Making fashion accessible for all women

By Xu Junqian ( China Daily ) Updated: 2016-03-12 09:32:56

Making fashion accessible for all women

Lily Zhang. [Photo provided to China Daily]

She may be better known for being a prolific lingerie designer, but Lily Zhang has in recent years been utilizing her particular set of skills in another similar field instead-swimwear for China's Miss Universe contestants.

Having joined the Miss Universe China team in 2014, Zhang has regularly wowed industry experts and fashionistas by using unconventional materials such as candied fruit, stuffed panda toys and Chinese lanterns to create newfangled swimwear.

"For me, there is no rule or boundary when it comes to fashion design. I just go with my instincts," says Zhang.

"My personal favorite from the collection is the blue and red piece inspired by headdress in the Peking Opera. The oriental beauty it conveys is really beyond words," she adds.

But esoteric sense of style aside, what Zhang truly hopes to convey through her creations is that Chinese women should be more adventurous and confident when it comes to "exposing themselves". She says that the bodies of many Chinese women appear to be much older than that of their peers from other countries, partly because they are still largely unaware of how to choose the right piece of underwear.

She claims that the fun and colorful aspect to the swimwear she has designed for Miss Universe contestants has inherently helped encourage Chinese women to explore wearing lingerie which they once thought to be inappropriate for their bodies.

Zhang also believes that Chinese women have been able to better relate to the contestants clad in her swimwear as they are usually not as "perfectly proportioned as professional models" and are hence less intimidating.

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