With another London Graduate Fashion Week at an end as of Wednesday, June 6th, its time to look back at how some of China’s overseas hopefuls faired against their fellow students from around the world. Whether or not they will make an impact on the world of fashion in the future, only time will tell.
Zheng Yang Liu (University of Northumbria) (far left) – The first mainland contestant showing on day one drew inspiration from an unlikely Chinese source, the Communist Revolution. Her designs of laid back work wear with rolled up cuffs and hems made models look like they were on their way to a work unit, but with a boyish and relaxed charm. Clothes that I’m sure would have made Mao proud.
Li Xia Wang (University of Central Lancashire) (second from left) – This Shanghai native’s S&M, punk inspired collection featured leather as the signature fabric, a strange but refreshingly original choice for a Chinese designer. Unfortuntely fellow contestant, Bronagh Holme’s own leather themed collection for the University of Westminster was so amazing, Li was quickly forgotten by the majority of viewers.
Lin Yu Shan (University College of Creative Arts, Rochester) (centre) – Lin’s collection displayed many different influences including sportswear, hip-hop culture, and the modern Chinese love affair with over-the-top use of colour. I couldn’t help but feel that she wasn’t being daring enough in trying to reshape the world’s view on Chinese aesthetics and her collection looked like it had come straight off the stalls of Qipu Lu Market.
Olivia Yip (Somerset College) (second from right) – This Hong Kong native’s collection drew the most attention out of all the Chinese designers, possibly fueled by the fact that she has her own couture line available in Hong Kong. This urban collection she showed though featured frayed fabrics, tulip skirts and overalls. As expected from a couture dress maker, her craftsmanship was excellent, but it wasn’t exactly the most original. A lot of it seemed to be very similar to current ‘it’ Chinese American designer Phillip Lim’s work.
Christie Lee (University of Westminster) (far right) – Fellow Hong Kong native Lee was the only Chinese contestant this year to dare menswear. Models in Chinese opera masks wore exquisitely tailored, slightly avant-garde suits that featured Chinese brocade, ribbons, braids and details like belt loops on the ankles. The collection was most certainly a testament and homage to the long history of high quality tailoring that the former colony is known for.