The Chinese Riviera

So I didn’t know that China had a tropical island until circa 3 days ago, but I got invited to show at the Hainan Rendezvous and couldn’t refuse the opportunity. I guess it was something of a “Billionaire’s Fair”, where they sold private jets (Airbus, Boeing, Cessna, AirJet, etc. were all there), yachts, and other particular indulgences (art, cigars, champagne, etc.) However, I was more interested in the local culture (meaning fashion culture) more than the billionaire’s fashion culture, although both proved to be interesting.

However, I am remiss to let you all know that my iPhone was stolen or lost in Sanya, which was where ALL my photos were of the weekend… The clothes were STUNNING on this island and at this event, some positively so and others not so much. It was interesting to see how the ideas and archetypes associated with islands/island culture/billionaires was interpreted by the locals and visitors alike, and I will certainly have to go back there when I get a new phone to give you a glimpse at some pretty phenomenal stuff and wild styles.

Anyway, I’m off to Tibet around April 16th to go and scout out “The Hope School” for child art talents that can help me create new fabrics to provide customized, artistic products to China’s consumers (the proceeds go back into supporting the school and art education, and may also help support The Ailing Foundation). The collaboration will be announced in a more formal forum soon, but I can give you a quick preview of materials that will be launched as a part of the same collaboration.

Only one artist has already been confirmed for this project, but it is photographer-extraordinaire Maleonn. Check out his website for an idea of what is to come of this collaboration, but here is a special sneak peek at two fabrics by Maleonn:

The printed fabrics (starting in silk and cotton in limited quantities) will be used by Chinese designers like Jiang Ling, Nio, Angela Chen, and Angela Gao to create customized and exclusive products, and many of these designers will be showing at Shanghai Fashion Week (April 8-13)… I’ll definitely review SFW as the shows pass, and I have higher expectations for this season, as there is better infrastructure being set up to truly help Chinese designers enter onto the world stage.