wang:

Barney Cheng vs Ralph Lauren:

More Barney Cheng:

Click to enlarge this image: check the python detailing on this coat!

Every country has an image when it comes to fashion, an identity (sort of how Kors epitomizes the American "sportstyle" that's almost distinctly ours). Do you think it makes it harder for Chinese designers to establish what their fashion image is, if American designers are using this other image of China? Or is it, like anything else, merely a meeting of two eras? Do we just throw it all into the melting not and leave behind the age of individual images? As in every art form, there are no right or wrong answers...

There'll be more soon from Hong Kong Fashion Week - Japanese and Korean designers!

Images via Vogue, Ecouterre, Hong Kong Trade Development Council/Fashion Week Hong Kong

1 comment:

Mag said...

You have a point. China has an ancient and rich culture. Judging from the film industry and some great films, there is a lot of potential of finding those icons to reflect their heritage.