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The Shanghai Style Qipao hit the runways at Edinburgh Festival Fringe

2018-09-06 15:52:09 China Minutes

The Edinburgh Festival Fringe kicked off the third Shanghai Season on Friday, August 24th at l7:30pm local time. The innovative design of Shanghai-style qipao dresses stunned the audience in Edinburgh.

As a signature event held by Shanghai Promotion Center for City of Fashion (SPCF), as well as the fruit of close collaboration with Donghua University and the University of Edinburgh, this Shanghai season featuring contemporary and futuristic qipao designs vividly displayed qipao works made of high-tech materials to the whole world. It is the third time that this event has been staged at Edinburgh Festival Fringe, which is dubbed “Art Olympics”.

High-tech qipao with color changing materials

The Shanghai-style Qipao is more than sparkling costumes but the important quintessence of Chinese culture. As times go on, qipao designers gradually weave the cultural heritage into modern designs. The clothes in this fashion show mirror how designers integrate Chinese cultural tradition with modernity. Due to the unique charm of qipao, many women are prone to wear it to show their grace.

The “2018 Edinburgh International Festival • Shanghai Season III” is divided into four sections showcasing collections from Classics of the Past, Fashion of the Present, Power of Innovation, and Technology of the Future. All of the garments allow the audience to sense the art and technology, the innovation and inheritance of qipao.

As one series of this fashion show, “Tradition and Fashion - Exhibition of Modern Chinese Fashion” displayed 23 Chinese traditional costumes from late Qing Dynasty to the Republic period collected by Shanghai Museum of Textile and Costume, which presented the intersection of qipao tradition and fashion in Shanghai, as the “Oriental Paris”.

Traditional Chinese costumes

Several pieces of graduation design works done by outstanding graduates majoring in Fashion Innovation at Shanghai International College of Fashion and Innovation(SCF) debuted at “SCF Graduation Fashion Show". This design show spotlighted a new generation of designers equipped with profound professional knowledge and reflection on social humanity, urban development and craft techniques.

The collection of the “Business Qipao Show of Shanghai Style”, a brand jointly built by Shanghai Fashion Accessories Society, Donghua University and well-known qipao enterprises, aimed to promote regional native culture. Designers added traditional Chinese philosophy, represented by Chinese five elements compatibility, to their artworks.

The theme for this show is intimately related to Jin (metal), Mu (wood), Shui (water), Huo (fire), and Tu (earth). Hence, a cross-disciplinary team of multilevel school-enterprise cooperation stitched together Shanghai-style culture and science and technology elements such as health care, laser engraving and cutting, color changing material, to name a few. All design works integrating fashion with high-tech might let the audience’s imagination take flight.

Amid all gorgeous artworks, the high-tech qipao knocked all audience’s socks off. It expressed the shift of gas, dust, and stars in the universe from Chinese philosophical perspective. By utilizing the environmental-friendly, energy-saving and healthy luminescent materials, designers could unfold the oriental wisdom. Moreover, some qipao were designed to care for women’s health. Contact Temperature Sensors were implanted in the fabrics, enabling medical data to be stored and transmitted effectively to the database. Users could construct their own personal profile on a mobile app to track their health conditions.

For these qipao embellished in themes of fashion, culture and technology, they gave the audience more insights into Chinese cutting-edge technology, Shanghai-style fashion trends, and the wisdom of Chinese universities.

According to Bian Xiangyang, the director of SPCF, this festival not only incorporated Chinese elements, but also implied the development direction of Chinese contemporary fashion industry. SPCF serves as a government assistant, university window and a bridge linking government, production, learning, research and application. It is focused on the development of national cultural industry and the construction of Shanghai as a fashion city to constantly integrate the power of all parties while giving full play to the role of talent highland, thereby accelerating the construction of a fashionable city.

(Photos provided by Shanghai Promotion Center for City of Fashion)

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