【英语中国】中国新设计师亮相西方 New breed of China-born designers seek their fortunes in Paris

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所属分类:双语中国

2014-4-12 15:39

小艾摘要: Among the well-established houses on the Paris Fashion Week calendar, a growing number of new names hail from mainland China.A coterie of young, China-born but internationally bred designers are choos ...
New breed of China-born designers seek their fortunes in Paris
Among the well-established houses on the Paris Fashion Week calendar, a growing number of new names hail from mainland China.

A coterie of young, China-born but internationally bred designers are choosing to work and show in Paris, driven by desire for exposure and customer base expansion. The trend comes a decade after a wave of Asian-American designers including Jason Wu, Philip Lim and Alexander Wang established themselves in New York with similar motivations, finding success with cool, contemporary and ethnically neutral collections.

Possessing similar ambitions – and multicultural upbringing – this generation of global designers are intent on similar critical and commercial recognition, defining themselves on a world stage rather than through distinctions around exotic heritage.

Yang Li, a recent nominee for the LVMH Young Fashion Designer Prize, is making waves with his inventive and experimental offerings. So too are Masha Ma, Laurence Xu and Yiqing Yin, creative director of Leonard. But what is attracting them to Paris?

Simon Collins, dean of fashion at Parsons the New School for Design, says: “It’s not just about evolving within a revered cosmopolitan hothouse in your early designer years. It’s critical in terms of bringing your work to the right eyeballs: editors, buyers and investors in the industry heartlands. Global fashion trends, whatever the nationality of the designer, are still dictated by what is seen on Parisian catwalks.”

Many of these designers made initial steps towards the industry via Parsons in New York or Central Saint Martins in London.

Nigel Carrington, University of the Arts London vice-chancellor, says the school has 2,300 ethnic Chinese students, with a demand 10 times that amount for places. He believes that China’s one-child policy has meant parents are more willing to invest in expensive international schooling, aware it unlocks career opportunities unavailable at home.

The lack of Chinese design schools, coupled with an industry infrastructure anchored in the west, has created a new type of fashion nomad. While born in China, most of them have spent decades away, with no imminent plans to return. The design hallmarks of their collections hold few ties to their homeland – instead embracing conventional industry aesthetics.

“Of course, I cannot escape my Chinese roots,” says Mr Li, who was born in Beijing and raised in Australia before attending Central Saint Martins. “I’ve lived in many places in my short life, and the juxtaposition of a new environment to my heritage has made me look at things from both directions, questioning a lot more due to cultural differences.”

But in the long term, there are many domestic opportunities for Chinese designers. Despite recent concerns of a slowdown in luxury spending, appetite for homegrown talent is surging – and retailers are looking to capitalise on it.

“We are hugely excited about the growth of fashion talent coming from the region and have a commitment and responsibility to identify and support the development of the next generation,” says Andrew Keith, president of Chinese department store Lane Crawford, who believes brands must build credibility in China as well as abroad.

Joyce, the retailer’s boutique business, stocks Ms Yin, Mr Li and Yang Du among others, and reports a loyal customer base for such rising stars.

“Still, we don’t take on designers out of tokenism,” says Mr Keith. “They may bring a new and distinctive dimension to offerings but they need to be able to stand within our global fashion edit.”

在巴黎时装周(Paris Fashion Week)官方日程表亮相的知名时尚品牌中,有越来越多的设计新人来自中国大陆。

这群年轻设计师出生于中国,但在国外深造,他们选择在巴黎工作及举行时装秀,动因就是渴望提高知名度以及拓展客户群。10年前,吴季刚(Jason Wu)、Philip Lim、王大仁(Alexander Wang)等一波美籍亚裔时装设计师在纽约因类似原因而声名鹊起,他们因推出紧跟时代、持种族中立立场的酷潮时装而功成名就。

如今这一代具有全球视野的设计师同样具有雄心抱负,又在多文化氛围中生活成长,他们的志向是获得业界以及商界认可,希望在世界性舞台、而不是仅仅通过传承中国的奇装异服扬名立万。

李阳(Yang Li)近日获提为路威酩轩时装设计师新人奖(LVMH Young Fashion Designer Prize)候选人,他因尝试推出独出心裁以及实验性的服装款式而名声大噪。Masha Ma、Laurence Xu 以及法国时尚品牌Leonard创意总监殷亦勤(Yiqing Yin)等华裔设计师也莫不如此,但是什么吸引他们来巴黎呢?

帕森设计学院(Parsons The New School for Design)时装系主任西蒙?柯林斯(Simon Collins)说:“设计师初入道那几年,光靠呆在世界知名设计学院这类象牙塔是不够的,关键是要让自己的作品得到各路专家的认可:时尚核心圈的编辑、时尚买手以及投资商。不管设计师的国别,全球流行时尚的风向标仍由巴黎的时尚T型台所主导。”

很多亚裔设计师学习时装设计,主要的渠道不是帕森设计学院,就是伦敦中央圣马丁艺术设计学院(Central St Martins)。

伦敦艺术大学(University ofthe Arts)校长奈杰尔?卡林顿(Nigel Carrington)说自己学校有2300名华裔学生,申请入学的学生数是招生数的10倍之多。他认为中国实行独生子女政策,意味着家长们更愿花巨资把孩子送至国外接受教育,他们清楚地知道中国国内无法解决这些孩子的就业问题。

中国没有足够的时装设计院校,加上西方时尚产业基础根深蒂固,这造就了中国的新型负笈远游学生群体。这些设计师出生在中国,多数在国外呆了十年以上,短期内并没有回国的打算。他们的时装设计风格,与母国没有瓜葛————相反,他们紧随传统时尚产业的审美观。

“当然,我无法摆脱中国文化的渊源,”李阳说,他出生于北京,赴中央圣马丁艺术设计学院留学前,一直在澳洲生活。“我尽管年龄不大,但呆过很多国家,近距离观察比较新的生活环境与中国的传统文化,使我能从正反两个方面客观看待问题,由于存在文化差异,我更多的是持质疑态度。”

但从长远看,中国设计师在中国机遇很多。尽管中国国内近期奢侈品消费减速引发业界担心,但本土设计师的行情大幅飙升————各零售商正努力利用这个商机。

“我们对中国设计师取得的成绩欢欣鼓舞,觉得有责任与义务鉴别支持中国年轻一代设计师的成长,”香港百货公司连卡佛(Lane Crawford)中国门店负责人安德鲁?基斯(Andrew Keith)说,他认为各大品牌除了在国外,必须在中国建立信誉度。

Joyce是连卡佛旗下的时尚百货店,储备及销售殷以勤、李阳明以及杜旸(Yang Du)等一大批中国设计师的服装作品,它说这些冉冉升起的设计师已培育了一批忠实客户。

“尽管如此,我们不会为了装点门面而贸然接受这些中国设计师,”基斯说。“他们或许会给我们增添独特风格的全新时装,但他们必须经得起我们全球时尚编辑的挑剔目光。”

译者/常和

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