Vivienne Tam puts China, Kazakh chic on display in New York
Central Asia gets a nod from American Chinese designer at New York Fashion Week
Chinese-born New York designer Vivienne Tam sent out a glorious autumn/winter 2016 collection on a snowy night, influenced by China’s western border, central Asia and the Caucasus
Tam treated the fashion set to a blaze of pattern and rich colours evoking indigenous cultures from Xinjiang, Kazakhstan, Turkey and Russia.
The collection showcased ancient and modern ikat patterns reminiscent of carpets and tapestries, and Tam made great use of patchwork, particularly in suede skirts, jackets, coats and dresses.
The stand-out looks for the season were sensational pleated lame skirts and maxi dresses in crystal that sparkled and shimmered, and were also copied in scarves.
Flowers and medallions were embroidered onto suede, wool and leather. There were sequins, and fire cloud embroidery applique on a mesh dress. Capes have been big this season and Tam’s were jacquard.
It was a riot of green and burgundies, blacks and burnished pewter, with shimmering silver and bronze metallics. There was a mandarin collar patchwork leather jacket in black, red, yellow and green.
Tam’s look is versatile and cross-culture, featuring baggy gaucho pants, oversized trousers, mesh and knits that could be worn by women ( or anyone) desiring to cover their modesty.
Born in China, Tam moved to Hong Kong when she was three years old. She says her upbringing in the then British territory sowed the seeds of her East-meets-West aesthetic.
She showed her first collection after moving to New York in the 1990s, and her designs can be seen at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art and London’s Victoria and Albert Museum.
Fashion Week organisers have in the past summed up her brand as China Chic, and her collections are available in dozens of boutiques and scores of department stores worldwide.