lundi 9 novembre 2015

Made in China

China is a fast developing country full of contradiction and style is the reflexion of this quest of new identity between tradition and modernity.  

I went to China for the wedding of my friend Yueer Zhang and also to discover the culture of this fascinating country.  Yueer's mother is also a very famous costume designer in China. She has an amazing studio in Nanjing composed of 3 garages space with one workshop and 2 storage rooms.  I think the discovering of her studio was the best part of the trip, seeing all this fabrics, all this accessories, thousands of beads and sequins, my heart was beating so fast and I was feeling very emotional! 

The magical moment is when Yueer's mother generously told me: "You can take what you want". I wasn't need to be told twice, and frenetically filled two full bags of pompoms, colourful tassels and embroidered lotus flowers forgetting about the 23kg limit of my Air France luggage.  Yueer gave me a duchess satin base dress which was her bride maid first wedding and I locked myself  in my hotel for a day and a half to create a costume.  I can't really switch off with work and being so far away is such a good occasion to make a costume and create work internationally.  

Visiting a lot of Buddhist and Confucius temples,

I  observed  a very interesting  performative element you can buy and tie a ribbon to tree near temple  as a offering or a prayer.  That create lot of decoration on the tree with the accumulation of lucky charms and  talisman that are suppose to  bring luck, good fortune and prosperity.
So on the costume, I played on the accumulation of tassels  as if I was a tree in a temple.  

Golden fortune Chinese tree 

I also wanted to show that the" made in China" is not always a negative thing.  Actually, China is full of very gifted tailor with a lot of hand made tradition using quality fabric so I wanted to celebrate this historic know-how.  Between a samurai and a geisha, the final outfit is  inspired by chinese Opera costume but with a post modern ethnic touch.  

For the shoot it was very hard to find the location in Nanjing. The day before we spotted a nice lake with a red temple on the background from the car, but coming back our when we came back we just keep going around in circle for the all day as we couldn't ask for our way as no one spoke English. By the time we found it, we were loosing the light and had to come back the next morning for a better exposure.  

behind the scene picture, in Selfie land people love taking picture of themselves in front of anything! 

Chinese people are very attract by  luxury western brands. They see big logo as a safe haven investment an are no so much into experimental fashion and  alternative independent designers
 You can find the same standardised  shopping mall with Dior, Chanel, Prada Louis Vuitton or Gucci. 
at the Forbidden city by Anthony Lycett 
I made this jacket as a wedding present for my friend with my vision of Chinese style before I actually get there. I wanted to create a combination between western and oriental style.  In the country of selfie, this jacket draw a lot of attention with a lot of Chinese people wanted to get their picture with me! 

at the Forbidden city by Anthony Lycett 

at the Forbidden city by Anthony Lycett 

For my wedding friend, I wanted to borrow a traditional theatre costume in her mother storage.  I wanted to embrace Chinese culture but I didn't realise Chinese dress more in a western way for wedding so they were wondering why i was wearing a theatre costume.  (Maybe as if you will turn at ceremony in England dressed in a Shakespeare period costume).

Lost in the city by Anthony Lycett

Some people people were saying "Congratulation" to me as they though  I was the bride.  Is was as if we has reverted role; the western was dressed chinese,  and the chinese were dressed Western.  

Lost in the city, By Anthony Lycett 

At Yueer and Jim weeding 

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