Mots-clefs

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There was NO WAY that my prior post about the Ningbo’s style blood bath would stand alone on my blog as ‘the latest from China’s designers’! If only just in case someone, anyone, should stumble into Fearless-in-Beijing for the first time today! I do not want these « designs » to represent what China has to offer right now! These designers (and I use the term loosely) do NOT represent the vitality, creativity and pure style of the designers that are making FASHION happening in Beijing and Shanghai today.

Kong Jing Nan in Evening dress

Kong Jing Nan aka Mao Jin Qi in an EVENING dress at the Vogue China Anniversary Party last month in Beijing.

I am to put it mildly under their collective spells. I have recently visited DONG LIANG, and FEI SPACE, and BNC, and JOYCE, and UCCA Design Store, and S.T.A.R.S, and SHINE, and LANE CRAWFORD, and ARRTCO and what is common to all these amazing multi-brands is that besides their distinctive point of view they present each in their prism the collective creative talent and the fresh ideas of the young Chinese designers today. And of course not as Chinese designers but as Fashion Designers. Their quality of fabrics, their rigorous attention to details, their cut and mostly the original ideas are creating a cool dynamic that sadly China Fashion Week does not translate yet.

It’s terribly exciting to push a door and discover some amazing pieces, see a complete idea and hear the explanations as to the details and influences. P1020225

Some designers already sell abroad albeit very few and very little. Their knowledge of international markets is limited and I am not under the impression that the local « China Fashion Week » can do much.  Some of them would be interested in expanding internationally others prefer to consolidate their ‘local’ expansion (what with half of 1 300 000 000 potential consumers and all). All are very strong and the best part they are all affordable by our European and American standard.

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I want to make a special mention to Dong Liang and BNC which I will feature soon and that carry 100% Chinese designers menswear, women and accessories.

So in the coming weeks I plan to introduce the designers I like best.

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Today Yu Wanning « EVENING »

Currently my favorite (but I have many….)

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Here she is in her Optical dress at the Vogue Party last month with her friend the contemporary artist Kong Nan Ling « Mao Jing Qi ».

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« EVENING » is Yu Wanning. I first spotted her at the Vogue Party. I posted already a few times Kong Nan Ling from that evening. She was a vision of elegance and simplicity in an crowd of OTT outfits, supermodels and major bling.
https://fearless-in-beijing.com/2012/11/01/the-fairest-of-them-all-les-plus-belles-du-bal/

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It took me a while to track Wanning down. She is discreet, shy even and yet her designs speak volume about her aesthetics. Working from her tiny atelier tucked away from the bustle of 798, she is  concentrating on translating her ideas of a modern Chinese woman into her collections.

Her English is hesitant although her ideas are not. A fiercely creative woman, she is resolutely turned to the future while proudly boasting her Born and Raised in China roots. Her contemporary designs both in couture or her RTW resonate in her clientele of mostly artists, models, musicians, an avant-garde elite of all ages that come to her for her quiet strength and uncompromising quality.

Influential buyers here know it too as her collection is present in some of the best boutiques. P1020215

The name ‘EVENING’ can be misleading; although she clearly knows and controls the codes of evening wear, the brand name is simply a play on word from her name: Yu Wanning = Evening. Simple.

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She currently proposes two collections. One is couture. Unique pieces made to order and presented against one side of the wall under artistic pictures of them. A dress is constructed with circles made of X-Rays ‘Many people, some alive, some dead » she giggled. P1020212 I loved in particular one coat, a sort of version of a’puffy jacket’ inside out, made of silk tulle with deconstructed sleeves and stuffed with ice blue threads of wool speckled with the odd red or orange bits. Delicate and poetic, a rare combination in a winter coat.

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The other side of the showroom is dedicated to her RTW. Again the simplicity of the designs hide the tour-de-force of the constructions. I saw again the  cape I so loved at VOGUE, impeccably made inside out, inspected and admired a cashmere coat in two tone of cream and wheat with the seams covered and the faux-fur wool Peter Pan collar, beautiful and retailing for ¥5500 *$885 US –

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A graduate from the respected CAFA, The Chinese Academy of Fine Arts, she hopes to one day sell her designs In Europe or Japan next to the European designers she respect most: MMM, Chalayan or Gaultier whose humor and cut she loves. I have a funny feeling this will happen sooner rather than later.

She does not export yet.

Gabrielle

Bon, je ne pouvais décemment pas laisser le bain de sang précédent de la Fashion Week de Ningbo rester comme la derniere trace sur mon blog de la créativité Chinoise. Cela serait une trahison pour les créateurs, les vrais, que je découvre en ce moment quotidiennement dans mes recherches des meilleures multi-marques de Pékin. De FEI SPACE, à ARRTCO, DONG LIANG, SHINE, JOYCE, LANE CRAWFORD, S.T.A.R.S, ou encore WUHAO je croise tous les jours des collections de créateurs 100% made in China, qui m’enchantent. Certaines boutiques comme BNC ou DONG LIANG ont pris le pari de ne présenter que des créateurs locaux et les collections sont étourdissantes de créativité et de qualité à des prix qui laissent perplexes car ‘normaux’.

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Et même si aujourd’hui une partie de la clientele richissime de Pékin aime surtout les grandes marques Européennes et Américaines, une nouvelle élite d’artistes, mannequins, musiciens, écrivains etc… ne s’y trompent pas et vient chez EVENING chercher les pieces qui traduisent au mieux leurs racines chinoises et la modernité de la Chine actuelle.

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Le nom de sa marque « EVENING » est trompeur, ce n’est pas une collection du Soir, bien qu’elle en maitrise les codes, comme le look de son amie l’artiste Kong Nan Ling  (Mao Jing Qi) me l’avait montré au gala Vogue, mais un jeu de mot sur son nom: Yu Wanning – Evening.

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Elle travaille de son atelier, derriere une petite porte dans 798 d’oú elle sort deux petites collections toutes sublimes. L’une plus couture dont j’ai admiré le manteau ci-dessus, poétique et délicat avec ses manches déconstruites, et l’idée de montrer le rembourrage fait de bouts de laine bleu pale, avec l’occasionel tache rouge. L’autre est sa collection de prêt-à-porter, parfaitement coupée, dans des matieres sublimes et aux prix surprenant. Ainsi le manteau en cachemire deux tons, avec le col en fausse fourrure 100% laine est en vente boutique à €680 –  cela peut laisser reveur.

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Modestement, elle espere vendre sa collection, un jour, en Europe ou au Japon aux côtés des créateurs qu’elle admire comme Chalayan ou Margiela. Je pense que cela y arriver plus rapidement que ce qu’elle pense.

A suivre

Gabrielle.

Evening Fashion Gallery 北京市朝阳区酒仙桥路4 798艺术区七星东街Qi Xing East St,798Art District,4jiuxianqiao Road,Chaoyang District,Beijing * yuwanning@126.com