Shanghai designers for iD

Shanghai fashion designer Mingcheng Zhu brings traditional Chinese opera into a new age. Photos...
Shanghai fashion designer Mingcheng Zhu brings traditional Chinese opera into a new age. Photos supplied.
An international flavour is returning to iD Dunedin Fashion Week.

Ten Chinese models from the Shanghai University of Engineering Science (SUES) will grace catwalks and two fashion design graduates from the same institution have been granted direct entry into the iD International Emerging Designer Awards.iD organisers said the collaboration with SUES further strengthened Dunedin's sister city relationship with Shanghai.

In November eight SUES fashion design graduates travelled to Dunedin to show their collections at the Otago Polytechnic's Collections 13 runway show.

Among them were 22-year-olds Mingcheng Zhu and Xinyi Li, who were chosen as the first finalists for the 10th anniversary iD International Emerging Designer Awards, to be held at the Dunedin Town Hall on April 3.

Their collections celebrated traditional Chinese culture and were also shown at the recent Shanghai Fashion Week.

Dunedin fashion designer Margi Robertson, of NOM*d, said she chose the two designers to be part of the awards because their garments had the ability to present the drama theme with a modern and stylistic approach.

She also liked the outfits' silhouettes.

Models wear garments by Shanghai fashion designer Xinyi Li, who has been granted direct entry...
Models wear garments by Shanghai fashion designer Xinyi Li, who has been granted direct entry into the iD International Emerging Designer Awards, to be held at the Dunedin Town Hall on April 3.
Miss Li said her collection titled ''Beijing Opera'' started as a personal worship of traditional Chinese arts.

She was inspired by opera costumes and used bright colours, visualising the potential wearer as a strong female character versed in shadowboxing.

''I also restructured traditional opera makeup and mask elements and combined them with Western silhouettes in order to make a unique beauty,'' she said.

Miss Zhu's collection, ''Fan'', was inspired by Kunqu Opera.

It featured simple silhouettes, large volumes of fabric and fans as well as modern elements.

''Through a perfect combination of tradition and modernity, the purpose of this collection is to express that what is unique for a nation is also precious for the world,'' she said.

iD committee member and Otago Polytechnic School of Design academic leader of fashion Dr Margo Barton said allowing SUES graduates direct entry into the emerging designer awards was a natural progression of the collaboration between iD, Otago Polytechnic and SUES.

''We're really excited to have the Shanghai designers as a guaranteed part of the awards, and those beautiful models who were a real hit this year returning to the iD catwalk,'' she said.

The eight female and two male models will join those from Dunedin in showcasing collections at the emerging designer awards, as well as the iD Dunedin Fashion Show at the Dunedin Railway Station on April 4 and 5.

- rosie.manins@odt.co.nz

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