Chinese style cuts a dashing figure

By Xu Junqian in Shanghai and Ren Qi in Moscow | China Daily | Updated: 2019-11-21 07:35
Shanghai couturier Chen Yehuai poses with models during a show of her work in Moscow, Russia, in September, 2019. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Fashion designers rise to stardom across the globe

When Shanghai couturier Chen Yehuai was preparing to stage a show of her work in Moscow in September, she turned for inspiration to the Russian poet Alexander Pushkin.

"When I was thinking about the theme for the show in Russia, Pushkin was the first name that came to mind," said the designer, also known as Grace Chen. She was inspired by these lines of the poet, who lived from 1799 to 1837, to describe a moment of love and beauty:

I remember a wonderful moment

As before my eyes you appeared.

Like a vision, fleeting, momentary.

Like a spirit of the purest beauty.

Chen, whose Moscow show was titled Deep, A Love Moment, said, "I have read a lot of Russian literature since childhood, and am still influenced by it. I always remember how Pushkin wrote about the grand balls staged in the 19th century, to which the men wore military uniforms and the women beautiful dresses."

At the show, audiences applauded Chen's new designs, which incorporated elements of Russian art.

In 1996, she was one of the first students from the Chinese mainland to graduate from New York's Fashion Institute of Technology. She went on to work as a designer in the United States and returned to China in 2009 to establish her own brand, Grace Chen, in Shanghai.

She has become one of the Chinese couturiers whose works have caught global attention, along with Guo Pei, Ms Min, Bu Kewen, Laurence Xu and Ji Cheng.

Their collective success highlights how Chinese designers have risen to world stardom over the past four decades.

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