So first generation Chinese brand Decoster made Chinese Fashion History yesterday night by not only staging their first fashion show in their 11 year history but also by launching their new “Decoster Concept” label, which is meant to be even more high-end than the current label (which is already not cheap). Pablo and I got a sneak peek of the collection at the Decoster offices where we had an opportunity to snag some nice shots before the show, which was important because this collection was all about details and finishings.
The color palette for this collection was pretty neutral, but again, it was all about the details…
So the inspiration for Decoster Concept’s SS12 collection was two-fold: one was WWII uniforms, the other was Mongolian sartorial culture… A weird mix you may think, but just wait for it…
So come the night of the show, the last for Shanghai Fashion Week, people packed in to see what direction the designer Chen Xiang would take Decoster with “Decoster Concept” after the label had privately but successfully developed in the Chinese mainland over the past decade (they now have 60+ stores in China).
So as soon as the music started I began snapping away on my iPhone, but I soon realized (yet again) that my phone doesn’t cut it at fashion shows because of the lighting… I mean, even though the pictures are blurry you can kind of get an idea of what the looks were like, which juxtaposed the rigidity of military gear with the soft, flowing, somewhat androgynous nature of Mongolian clothing.
And hopefully you can see that the womenswear was equally stunning, with layers of long, flowing fabrics juxtaposed with stiff leather that gave the models a regal yet grounded feeling. They looked like elegant warriors, and really seemed to evoke a sense of Chinese sartorial culture while also drawing well on Western clothing traditions.
So luckily I took Pablo to the show because I would be so sad if all the pictures I had from this incredible and historic show were as blurry as ones above… I have yet to see what he took, but I’m sure they are wayyy better than mine.
But I did get what I thought was a decent shot of the finale…
And I took this still from a video I took of the finale, which turned out OK…
But none of my pictures turned out nearly as good as my blogger/photographer friend’s did. Yan of assgost.tumblr.com kindly sent over these splendid shots she took from the media box, you should check out her blog as she has great style and takes great pictures too! Take a look at what she took for Decoster Concept:
And of course she also got much better shots from the finale as well:
Decoster Concept’s debut collection had a feeling reminiscent of the collections of Ma Ke, the designer who started the first brand in China: Exception de MixMind. She is relatively private and lives in southern China where she works on her new, non-commercial brand called Wu Yong, which means ‘useless’. Most of what I know of her and her work comes from a documentary by Jia Zhang Ke called Useless, but I’ve sought out enough information on her to know that she is a brilliant designer and her designs are uniquely Chinese in the best kind of way (definitely not in the literal sense).
But this time it wasn’t Ma Ke and it wasn’t Useless… Decoster Concept was something genuinely new and special by the designer Chen Xiang even though it drew from a line of design that was started by Ma Ke and is unique to China. I would say Decoster Concept is helping to define contemporary Chinese aesthetics in fashion, which is something Ma Ke started, and something we are all working towards.
So anyway, stay tuned for some better pictures from Pablo and more news on Decoster Concept!