Menswear Steals the Spotlight in Beijing-------
Beijing’s China fashion week might lack the international heft of The Gang of Four—New York, London, Paris, and Milan—but the city is rapidly catching up. Mercedes-Benz began sponsoring the platform in 2011, and since, Beijing has made steps toward becoming an established showcase. This season, it was the menswear talents that shone most brightly.
Beijing native Simon Gao (above, left) put a commercial spin on last season’s androgyny by giving his sculptural his and hers wares utilitarian undertones. The designer blurred gender lines with unisex wrap skirts and straight-laced jackets and shirts. Layered fur sleeves and contrasting textiles made for intriguing textures.
After showing at New York fashion week last year, Wu Qingqing presented his menswear label VLOV, which featured shearling and leather jackets, tailored blazers with fur lapels, and double-breasted dress coats. Presenting an architectural, Nordic aesthetic, the designer’s royal-blue, black, gray, khaki, and saffron outerwear boasted traditional cuts in natural fabrics. Blue wool storm coats and padded jackets paired with black Hunter boots referenced Beijing winters.
Wang Yutao (above, right), the twelfth winner of the Asahi Kasei Creativity Award, pulled inspiration from Beijing itself—particularly the city’s narrow streets and towering city walls—for his Fall ’13 collection. Sharp tailoring and pitch-perfect styling were vividly displayed in his menswear. His womenswear—puffball skirts and fur shifts—is slowly catching up.
Also showing womenswear was Wang Peiyi (above, center), who won the China Young Fashion Award in 2012. The designer’s Fall ’13 inspiration—the aurora borealis—was evident in the blue and silver sequins that shimmered on black wool and matte leather, coat sleeves strewn with luminous Swarovski Crystals, and ruffles on floor-length iridescent dresses. Clean, structured jackets and A-line skirts provided a smart balance to the otherwise heavily embellished collection.