Monday, 30 March 2015

Made in China: Basmat & Chris Chang Collab

Hi guys! I'm really excited to show you my first ‘Made in China’ creative blog post, it's a combined fashion & art launch in Shanghai! Thanks so much for your chit chat last week about the idea, and so here's a very true example of something creative from Shanghai, that you wouldn't expect from China. I was completely giddy (I have been about most ‘grown up’ things in Shanghai, being with a 2 year old mostly all day can do that, plus it’s an extraordinary city) to be invited and spent all evening smiling my head off.

This is my first official fashion launch, and guess what? I have no idea how to write a review of fashion, so I’ll just tell you about it my way. Oh well! Also feel free to point out anything I may have missed… I don’t really know my high end fashion designers so can't do a 'it's kinda like...' 'you can see their inspiration from ... ', but I can show you all my photos, and there’s heaps of clothing photos and COLOUR (woot woot!)! But yes, be warned, there are plenty of photos! 

Look at that pink flower on the green... LUSH.

Now about the artists...

Basmat Levin is a NYC Israeli artist, living in Shanghai, and we met back in October, as our husbands work together. She is so lovely with rich conversations, and when I heard she was doing a collaboration with a fashion designer, I was so intrigued. She mainly creates very large portraits, but there is a great collection of her patterned pieces, some that could be amazing wallpaper or tiles. She has been the muse for designer Chris Chang who trained at the Parsons School of Design (!) and was leading Prada in Taiwan before launching her own clothing label Poesia, for children initially, but now women. And their work together is just very rich and full of personality! Right?

Here's my date Michell with Basmat, and me too!

 And Michell with Chris Chang inside the shop, and me too!!!

And you can see Chris' childrenswear hanging to the right of the photo too! We gushed a little about kids! I'm wearing a handmade (by who else, but me) dress, and it's probably the only lovely dress I brought with me to Shanghai... it was a vintage curtain and part of my Sew Weekly designer challenge in 2011... and I've got to start sewing some more cocktail frocks in case I get invited out more, because I got nothing else in my wardrobe right now!!!

Michell and I marvelled a lot at the colours, and everything felt very luxurious. China LOVES luxury brands... or at least lots of Shanghai shopping centres reflect this. Because it's a communist country though, I have to wonder about who is buying the luxury fashion... but from this launch plenty of women were trying on the clothes!

Seeing all the Poesia collections, I don’t know how to describe the style, but it’s very pop art and full of the big dramatic shapes I see around in Shanghai. Tailored dresses then exaggerate at the hips for skirts and dresses…. or very cocoony and rounded for jackets and tops. Stuff I don’t think suits me with my boobs and hips doing that for me… but who knows. I want to mix up my wardrobe and style a bit while I’m in Shanghai anyways. But other pieces from the other Poesia collections are really interesting, with subdued colours, and less pop craziness.

So, the LOUDness of this Basmat collection is just so unique.

We are so little! Look at the woman to the left, with her massive key outfit!

But from the other collections, this was my favourite... a fitted dress with these wonderfully vintage Chinese woman... just so delicate but strong:

Some fabrics were thick, like scuba or some quilted feels... but others were really gentle and lined to be completely tailored and shaped. There are a lot of drop shoulders and puffy sleeves, and peplums! Peplums are very fashionable for Chinese woman, for many fashionistas are slight and they love the exaggerated curves!

We enjoyed drinks, and conversations with friends and opened our gifts, which are gorgeous Basmat & Chris Chang scarves… Basmat always has a headscarf or an updo, so I feel very artistic wearing mine!

What do you think of all the colour!!!??? Too much, or very exciting?

Already, I can tell this ‘Made in China: creative insights into Shanghai’ series will be just so inspiring, for me, and I’m sure for you. I don’t think we hear about China & it’s modern culture in western media that much. There’s a lot of mystery about it, but I didn’t get much perspective of what the art & fashion scene in China would be like from Australia. From the sewing community out of Asia, Adey’s blog was my only go-to read… maybe I hadn’t researched enough sewing bloggers in this area and it’s hard not speaking or reading Mandarin. But when you think about it… so much of the clothing industry comes from here. I’m not that savvy on Chinese designers, or artists, and so I’m really excited by everything that’s happening here in Shanghai!

And VERY much look forward to bringing you guys some more inspiration!

Talk soon, xoxo

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