Menswear out of the closet

An interesting piece from China Daily about the Chinese fashion industry makes a change from hearing about fake and ripoffs but they do have a serious fashion industry over there.

Menswear design has always been weaker than for women, but China Fashion Week 2009 was determined to correct this. Six menswear fashion shows were held, though most were criticized as “too feminine” by Chinese media.

Fujian-based men’s fashion brand Cabbeen opened China Fashion Week to show off its T-shirts, semi-formal shorts and tight pants. Scarves were in bright colors: milk-yellow, pink, and light blue.

Designer Yang Ziming added women’s belts, large-sized handbags and tassels in the collection, for a hippie-look.

Yang said his ideas mostly originated from modern architecture.

“There are many buildings with windows in cities, so you can see pearl-like or glass-like materials in my costumes,” Yang says.

VLOV menswear, designed by Wu Qingqing, frequently used hemp material for an eco-friendly look. Colors were black, white and blue, while the deep V-shaped collars, thin belts and gloves were feminine in inspiration.

“Men usually have two faces. Sometimes they can be manly, but other times they have to be careful, detailed, and patient,” Wu explains.

ZUOAN Hong Jinshan menswear show was more masculine. Inspired by retro-futurism, designer Hong Jinshan used silver, shining blue and light brown to create a “future world”.

Most of the costumes were uniform-like. A black pilot jacket, with vintage sunglasses, was reminiscent of Tom Cruise in Top Gun. Converse-like sneakers showed up with a long jacket, for a mix-match style.

Mihuang Qi Gang designer Qi Gang showed off his cashmere creations himself. An oversized red scarf was tied under his shoulders, a black-and-white T-shirt went with a pair of tight leggings, and the ankle-high black boots were feminine-looking.

Qi’s personal show, one-day later, was wild. Animal patterns were the most obvious elements, with feathers, grassland-green skirts, and zebra-striped trousers.

Male models for luxury brand Ne Tiger’s show wore oversized fur scarves with a dark blue gown, for an ancient scholarly image. There was an all-white Western suit, but the buttons were shaped like fans. Yang Jian, secretary general of China Fashion Week Committee, said this year there would be more male fashion.

“It is because their tastes are developing and there is a market here.”

Ao Yanmin, general manager of Rich Public Relation Company, was involved in most menswear shows during fashion week.

She said there were more male brands, but disagreed with the idea they were more feminine. “It is an international trend that clothing is taking on ‘bi-gender’ characteristics. Menswear is more feminine, and women’s wear is more manly.”

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