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Re-shaping Innovations in the Contemporary Fashion Show: Emerging Aesthetics and the Rising International-based Chinese Designer Collective

Wang, Zhe (2021) Re-shaping Innovations in the Contemporary Fashion Show: Emerging Aesthetics and the Rising International-based Chinese Designer Collective. Design and Culture. ISSN 1754-7075 (In Press)

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Abstract

The recent decade has seen a rapidly rising ‘new wave’ of design power created by Chinese designers who are devoted to showcasing their works within the legitimate European fashion week system, which includes the ‘Big Four’ fashion weeks, to upgrade their cultural status as Chinese design collectives. In addition to showing their collections with a high-end design standard, there is a group of visual innovators who are constantly seeking aesthetic innovations when showing fashion and who have gradually been changing and influencing the emerging generation of international-based Chinese designers by displaying and showing fashion at international fashion weeks. This paper integrates and investigates the new aesthetics in fashion visualisation brought forward by a collective of emerging international-based Chinese designers who have gradually expanded their cultural influences and re-shaped innovations in contemporary fashion shows within the current global fashion ecosystem. These new aesthetics feature fashion’s new affinity with immersive theatre through physical theatre, a type of avant-garde postdramatic theatre, when being shown on a global stage. Furthermore, the rising institutions at Shanghai Fashion Week have been producing and advocating for the formation of International-based Chinese designer collectives to experiment with new aesthetics via multiple forms at London and Shanghai Fashion Weeks between 2017 and 2020, both physically and digitally. This has led to systematic changes and innovations in the global fashion cultural system, in terms of both forming and shaping a new aesthetic identity of Chinese designers within the global fashion system.

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