Debuting at any of the four major fashion capitals (Milan, Paris, New York and London) during the renowned industry fashion weeks is considered a substantial success for any designer that has been pouring their life into creating garments that will impress top-tier editors and buyers. More work than we expect goes into a rather quick ten minute show. Years of planning and learning the trend and color schematic forecasting is a daunting task in itself because no one wants to make too much of an unfavorable misstep. Then of course pushing that success into a second year with critics all around shows strength in branding and design, which is why Fashion Shenzhen has many of us talking as they continue to make waves throughout the industry.
For the Chinese labels Lizzy, Haiping Xie and Ellassay (all collectively chosen to be shown together under the name Fashion Shenzhen), hard work is beginning to pay off after years of trying to garner a larger presence within the industry and showing in London quite often before New York. While Ellassay enters its sophomore year, it still carries the excitement of a first debut. The Director of Shenzhen Garment Association, Shen Yongfang stated during her interview with CCTV News last year when Shenzhen’s designs first walked the runways of New York, “China has a unique and ancient culture, and this is a great asset. Our designers are the best, so I don’t see why we can’t make it to the world stage.” To a full house, Shenzhen delivered unforgettable designs that represented their blend of Eastern and Western influences, but each with their own artistic nature.
Haiping Xie kept to the flora and beauty of China’s rich history and culture. There was nothing subtle about Xie’s collection. Boldly printed dragon graphics were a powerful display to the flowing sea of organza and silk layers in just as powerful hues of blue and orange. While Lizzy presented sophisticated bead work in a stunning display of gowns with oceanic themes and fittingly cut in mermaid A-lines. The crystal work glistened with models’ movement and felt reminiscent to the intricacies of underwater coral colonies. Taking a step away from couture evening wear, Ellassay delivered modern dresses and trench coats that are easily wearable and fitting for our daily wardrobe. Opting for another interesting grid lined pattern once again, Ellassay’s trench coat can be used to amp up the simple elegance of the dresses shown.
With such an impressive showing in New York, these three designers help pave the way for the rest of Shenzhen’s growing design field and continue to bring the recognition that Shen Yongfang speaks of with such hopeful words. Personally, I feel they’ve already made it on the world stage and only good things will continue to come with such determination and drive to be at their best. I look forward to seeing what designers the Fashion Shenzhen group will present next season.
— STORY BY MIN A. LEE