Fusion of Chinese and French Impressionist elements in designer Xu Qinghui's latest collection
By Ding Siyue
When Chinese culture meets French culture over clothes, magic can happen. For Shanghai Fashion week, Chinese designer Xu Qinghui took inspiration from French artist Claude Monet's paintings and introduced his style into her show. Showing the diversity of Chinese and French cultures, her designs have been widely praised within the industry.

Inspiration from Impressionism

As known to the public, Claude Monet was good at depicting light and shadow, and had a very delicate touch when applying colors. Xu Qinghui took inspiration from Monet's paintings and used impressionism to give her clothes a feminine and elegant style.
Xu Qinghui said, "Claude Monet is one of the founders of Impressionism. Influenced by his famous paintings of water lilies, we have developed a series of purple products to be showcased at this show. And based on his 'Impression, Sunrise,' we made some red, and bright orange designs as well."
"Our impression is that France is a romantic place and French women dress very elegantly. The design and cutting of French clothes are exquisite. And we can also learn a lot from French women's makeup and accessories."

Fusion of Eastern and Western culture

As an art form closely related to people's lives, fashion design can have a strong impact. China and France have absorbed each other's clothing culture, and become a model for cultural exchanges between East and West.
"Our team went to France for inspiration. We went to the Orsay Museum where over 80 works by Monet are on display. We also went to the Monet Garden," the designer said.There are over a dozen of designers in Xu Qinghui's team. This is the seventh time she led the team to the stage of Shanghai Fashion Week.
Lyu Xiaolei, Director of Shanghai Fashion Week Organizing Committee, said, "This year, the number of releases has hit a new high. More than 80 percent of the fashion shows are by Chinese designers. It means that China's creative fashion industry is getting younger, more active and more energetic."
Models present a creation by designer Xu Qinghui at the Shanghai Fashion Week. /CGTN Photo

Models present a creation by designer Xu Qinghui at the Shanghai Fashion Week. /CGTN Photo

Xu's design has a wide range of inspirations. Every year, to develop new series, she will lead the team members to many places, including India and the Sahara Desert, searching for new ideas. She also put the literary masterpiece "How the Steel is Tempered" onto the stage of a fashion show.
Writer Wang Liping said, "Xu Qinghui is a leading figure in China's fashion industry. Because I feel fashion runs ahead of time, it is something for the future. This kind of foresight and originality comes from her sensitivity and understanding of the world."
Trying to channel a feminine sensitivity and exquisiteness, Xu insists on making her own original women's wear, and strives to design clothes that ordinary people can wear.
The designer said, "I think nowadays many people are living a fast-paced life, but I wish modern women can still enjoy a slow and elegant atmosphere. For a Chinese brand like ours, our future is bound to be internationalized. We are not only designing for Chinese women; the design is also in sync with international fashion trends."
Wang Liping adds that "Xu Qinghui's designs, although they are just pieces of clothes, reflect a thriving and energetic industry. They also reflect the confidence of China's fashion designers. I think this is an aspect of cultural confidence as well."
Xu draws inspiration from famous art and literary classics, and blends Chinese and Western understandings of fashion. By breaking the barriers of art and life with her designs, she aims to bring her original brand to the world.