East Meets West at New York Fashion Week
“No sleep, no sleep tonight!” said Vivienne Tam on Friday evening, moments after arriving at the China Beauty Charity Fund’s inaugural gala. The designer, who had taken a break from her own show’s fitting in order to attend the event, scooped up an honorary award for her support of emerging Chinese design talent. Dubbed “China Fashion Night,” the affair drew guests including Liu Wen, Miroslava Duma, and Carmen Dell’Orefice to the St. Pierre Hotel for a dinner and auction that culminated in the presentation of Chinese haute couturiere Guo Pei’s fantastical clothes.
Over cocktails, Pei’s lavish wares certainly had partygoers talking. “I want to know exactly how heavy it is,” said Karolina Kurkova, admiring a bell-shaped ball gown made entirely from gold threading. So heavy were the dresses, and so ridiculously high were the platform shoes, that the models had to be hoisted onstage.
It seemed many of those in attendance came out of admiration for Yue-Sai Kan, the fashion doyenne who, as the charity’s founder, raises funds for Chinese graduates to study at FIT. It was Kan’s idea to bring Chinese haute couture to New York. “In China, Pei is a legend, but here you haven’t heard of her,” said Kan. She then added, “I think this is a good time for us to show her off.”
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