The Beijing connection

Like any fashion platform that’s in its formative years, Mercedes Benz China Fashion Week has offered up a lot to see. This year, Glass has placed some astute eyes for a peek behind-the-curtain of the chaotic corridors  and the chic catwalk moments to capture it all for us. Established in 1997, Beijing’s twice-annual fashion fayre has put Glass under its spell in a instance. With a league of the capital cities brightest and best taking over the runways at Mercedes Benz China Fashion Week SS15,  Beijing opened up the international elite’s eyes to the fashion being flaunted on its runways and putting it on the map, and fast.

TORAY Liu Wei Collection5

DRESSCAMP Toshikazu Iwaya Collection 3

The lucky Liu Sicong got the proceedings going with his avant-garde-luxe label C. Colectare, opening up MBCFW to the fashion art of storytelling. Taking over Beijing’s 751 D•PARK Workshop runway, Sicong made a move towards a nymphette motif, hardened with prickly metallic festoons contrasting sublimely with the almost semi-aquatic flowing layers. From the moment we got our first glimpse of the East’s major league fashion calendar event, it was already so far so very good.

V-PULL Wu Xuewei & He Wei Jeans Collection

C.COLECTARE Liu Sicong Collection1

Following on soon after Colectare, Dresscamp saw Toshikazu Iwaya go to a few more extremes that owed much to the prevalent fashion fantasy trend. This was done, as is custom during MBCFW, with all the demure sobriety of Chinese flower arranging, in comparison for instance, with the frou fou of French flower arranging. An analogy for the varying climates of the fashion capitals, perhaps? Dresscamp also introduced a more vibrant light-hearted presence with op-art prints heavily influenced by pop art iconography and if any culture can deliver when it comes to modern pop culture explosion iconography, it’s usually the world’s most populous country.

Xiuniang Li Wei Haute Couture Collection55

At great odds with Iwaya’s daring Dresscamp signatures, FangFang presented scaled back minimalism and chic formal separates in identical atomic white hues. This is where designer Li Xiaoyan’s strengths lie and exactly the reason that the modern label’s refined designs garnered a little more definition amidst the fantasy element that took over for the most part. This prim comportment was also carried through by Kopenhagen Fur, who opted to preview their newest fine-spun marvels in mink in Beijing this year and most likely failed to disappoint their Chinese audience base.


Other attractions at MBCFW that captured our attention included presentations hosted by design houses including Son Jung Wan, who made all the right moves with a fun contemporary agenda that mostly involved sporty embellished ensembles, the kind that are sure to broaden her appeal in future seasons. When it came to this multinational fashion week style staple, design duo Chicca Lualdi and Alberto Zambelli responded to a similar sartorial call, experimenting with a variety of novel prints and patterns and in their most now motif, panelled blocks of their unique prints with matte hues for a maximum ‘zoning’ effect.

SON JUNG WAN Collection2

Menswear had its moments too at MBCFW, albeit few and far between, but Liu Wei’s Toray made the best of them by interspersing her elegant womenswear creations with sharp tailored ensembles for the boys. A real testament to the evident eye for immaculate design that China’s new crop of design talent certainly isn’t afraid to use to their advantage. For every suited and booted menswear oriented look that Wei put together, V-PULL’s Jeans Collection by Wu Xuewei & He Wei softened up their style choices for a more casual chic credibility. Their jocular get-ups did much to add depth to the variety Chinese Fashion Week has to offer to the foreign press.

Kopenhagen Fur Collection1

For us though, MBCFW ended on a haute couture high when we took in some of graceful garments created by couture house hotshot Xiuniang Li Wei to top off our experience. Our exclusive to Glass imagery captured every facet of the whole affair, from the guts and glory backstage to the aforementioned grace which radiated through every couture stitch during Li Wei’s pristinely fashioned finale. Fashion Week in China is increasingly becoming a serious contender in the international fashion pack so make sure to book your plane tickets in advance for AW15.

FANGFANG Li Xiaoyan Collection18

by Liam Feltham

All images by Scarlett Casciello-Rogers

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Glass Online fashion writer

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