Having begun on October 21 and continuing through October 27, Shanghai Fashion Week 2011 is well under way. Now in its ninth year, Shanghai Fashion Week had its biggest celebrity draw to date: British queen of punk Vivienne Westwood opened the event with the presentation of her S/S 2012 Anglomania collection at the Shanghai International Fashion Center.
The fledgling fashion show is presented by the government twice a year, in spring and fall. Popular participants this week are also familiar faces. LaVie, WhereWhatWho, Judy Hua, and Helen Lee will all be making their second or third appearances. Unfortunately China’s leading fashion designers – Uma Wang, Mascha Ma, Qiu Hao, and Pari Chen – will be absent from the festivities. A line-up featuring Shanghai-born supermodel Ming Xi as festival ambassador suggests there is still plenty worth seeing.
Despite Shanghai’s efforts, the fashion week still has a lot of growing to do before it can really share the stage with the likes of Paris, New York, and Milan.
“Generally speaking, the Shanghai fashion week is not yet mature enough,” said Shanghai-based Parisian Olivia Gurdjian, the designer behind Bubble Mood.
Shanghai-based California-born designer Cairn Wu Reppun said, “The addition of Westwood is a big first step, but until the lineup consistently pencils in a few big names like her, Shanghai Fashion week will not draw international travelers like the well-known events do.”
There are some benefits Shanghai Fashion Week’s relatively small scope: it’s the perfect place to scout new, undiscovered talent in Chinese fashion. Reppun said, “Shanghai is unlike other major fashion weeks — restricted to prestigious designers — in that it typically showcases young, unproven, and sometimes raw, talent [designers].”
The full schedule of Shanghai Fashion Week 2012 S/S runway shows is available on the official site in Chinese only. No invitation? Don’t worry, there are events going on throughout the city. ECO CHIC’s fashion exhibit is open at Bridge Eight and will remain until November 2. The finale of the East International Model Competition will be held on October 29 at the Shanghai Oriental Arts Center.
photo credit: pierre vauvillier, smartshanghai.com