Beijing, Dahling?

Updated: 2009-11-12 17:18
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As China Fashion Week draws to a close…you’ve stood in your last cold queue…for a very hot ticket…in heels so high you wobble…there is a question…no, not ‘dare I risk a calorie’..for once…

Theirs is so much better…This is the work of up-and-coming Chinese designers, who could snip and stitch Beijing to fashion super status.

One day the Devil might not wear Prada but pompoms. And could the Chanel jacket could be forgotten in favour of the Chinese…shawl cardigan…thing. Really? Time to seek guidance.

To help me today I’ve got Tony Bednall, Beijing’s premier ‘dahling’ as they say…lots …in the Fashion world.

So Tony, dahling…Could China become a fashion superpower?

Tony Bednall:

I think they’ve got to sort out the feeling for what it is they want to do. Basically they throw a lot of money at the fashion industry but there’s big gap in the market, so you’ve got high-end brands and then you’ve got the markets, but nothing in between, there’s not really a high street, which makes it difficult to sell clothes.

I couldn’t name a Chinese designer – and I’m a fashion anorak. Or a fashion parka. Why is this?


Again there’s not much selling….no on knows where to buy Chinese designers, they have this idea that it’s all haute couture and they make all these wonderful pieces and actually no one can wear half of them.

Really? Surely not. Man doesn’t know what’s he talking about wear this and you’d never run late…how practical can you get? And in this number….you’ll be safe in the snow. Chilly, though.

But Gina Sun makes wearable - and award winning outfits. She says the challenge is luring people from Western labels…especially the Chinese…who, she says, have one fashion motto.

I wanna buy Versace, I wanna buy D&G Dior. The more people see what we are doing right now they are going to recognise this is the good quality clothes and they’re going to think we don’t just want to buy the label we can’t buy the quality.

So they’ll say ‘I don’t want Versace I want Gina Sun’?

But a cool fashion scene isn’t just about clothes. It needs an elite Fash Pack who should be catty. Yet Beijing has all that Eastern reserve…..

Is it mean enough?

Tony Bednall:

I think it’s all very polite still. Polite applause.

It’s all very polite. No one wants to lose face. It’s all very polite. They need a bit more bitchiness in there.

Come on there must be the equivalent of Anna Wintour, someone snooty who ignores everyone. Is it you?

Tony Bednall:


Oh well, looks like Beijing is still getting ready to be a true Fashion Capital.

Meantime, one of its young designers is helping me with the final key test of the city’s catwalk kudos.

What’s Mandarin for ‘dahling’?

Sonzi Feng provides Mandarin phrase for ‘dahling’….