Chinese Innovative Designers Inspired for Warm-up to Fashion Week in France

 February 5, 2024
Visitors watch Chinese tea art performance during a tourism promotion event named "Nihao! China" at the Paris Brongniart in Paris, France, Jan. 30, 2024. [Xinhua/Gao Jing]


In 2024, China and France not only celebrate the 60th anniversary of diplomatic ties, but also observe it as the China-France Year of Culture and Tourism. This milestone year promises a plethora of bilateral cultural exchange activities.

PARIS/NANCHANG, Feb. 4 (Xinhua) — Under the radiant sunlight, a 3D-printed blue and white twin lotus graces a down jacket, evoking the elegance of fine blue and white porcelain.

This China-chic down jacket is a collaborative creation by tutors and students from the Textile and Garment Industrial Research Institute at Wuhan Textile University in Gongqingcheng City, East China's Jiangxi Province — the birthplace of China's inaugural down jacket.

The design is crafted for the upcoming 2024 China-France Week scheduled to take place in Paris this autumn.

"Our objective is to infuse additional traditional Chinese cultural elements into our creations, including the exquisite blue and white porcelain from Jingdezhen. By showcasing the rich tapestry of Chinese ceramic culture and classical patterns to a global audience, we aim to breathe new life into ancient eastern civilization through contemporary and stylish clothing," said Wang Qiuhan, head of the institute.

These "China-chic" down jackets blend traditional Chinese elements seamlessly into modern design. Designers incorporate traditional textile techniques, embroidery, and clothing decorations like Chinese buttons, collars, while integrating abstract patterns of ink, mountains, and rivers with mosaics. The result is a fashionable and distinctly eastern charm.

"We are also promoting cooperation with inheritors of Xiabu embroidery, an intangible cultural heritage, to embroider our down jackets," Wang added.

In 2024, China and France not only celebrate the 60th anniversary of diplomatic ties, but also observe it as the China-France Year of Culture and Tourism. This milestone year promises a plethora of bilateral cultural exchange activities.

Adorned with captivating images of waterfalls and ridges on the collar and belt, this down jacket resembles a renowned Chinese landscape painting, blending abstract ink patterns with the serenity of mountains and rivers. Making its debut on the fashion runway during China-France Week in Paris last autumn, this China-chic masterpiece, along with over 30 other captivating down jackets, took center stage and captivated the audience's attention.

Recalling that particular show, French girl Lea fondly remembers. "Those clothes are very pretty. It would be great to see more traditional Chinese elements in fashion, because it's a change from the type of fashion we have in France," she remarked.

"The down jackets gained attention from major European media and fashion magazines, sparking numerous order inquiries after their international debut. This highlights the rarity and uniqueness of Chinese traditional culture, with clothing serving as a powerful medium to share it with the world," noted Wang.

"I really like this show, especially the cut and fabric of these designs, and some design elements from nature, such as birds and mountains, are classic Chinese artistic conceptions. The mixing and stitching of fabric materials are amazing," said Isabelle Lawson, executive director of the French International Art Salon, as she reminisced about the show.

One of the designers, Wang Ran, aged 27, shared that in the 1970s, down jackets made their way into China and were humorously dubbed "bread suits" because of their coarse fabric, minimal down content, unexciting styles, and drab colors. Over the years, they have evolved to embrace qualities of lightness, fashion, and diversification.

"Nowadays, these China-chic down jackets not only bring us visual feast, but also carry Chinese traditional culture," she added.

High-end quality and superior design have invested made-in-China products with confidence and strength. The connection between China and France in the fashion industry is becoming increasingly close.

French design entities are keen on collaborating with China, acknowledging its leading position globally in garment production and processing. With strengths in both design and cost-effectiveness, the fashion industry sees significant potential for cooperation between China and France.

"In recent years, China has made great progress in the fashion industry, we are very willing to expand cooperation with China," said Xavier Romatet, dean of the French Fashion Institute, a leading fashion institute in France.


(Source: Xinhua)


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