Go to Rissian version

Asian Couture FW. Day 1

Dec 12, 12 Asian Couture FW. Day 1

Singapore is often called the “Chinese Monaco.” It is home to the most affluent and accustomed to a high level of comfort members of the society of consumption. Expensive sports cars and luxury boutiques in Singapore are as natural as in its Mediterranean namesake. The difference is only in the scale of the luxury: in the Asian city-country of the future it is huge and somewhat intrusive. That, however, does not prevent Singaporeans enjoying their life, split between high-rise shopping malls and a giant hall in the only casino in the town. Dressed in fashionable and expensive clothes, of course.

The Couture Fashion Week, with guest Parisian haute couture designers, is already the second one. That’s the participation of Parisian designers which allows organizers to add to the title of the Asian fashion week the fine French “haute couture” chic. But not only. Returning to the process of globalization and the export of traditional concepts, it should be noted that the term “haute couture” in the fashion world is used more and more widely and is increasingly associated with exclusive, special occasion clothes of highest quality and handmade workmanship, thus ceasing to be inherent to France only. Taking for example the Russian Ulyana Sergeenko who showed a true “couture” collection during the Haute Couture Fashion Week last season in Paris, while not being a member of the syndicate.

Singapore Fashion Week, besides already mentioned French, united couture designers from the entire Southeast Asian region.

The first day, despite the participation of designers from Thailand, Hong Kong and Mongolia, reporters immediately dubbed “Chinese.” The reason for this was the opening presentation of Chinese Guo Pei, which in the mainland China is like Slava Zaitsev for Russians or Karl Lagerfeld for the French – a national symbol and a pride. A significant delay of the show was generously compensated by organizers with a pouring river of champagne and fresh macaroons.

Trying to discover the sources of the inspiration of Guo Pei, I headed to the back stage, where I felt like stepping through the Alice’s looking glass. The couloirs of the backstage paced mannequins of Mongolian and Russian origin, almost all dressed in phantasmagoric, almost theatrical, costumes of the upcoming show, which was already delayed by 40 minutes. The first thing that caught the eye was fabulous platform shoes, vaguely reminiscent of exaggerated “geta” of Japanese geishas, which even Lady Gaga would envy, and very complex high hairstyle. Nobody from the team of the China’s most famous designer, including the designer herself, spoke any English, so I had to guess myself what inspired Madame Pei.

Finally the start of the defile announced. Chinese porcelain dolls slowly swam to the podium. Rather these were live girls, but stylization was so striking, that it seemed an awkward touch would shatter this porcelain grace into many small fragments. Delicate pastel tones of blue marine and pale yellow with subtle floral patterns embroidered on brocade and silk created an atmosphere of spring garden, so often sung in their tercets by haiku masters.

“Spring garden” was changed with dresses in the form of a traditional multi-story pagodas and bullfighters costumes. It was impossible to take the eye from the latter: boleros and tight shortened pants of matadors, richly embroidered with gold and silver thread, probably took hundreds of hours of painstaking and, of course, handmade work. The color scheme changed to a bright, saturated with a predominance of gold, “royal” blue and shades of red. An Asian model appeared on the podium in a gilded imperial crown and a dress of red roses. Guo Pei introduced us to the glorious past of her country. The ensemble of a richly embroidered full length straight dress, supplemented by a cape, the train of which repeats the shape of bamboo roofs of Chinese emperors’ palaces , was followed by a picturesque “snow princess” in a luxurious coat with white arctic fox trim, contrasting beautifully with the raven color hair of the girl.

But then the opera music sounded and crinolines in the best traditions of the Versailles Palace appeared on the catwalk. Waists, tightened in corsets, embroidered with beads and artificial pearls, wide skirts on a mesh and kilometer-long trains.

Guo Pei boldly mixes countries and epochs, creating a bright cocktail of dresses, truly worthy of the haute couture title. And we probably need to start learning Chinese, because sometimes what the artist wanted to convey to us is very different from our own perception of the created masterpiece.

Photo credits: Fide Fashion Week / Word Of Mouth Communications


Related stories: