When it comes to mixing East-meets-West fashions, no one does it better than New York designer Vivienne Tam. She is an international designer who’s known for her culture-bridging. Her approach to fashion is marrying fashions with technology. She effortlessly blends her cultural roots with a modern design vocabulary, and she is recognized for her artistry. Tam is also the author of an award winning book titled “China Chic.” Pieces of her collection are housed in the permanent archives of the world’s most prestigious museums, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.
Born in Gougzhou, China, Tam moved to Hong Kong at the age of 3, approximately when she discovered her love for fashion. Tam’s mother, her inspiration, made clothes for the family. By the age of 8, she was making her own clothes and dressing herself and her siblings.
For fall 2017, her clothes were amazing on the New York Fashion Week runway. There are a nice mix of day into evening looks, depending on where you are living and your lifestyle. Her pants setups showed a menswear influence, especially in the engineered patterns enhanced with puckering, feminine long sleeves and interesting collars. In one of her outfits, the pants were designed with a striking strip down the front of the pant leg that matched the pattern of the top, tying the look together. Her dresses emphasized a cultural concept with draping, wrapping around the body and side cut-outs. Prints were presented throughout the collection, worn with jackets that offered an office look.
Chocheng, another womenswear designer, also made a great impression at New York Fashion Week. These clothes reminded the audience of the type of clothes worn on the Orient Express. Women wore tams and held cigarettes with arms folded, quite a fashionable stance, with lots of attitude. The makeup on the models was very 1940s in style and it was superbly created.
Chocheng pays close attention to detail and uses only materials that are 100 percent natural. For this collection, all fabrics are sustainable and produced in Europe. All garments are hand sewn in London, following traditional Savile Row tailoring techniques. For both environmental and aesthetic reasons, Chocheng forbids the use of commercial iron-on interfacing and machine finishing. Again incorporating Savile hand-sewing techniques, everything from the shoulder pads, embroidered buttons, inseam button holes to decorative silk petals are handmade from natural materials. Jackets and coats are lined in the manner of traditional sports jackets, allowing their clients to see all padding, stiffening, basting, binding and interfacing that’s all done by hand. Woven garments are manufactured in London, and knitwear is made in Italy.