Back in the day, Shanghai was nicknamed the Paris of the East, and the city's PYTs wore a uniform of cheongsams and styled their hair in marcel waves. They, Vivienne Tam
said backstage before her show, were her Spring muses, but she wasn't interested in creating matching looks or traditional dress. Instead she mined books and her own archives for prints that she updated, and in her tailoring she referenced classic Chinese design tropes. To wit, one-sided diagonal cuts at the collarbone suggested mandarin collars on some tops, and a lotus blossom print came stacked for a cool graphic density. With most of the focus on prints, embroideries, and cutouts, the silhouette was relatively simple. Cinched-waist shirtdresses, slim cropped pants, and a few fuller skirts were all very wearable, if not particularly thrilling. But there were some nice moments here, and Tam avoided being too literal with her theme. Only one Shanghai girl made it onto the runway— her mien part of a print on a mesh T-shirt—but that was the only hint of kitsch.