Each season Blanc de Chine finds design inspiration in a part of Chinese history. This season, they are paying tribute to one of 52 minority tribes living on the outskirts of China, the Naxi (nah-see), who remain the only living culture to communicate in writing using a system of hieroglyphics.
The tribe's distinctive style of dress is created with layers which focus on the upper body, interpreted by Blanc de Chine as this gorge pleated cape - a cashmere blend with a tie made from their exclusive leather-silk (100% silk rinsed to look like leather) - as well pleated skirts & tunics with high volume, wrapping techniques, and hieroglyphic-like embroidery.
Other interesting touches include triangular details like those often adorning Naxi dress which refer to Shoulder the stars and wear the moon - a popular local saying praising the diligent & hard-working tribeswomen.
From the 18th Century French term reflecting admiration for the purity of Chinese White porcelain crafted in the Fujian province, Blanc de Chine was originally established in 1986 as a design workshop inspired by Eastern culture. Known for their luxurious interpretations of qipao, mian ao & chang pao - aka the Scholar's Robe - each piece incorporates the philosophies of Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism with eight design principles distilled from these philosophies: sensuality, serenity, purity, simplicity, harmony, subtlety, comfort and functionality.
In English, this translates to plush fabrics like silk, ultra suede, black denim mixed with Eurojersey, twill jacquard, wool jersey, shearling, metallic mesh, cotton & leather silk in peaceful shades of teal, grey, black, navy, gold, raspberry, and coral.
The pleated cape ($1,615) is part of Fall/Winter 07/08 & is available at BlancDeChine.com.
- Lesley Scott
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