JI CHENG | SPRING / SUMMER 2013
After the success of her inaugural London Fashion Week catwalk show for Fall / Winter 2012 Ji Cheng returned to Vauxhall Fashion Scout for Spring / Summer 2013 to reveal ‘Teaism’. Turning to an unlikely but no doubt Asian-centric source of inspiration for her latest collection, Cheng found roots in the theme of tea.
Invented by Chinese emperors, the tradition of tea making dates back to ancient times. Passed down through generations, tea culture had travelled from the East to the West and stands today as one of the most consumed practices across the globe. “This season I looked at an age of tradition, rooted in Chinese culture to draw similarities between the East and West. Tea is considered an art form in China and I hoped that this beauty would translate into my newsiest collection,” said the Chinese-born designer.
The collection saw asymmetric cuts, peplum shapes and pocket panelling which reflected the underlying trends of the season. Voluminous ruffle skirts and backless dresses made for timeless evening wear, sure to make a statement at even the most lavish of after parties. Organic cotton and fine silk were made good with pretty pleats and tassels. Handmade bamboo hats echoed the headpieces traditionally worn in the fields of China by tea pickers.
As one of Asia’s most renowned and longstanding beacons of design Ji Cheng has established herself as the defining face of China’s fashion scene. After being honoured with the ‘Shanghai Creative Leaders Award’ and the ‘Hurun Fashion Pioneer Award’ this well-established designer lived up the the hype with her Spring / Summer 2013 collection.
Overall the collection was utterly calming and effortlessly feminine. From head right down to toe, the Ji Cheng woman was dressed in natural fabrics and botanical tones. Her dresses accentuated hourglass figures and layered peplums softened sleek tailored lines. Fastenings came in leafy green and deep emerald. There were vests with subtly frayed edges, and geisha style tie-at-the-waist belts. She wasn’t afraid to make a bolder statement too – there was a defined section of the collection dedicated the black. A sheer black maxi skirt sat on top of slender black trousers and matched with a cropped-midriff jacket and a stunningly simple halter-neck dress wouldn’t have looked out of place in the office or at a cocktail party.
The show came to a close in a palette of soft greens and whites. A three-quarter sleeved mini dress was paired with a soft grey clutch and acid wash jeans were topped off with a soft backless vest. The final piece was a show-stopper; a floor-grazing layered skirt was made good with a peplum vest and decorated with hanging gold tassels from the back.
- Ellen Stewart