Opening Ceremony recently launched it’s much-anticipated Year of China at the beginning on 2016 with a carefully curated selection of China’s most talented designers. The collaboration is validation of China’s creative class, which has only been around for the past 20 years… many of the designers have just started out, but their potential and talent are undeniable. China has long been known for copying and consuming, but now the Mainland is creating with the best of the best, and are now available at Opening Ceremony stores worldwide. You can check out our original post here, and make sure to also check out all of Opening Ceremony’s coverage below or on their website:
| Mon. April 18, 2016 | 6:00 PM | Showing Out
As part of our 2016: Year of China focus, we headed to Shanghai Fashion Week to discover the best fashion happening both on and off the streets. While the runways of Poesia, Hiuman, and Angel Chen were teeming with innovation, the team behind chinafashionbloggers.com helped us discover that fashion moments were just as head-turning off of the runway.
Timothy Parent of chinafashionbloggers.com has been covering Shanghai Fashion Week for 14 seasons now. In 2009, Shanghai Fashion Week was low-key and “uneventful,” but in 2016, it’s one of the most high-profile, happening events on the Mainland.
After leaving his hometown of Qingdao, China to study fashion at 17, designer Huishan Zhang quickly found himself in a whirlwind of fashion courses and promising opportunities. While attending the prestigious Central Saint Martins, Zhang spent his third year of school working for the Dior fashion house. This opportunity would eventually lead Zhang to gain the skills and insights needed to start his own namesake line.
With a strong focus on an East-meets-West sentiment, each Huishan Zhang collection brings together ancient beliefs with modern-day silhouettes. This season, the designer looks to ancient remedies and Chinese love potions as a source of inspiration. Delicate lace is contrasted with peek-a-boo cut-outs exposing the skin underneath. Ruffles are also predominant in the lineup, seen in neutral off-the-shoulder dresses as well as the front of sheer blouses.
Take a sip of Zhang’s love potion and meet the designer below. You might just fall in love with him and his Spring/Summer 2016 collection.
When one thinks of a traditional sneaker, a calfskin sole isn’t the first fabrication that comes to mind. Footwear brand Purlicue aims to change that mentality. The Chinese brand serves up a series of leather wrapped sneakers whose leather soles can be replaced once they have been sufficiently worn down. From leather wrapped sneakers to laceless Chukka styles, Purlicue designer Su Junhua takes the classic sneaker design and turns it on its head. Below, we meet with the designer who’s bringing new meaning to the term high quality sneaker.
When it comes to finding legit workwear, most women can identify with the fact that it’s nearly impossible to find the right fit while also looking authentic. And frankly, we’re sick of cinching the waists of our Dickies trousers. It’s safe to say there is finally a saving grace in the form of New To OC brand Otho. Founded in 2014 by designer Valerie Hui, Otho is a London-based brand that focuses on workwear-inspired androgynous clothing with a pared-down aesthetic. Boxy cuts in the vein of denim jackets and two-tone shirtdresses reign supreme while female jumpsuits get a rough touch with exposed contrast seaming and structured denim fabrication.
It’s refreshing to find a designer that hones in on minimal basics while playing with rough fabrications that are tailored to an undone feel. With his Spring/Summer 2016 collection, which includes soft cotton anoraks and cotton pants that fold to a crossover silhouette, designer Chuang Qu is doing just that. Below, meet the Hubei-born designer as we discuss traditional Chinese handmade fabrics, Sichuan hotpots, and Rei Kawakubo as design muse.
| Thu. February 25, 2016 | 6:00 PM | New To OC
Established by Hong Kong-based duo Calvin Chan and Joyce Kun in 2014, The World is Your Oyster melds together the worlds of sleek menswear tailoring with a streetwear aesthetic. Color-blocking, geometric shapes, and experimental fabrication experiments find a home in boxy biker tops, cargo shorts, and svelte pocket tanks.
Below, we speak with the design duo about Chinese superstitions, the internet phenomenon, and girls who love menswear.
Since graduating from the London College of Fashion, design duo Liushu Lei and Yutong Jiang, aka SHUSHU/TONG, have been honing in on their aesthetic, both aiming to build a modern sophisticated female image with a girly twist.
While the design duo state that their personal muses range from Tina Chow to Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, their Spring/Summer 2016 collection focuses on a very specific gang of girls. Inspired by the 1993 indie film Mi Vida Loca, which tells the story of a group of young Latino women finding happiness in the midst of violence in Echo Park, Los Angeles, tough denim fabricates feminine cuts such as halter tops and off-the-shoulder dresses while contrasting with girly gingham prints in a selection of colors.
Since moving from ShenZhen to London to study at Central Saint Martins, designer Angel Chen’s rebellious collections have consistently combined her own version of romanticism with a distinct preference for bright colors and unexpected fabrication. For Spring/Summer 2016, the young designer takes inspiration from London’s “youthquake” period of the 1960s, where the creativity of the imaginative younger generations took over. This season, Chen’s sculpturally ruched dresses, ruffled crop tops, and peekaboo lace-up trousers offer a fun youthful take on the current state of fashion— symbolizing that another “Youthquake” might not be so far off.
In the spring of 1997, John Galliano showed a coterie of cheongsam dresses in one of his first collections for Dior. (“The hot new long look for evening,” wrote the New York Times.)
In the fall of 1997, Helmut Lang sent models down the runway wearing black-and-white Kung Fu slippers. (“This shoe is like a mantra,” Candy Pratts Price told the paper.)
It was a turning point for Pearl River Mart, the Chinatown emporium which had sold cheongsam dresses and Kung Fu slippers long before late-’90s fashion insiders decided to embrace chinoiserie. And from then on, it sold a lot more of them.
Our Year of China debuts in time for the Lunar New Year with a collaboration with one of New York’s most beloved emporiums (and Opening Ceremony’s long-time neighbor), Pearl River Mart. When Pearl River opened in 1971 as “Chinese Native Products” in New York City’s Chinatown, the concept behind the small shop was simple: to introduce quality Chinese goods to America. Founded by a group of overseas Chinese immigrants and student activists, Pearl River was one of the first retailers to import Chinese-made products—from soy sauce to Chinese cotton tee shirts—to the United States, during the Cold War era when trade bans with the Communist nation were still enforced.
From Brazil to Sweden, Japan to France, Opening Ceremony has represented a breadth of countries in our fourteen years of existence. Now that we’ve rung in the Lunar New Year, we’re ready to take on 2016 in a big way, by featuring the most populous country in the world: China.
Ever wonder why we’re named Opening Ceremony? Well, in case it wasn’t obvious, our name and mission statement originates from the Olympic Games. So back in 2002 when we were “born” we decided to adopt a multinational approach to retail. Instead of every four years, each year marks a new opportunity to feature a select group of fashion designers and creators from abroad to Opening Ceremony’s roster of American brands. From Brazil to Sweden, Japan to France, every year, we’ve secretly visited our highlighted country, then transformed each of our stores and digital platforms into a marketplace for exotic souvenirs and international talent.
This year, it only made sense to announce our Olympic celebration during the Lunar New Year! For 2016-2017, we have selected China as our country of focus, where we will highlight special collaborations with influential designers, as well as partner up with some unexpected Chinese creatives. It’s bad luck to give you the whole rundown now, so check back in the morning on our blog and Instagram for more details on the exciting year ahead.