New York City and Paris may get all the press for famous fashion weeks, but there’s a bustling city in the East that also holds its own. China’s rising design stars are showcased at the biannual Shanghai Fashion Week, and this year’s upcoming shows, debuting designers’ Autumn/Winter 2013 collections, will be held April 10 to 16 in Taiping Park in the city’s Xintiandi district and at 800 Show, a few blocks north of Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star The PuLi Hotel and Spa in the Jing’an district. Sponsors include Maybelline, L’Oréal and Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star The Langham Xintiandi.
Shanghai Fashion Week has hosted its fair share of international designers, from Vera Wang to Nathan Jenden, but the event is really about showcasing the work of local designers. Made up of 40 shows, Autumn/Winter 2013’s opener is once again lingerie company Aimer, whose brand ambassador is actress Gong Li, best known for her role in the movie Memoirs of a Geisha. The rest of the week sees a slew of local up-and-coming designers, and also thrown into the mix, a show from the Swedish Consulate in Shanghai. The models on this catwalk will celebrate Swedish fashion with a collection of brands such as the sleek Ulrika Sandström, mod Ann-Sofie Back and edgy Cheap Monday. Wrapping up fashion week on the 16th is Shanghai’s fashion scene stalwart Helen Lee; the Shanghainese designer graduated from the city’s Raffles Design Institute, and when Shanghai Fashion Week premiered in 2003, she was among the first local designers to participate. In the past, her feminine (but not girly) clothing — meant to be wearable and not just looked at as a work of art — has included pieces such as curve-hugging batik skirts and tailored topcoats with contrasting pockets and lapels.
Since many of the shows are invite-only, those lucky enough to attend and looking to mingle should hang around 800 Show, where designers and models can be spotted having their hair and makeup done, getting dressed or celebrating the final catwalk parade after each respective show.
Photos courtesy of Stock Nikada, Shanghai Fashion Week, Logon LTD