Tiananmen Square crackdown

Tiananmen a model location

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 10 August, 2002, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 10 August, 2002, 12:00am

Military parades will make way for those of the catwalk variety when Tiananmen Square hosts the mainland's first international fashion show this month.

The event, Fashion Beijing, represents a coup for the organisers, given that approval is rarely granted for use of the square for commercial purposes.

More than 1,000 people would take part in the event on August 23, an official of the China International Fashion and Decoration Company said yesterday. A 50-metre-long platform will be built for the event.

The fashion show will feature Chinese and international models, singers and musicians in a three-hour spectacle to be broadcast live on state television and radio.

The company is one of the three organisers, along with China Art and Culture Company and the Capital Travel Group. The official said they had submitted the guest list for approval and would hold a news conference next week to announce details.

The official declined to say how permission had been secured to use Tiananmen Square - usually reserved by Beijing for political events such as military and patriotic parades.

Mao Zedong declared the foundation of the People's Republic on October 1, 1949, on a platform overlooking the square, which was also the scene of mass mourning for premier Zhou Enlai in April 1976 and the military crackdown on student-led protests in June 1989.

Among the guests will be three Hong Kong designers - Deng Dazhi, Yang Qibin and Yi Taiwei. The show will give them an unprecedented opportunity to display their work to a nationwide audience.

Yi, who has eight outlets on the mainland selling his work, said he would show 30 of his designs of the past 10 years.

Deng said he would display outfits in traditional style, while Yang will exhibit simple evening dresses.

Industry analysts see China as a large and growing fashion market but subject to intense competition following accession to the World Trade Organisation.