I don’t know what a train wreck looks like, but I do know what fabulous looks like, and here it is—Westwood Spring 2012. The Queen of British fashion is most defiantly keeping face with her new royal subjects—China! With a new store in Shanghai, Westwood’s runway presentation used Asian models, Japanese inspired prints, and, like British fashion, Westwood deconstructs the Chinese costume.
To me, this was one of her most outstanding collections since her Fall/Winter 1994, when Westwood was blasted for making Kate Moss look like a prostitute according to Women’s Wear Daily (WWD), March 8,1994. Why the little history lesson? Well, like the Mad Hatter in “Alice in Wonderland,” Westwood is a personality all her own. What looks like a mess to others is simply genius in disguise. There is a reason why Sex And The City, part one, used Westwood as their fashion muse; WWD (1994) said it best: “Long Live the Queen!”
Westwood has a sense of humor with fashion that is unlike any other designer. She is not afraid to challenge beauty standards by exaggerating hemlines, hip proportions, and traditional dress. I like that Westwood allows her customer not be perfect. One of the most beautiful things about human beings is asymmetrical–Black, White, and Yellow; tall, skinny, and short—we’re all amazing. Society today requests us to fall into fashion line; buy the right trend; create the right look; follow Celebrity lines. Never one to conform, Westwood has always been on the fringe fighting for individuality, creating rebel fashion. Spring 2012 says she’s still kicking ass!
In 1997, Hong Kong was handed back to China after years of British rule. Vancouver witnessed this effect first hand, as Hong Kong (HK) residences poured money into Vancouver for fear of Communist party rule, and financial collapse. With bated breath everyone paused as China took control, fortunately nothing major went down and back to business as usual… Well, so we thought.
Fast forward; US and European economies on the brink of collapse; Japan continues a downward spiral to a never-ending recession; the world looks to China. China produces double-digit growth, while manufacturing a bulk of western products. Thus fashion hierarchy cast eyes towards China to secure brand dominance. Result: fashion suicide.
Hong Kong is China’s pearl, known for bold style and colourful plate, always wrong, but somehow right. Celebrity fashion Goddess like Wong Faye, helped launch mega brands into Hong Kong. Alas, with Canto-pop out, and Hong Kong’s film industry in tatters, China has picked up the style slack—which cast shades of grey.
China is like the “new” rich kid on the block begging for “cool” friends. The “cool” kids will hang with you, but watch your back because what you see as fashion is only FaceTime for the shops, with watered down clothes masquerading as style. The “cool” kids can be so cruel.
I spend a lot of time in Asia, mainly Japan, however this fall I landed my first trip to Hong Kong. With a chauffeured stretch Benz to whisk me to shops, excitement fluttered ready to unearth HK’s favorite shopping spots—I confess, I love Canto-pop and Hong Kong cinema—but I was not ready for what Hong Kong had to show me.
Hong Kong is one of the most breath-taking places I’ve been thus far in my travels, a majestic wasteland of panoramic scenery and industrial fortitude—HK is a metropolis. Like New York, HK is full of hustle and bustle with abundant cabbie, street food, chic restaurants, and shopping hot spots. Unfortunately this is where comparisons stop.
<a href="http://musecloset.com/2011/11/30/china-rules/img_4577/" rel="attachment wp-att-131"><img class="size-full wp-image-131" title="NY" alt="NY" src="http://musecloset.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/img_4577-1.jpg" width="640" height="856" /></a> NY
<a href="http://musecloset.wordpress.com/2011/11/30/china-rules/img_4789/"><img class="size-full wp-image-129" title="HK Business " alt="HK Business" src="http://musecloset.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/img_4789-1.jpg" width="640" height="856" /></a> HK Business
Mainland China has sucked HK’s fashion gene dry with conservative dressing and brand oppression. We’ve all heard the expression <em>money can’t buy you class</em>, I think China got the message lost in translation. Mainland girls pop out of chauffeured driven cars and maul fashion districts like; a Black AMEX cannot be stopped! I cannot blame China for its fashion despair as mega brands suck the life out of collections to please the masses. Magazines push brands over style to represent fashion, by fooling the "new" rich kid as presenting this as “cool.”
<a href="http://musecloset.com/2011/11/30/china-rules/img_4808/" rel="attachment wp-att-188"><img class="size-full wp-image-188" title="Nike HK" alt="Nike HK" src="http://musecloset.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/img_4808-1.jpg" width="640" height="856" /></a> Nike HK
<a href="http://musecloset.com/2011/11/30/china-rules/img_4807/" rel="attachment wp-att-187"><img class="size-full wp-image-187" title="Nike HK Causeway Bay" alt="Nike HK Causeway Bay" src="http://musecloset.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/img_4807-1.jpg" width="640" height="856" /></a> Nike HK Causeway Bay
What I did learn is that HK is resilient, as my favorite boutiques were packed each day of shoppers buying goods with style and flare: Joyce Boutique, I.T, and Bauhaus to name a few. The Mainland residences who flock to Hong Kong are looking to be taught personal style and attitude that will put them on-top. New York and Paris dictate fashion business, while Japan pushes style, Milan keeps it commercial, and China keeps money flying high. Fashion is a language used to express our personality each day, let’s not waste our chance. China’s growth is an opportunity to push fashion boundaries.
<a href="http://musecloset.com/2011/11/30/china-rules/img_4782/" rel="attachment wp-att-190"><img class="size-full wp-image-190" title="My View HK" alt="My View HK" src="http://musecloset.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/img_4782-1.jpg" width="640" height="856" /></a> My View HK
<p style="text-align:center;"><strong>My Favorite Stores: Hong Kong</strong></p>