Young Chinese designers light up China fashion week with cultural symbols
Updated 21:09, 31-Oct-2018
By Wang Qiwei
China Fashion Week spring and summer series for 2019 has opened in Beijing. Nearly 150 designers from home and abroad are at the biannual event, which features catwalks, presentations and a host of competitions.
It may not be a secret that the spending power of China's middle class has attracted more foreign brands to the country. However, if this year's China Fashion Week has proven anything, it's that there's a growing force of domestic ones ready to tip the scales.
This year's opening ceremony was, in part, trying to latch onto that trend.
"Through the theme of the Belt and Road Initiative, we not only want to introduce our traditional Chinese dress styles abroad but also bring back those outstanding fashion examples to China, so that they can fuse with the current fashion culture here," said Zhang Zhifeng, Creative Director of the opening ceremony of China Fashion Week.
China is rapidly becoming one of the world's largest fashion markets, while it's also looking to transform itself from a factory house into a design house.
The backstage of spring/summer 2019 China Fashion Week, Beijing, October 26, 2018. /VCG Photo

The backstage of spring/summer 2019 China Fashion Week, Beijing, October 26, 2018. /VCG Photo

The country's fashion industry has been for years trying to find out what makes its designs unique. Some think it can be done by incorporating symbols of Chinese heritage into their works.
Young designer Zhou Jiayu's collection is inspired by the handicraft skills of traditional Chinese porcelain. She said she has merged practicality with simplicity and harmony.
"The clothes that I designed are a change from daily dressing styles. They reflect one's need for fashion, and I try to make them last," said Zhou.
In an industry where fashion trends fade quickly, that seems like a tough task. But Chinese designers are trying everything to leave their mark on the international stage. Thanks to platforms like China Fashion Week, they have a great opportunity.
"The maturity of the collection presented by young designers this year has reached a new level compared with the past," said Zhang Qinghui, Chairman of China Fashion Association.
China still has a long way to go to reach the levels of other major fashion markets. But while Chinese young designers are eager, they're also a patient bunch, and they know that quality takes time.
(Top Image: The brandshow of spring/summer 2019 China Fashion Week, Beijing, October 26, 2018. /VCG Photo)