Thursday, 31 January 2008

Enter the Rat, Enter the Dresses

Starting February 7th, the Chinese New Year of the Rat will be upon us (I am a Rat incidentally) and if you didn't keep those resolutions you drunkenly made on December 31st (I will keep my clothes on hangers, I will iron everything, I wont shop so obsessively....) then now is the perfect opportunity to start again.

There will be Chinese New Year celebrations all over the country (nay, the world, and in erm, China, obviously) and as I spent 6 months living in China after I graduated; a story too boring for me to tell again, and as I enjoy both Chinese culture and tailoring, now seemed like the perfect time to showcase some amazing Chinese talent that was showing at Hong Kong fashion week last week: after all, the perfect New Year celebrations demand the perfect new dress.
We read all about the Fashion weeks in London, Paris and Milan but rarely from further afield, and so I thought it might be nice to break from the pack and have a sneaky peak at the designer I thought put on the most interesting show in Hong Kong-William Tang:

Dresses from Willim Tang A/W08 collection

William Tang has been designing both mens and womenswear since the early 80s, starting his own label in 85. He also designed the uniforms for Dragonair airlines in 2000, and has his own Parisian boutique; Presence II. Tang believes that "fashion itself is an art form that moves and lives with the human body. The fashion business is also art, a form that is based on creative ideas where various commercial aspects are taken into consideration" Tang is known as the 'bad boy' of Hong Kong fashion and in 1997 was surrounded in contraversy following his drug themed show. (That was just for you if you're a fashion nerd that, like me, need to know all the facts and figures!) However there is no sniff of contraversy surrounding his latest collection which, whilst perhaps not being entirely innovative, is obviously beautiful and so ethereal it almost demands to be touched.

Tangs collection for A/w08 was very feminine and dress heavy, focusing on volume, especially on the hips and lower body. All of the dresses were structured to create the illusion of womanly curves and the focus was clearly on the tailoring.

Tang seemed to have no particular colour pallette preferring to mix it up with everything from black to canary yellow to pastal pink. Instead his focus seemed to be on texture with almost every dress using some detail in floating chiffon. Although very modern and wearable a lot of Tang's designs, particuarly those involving the vibrant chiffon, are reminiscent of the 80s new romantics. It seems that Tang is reminiscing about his time as a fashion student in London where he had his first successes designing the flamboyant and glamourous "new romantic looks."

I knew i'd seen that yellow frock somewhere before!

Vivienne Westwood's "New Romantic" designs, photographed at her retrospective at the National Gallery of Australia in 2004. See how the yellow dress looks just like Tangs? Oh yes, I tear up the archives to prove a point to you dear reader. This collection screams new romantic. Screams it so loud it makes my ears hurt.
I really enjoy Tangs collection. And its nice, refreshing to see a catwalk show where you could zip yourself into one of the creations (if your a zero non existent of course) and head to a party: everything he designs seems really wearable. But if you prefer your runway a little more elabourate, and your Asian influence more obvious, HongKong fashion week is still the place for you. Valissi would send you to the pary in vibrant red and looking like an ancient empress. And noone can say that's not a good look. Have a happy and prosperous Chinese New Year.

Lots of Love,
Tor x

Photos of HongKong fashion week A/W08 taken from (It's a really good read!)


Suzanna Mars said...

Wow, this was just great! What a shame that Hong Kong fashion week is a Chinese secret. I'm ashamed to say that I hadn't thought of Tang in years and your marvelous post refreshed my memory.

I happen to love Asian influences, especially on their home turf.

Susie Bubble said...

There's an influx of HK designers showing at LFW this year which is great.... Chris Liu is one to look out for...
Daydream Nation, Makin Jan Ma....

Cee-Cee said...

those are indeed some fabulous frocks!