Haute Couture: Beijing Calling

Beijing Designers Working Overtime To Make China’s Capital One Of The World’s Top Fashion Destinations

coutureFashion designers in Beijing are working hard to supplant Hong Kong and Shanghai as the country’s top fashion destination, with over 200 designers deeming their collections haute couture in the last decade alone. As Chinese designers become more focused on creating “China Style,” and less concerned about following Western trends, the push for a signature Chinese style will continue to create internal competition, causing the endogenous change necessary for a national style to emerge. As was the case in Japan and Korea, where domestic designers took decades to find their voice, China’s fashion designers need time as well as their innate competitiveness to develop a more global style, which can then become an influential force at fashion shows around the world.

As Xinhua writes today,

China, with its veritable treasure of handcraft techniques like embroidering, dyeing, brocading and kesi, is in fact perfectly poised to be the new haute couture centre in this part of Asia.

The neo-rich in the vastly urbanizing landscape of China are eagerly lapping up the custom-made clothes, in an expression of boredom with the branded wear.

Aiming at this rising market in China, famous foreign brands, such as Chanel and Armani, have set up their own shops in metropolis, such as Shanghai and Hong Kong, and introduced their designs to Chinese consumers. At the same time, many local designers have also found their way in this market. According to Bian Xiangyang, a professor in the Fashion School of Donghua University, the young are more adventurous, bold and clear about what they want from life.

Since clothes are so important in making a style statement, youth in China are actively courting the haute couture culture.

According to one industry estimate, the world of super-rich is currently found in countries like the Middle East and China, both less affected by recession, unlike other nations. It is this class of the population that is splurging on haute couture, recession notwithstanding.Italian designers have been working hard to market themselves through extravagant events in China. Recently, Beijing played host to a spate of parties and fashion shows thrown by some of Italy’s biggest luxury names.

However, Guo Pei, China’s home-grown couture specialist believes the haute couture market here would not be broader in the future, as the consumers were limited. “What we can actually do is further improve the techniques and skills of haute couture,” said Guo.

Just as Chen Juanhong, a famous Chinese model and designer said, “Although we don’t have a long history of haute couture, we have the culture of more than 5,000 years. How to take advantage of our culture is the key step in making our haute couture unique.”

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