Could the New Exhibition Be the Future for Chinese Fashion?

An exhibition titled “Chinese Fashion Designers: Ways of Seeing” will commence from Wednesday to May 9 in the newly revamped Xintiandi Style shopping mall, commemorating Shanghai Fashion Week’s 20th anniversary.

Could the New Exhibition Be the Future for Chinese Fashion?
Image courtesy of Instagram/Could the New Exhibition Be the Future for Chinese Fashion?

An exhibition titled “Chinese Fashion Designers: Ways of Seeing” will commence from Wednesday to May 9 in the newly revamped Xintiandi Style shopping mall, commemorating Shanghai Fashion Week’s 20th anniversary.

According to Pooky Lee, the founder and curator of the exhibition, the show was inspired by John Berger’s book, “Ways of Seeing.” As such, with the help of 20 Chinese designers, it aims to explore new ways of seeing and experiencing contemporary Chinese fashion. Moreover, the event also highlights the significance of Shanghai Fashion week and the support that Xintiandi has given to upcoming designers.

“What Berger describes in the book is the importance of looking, and looking again, which is fascinating and inspiring from the exhibition’s viewpoint. We direct the audiences’ sight to look at various aspects of the Chinese fashion designer community by building up the gigantic installations and adding looking devices like mirrors, magnifiers, etc.,” Lee said.

The Exhibition

The exhibition has been divided into four parts, which cut across 2690 square feet through the mall. The first section is situated at the atrium of Xintiandi Fashion’s Madang Road main entrance. It has a setup that looks like a small museum, with designers like Xu Zhi, Qiuhao, Lwenx Workshop, Pronounce, Villa Xrwa, Caroline Hu, Chen Peng, Shie Lyu, and Samuel Gu Yan. Therefore, visitors can easily browse through the designs.

Then there is the second section, which is located at the north entrance of Zizhong road. It comprises Chinese culture-inspired creations, collected from Angel Chen, Yueqi Qi, Ximon Lee, and Yuhan Wang. Next is the third installation of the exhibition, situated near the Fuxing road entrance. It features 8on8, Mayali, Ming Ma, Yirantian, Shushu/Tong, and Oude Waag. Their works examine the relationship between clothing and the human body.

Finally, there is a labyrinth-like room in the lower ground atrium, which shows how the fashionistas express their artistic visions through various means such as drawings, photos, and motion videos.

Also, the curatorial team will facilitate tours, designer talks, and other public activities related to the exhibition’s theme during the show.

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Should China Embrace Contemporary Fashion?

As it’s known to many, China is one state that continues to embrace traditional norms despite the changing times. Their culture is wholly embedded in what their ancestors did and believed in. Their food, lifestyle, clothes are all a replica of what used to happen back in the day.

However, through years of research on Chinese fashion, Pooky Lee feels that they can elevate their homegrown fashion to a newer level. Lee believes ton; many will be encouraged to look at their fashion from a contemporary perspective that is not dictated by traditional fashion hiera with the exhibitionrchy.

According to Lee, Janus Leong, a fashion illustrator, has also created 20 posters based on each designer’s work, focusing on how to look and what to look at: whether it’s the dress, the installation that carries it, or an illustrator’s reflection of the piece. Therefore, there is much hope that Chinese fashion trends will take a contemporary perspective with the ongoing exhibition.

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