Traditional, ancient accents at China Fashion Week

Thu Oct 27, 2011 12:51am EDT
 
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By Haze Fan

BEIJING (Reuters) - Haute couture mixing traditional Chinese touches and styles from more than 1,000 years ago with Western designs opened China Fashion Week, as the world's fastest-growing market for luxury products catches the eyes of more designers.

Models showed off a wide range of long gowns in bright colors, some featuring traditional Chinese embroidery and replicas of attire from the Tang Dynasty, AD 618 to AD 907, from NE TIGER, China's oldest luxury brand.

"The haute couture industry in China is developing vigorously without any signs of slowing down. This is above my expectation," said Zhang Zhifeng, who founded the brand 19 years ago.

"I thought my haute couture would live only with a small group of people, but now it is expanding very quickly. Consumers have become increasingly fond of Chinese traditional culture."

Zhang said he wanted the Spring/Summer 2012 collection "Tang, Jing" to highlight Tang culture for the 500-strong audience at the show on Wednesday, the start of the 10-day Fashion Week, which NE TIGER has opened for the last decade.

"I was so inspired when I listened to some historians telling stories of the Tang Dynasty. It was so prosperous that in many ways, it still has influence on Chinese society even today," he added.

Some gowns featured designs from traditional Chinese paintings, while others had flaring, bouffant skirts.

Zhang's workshop is located in the heart of Beijing, the Chinese capital, where his 11-person international team dedicates itself to the creation of personalized designs.   Continued...