Traditionally, the month of May kicked off with The Met Gala or Met Ball, an annual fundraising gala for the benefit of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute in New York City (a real mouthful!). It marks the grand opening of the Costume Institute’s annuals fashion exhibit. This year’s theme is ‘China, through the looking glass’ an exhibit which explores the impact of Chinese aesthetics on Western fashion. As ‘The Fashion Orientalist’ this subject really interests me; the West inspired by the ‘oriental’ East. I am sure you have all seen the bold (controversial) and the beautiful of tinsel town (Hollywood) walk the red carpet during the grand opening of the exhibit. In a way I was quite disappointed with how the celebrities interpreted the theme. Stereotypical, kitsch…need I go on? The only thing covering Jennifer Lopez’s modesty was a cleverly placed, red, sequined dragon silhouette… My top favorite from the evening was Chinese actress Fan Bingbing…because who can better represent the orient, than the orient itself! She wore a gold gown with a decorated, green cape, a design by Christopher Bu. Beyond stunning!
HSY – INK
Like I said, who better to represent the Orient than the Orient itself. My top favorite collection from the 8th edition of PFDC Sunsilk Fashion Week 2015 (Pakistan) was by acclaimed couturier HSY. His collection ‘INK’ was inspired by Asia and specifically his journeys to The Land of the Rising Sun. HSY was influenced by craftsmanship from Langwaki (Malaysia), Indonesia, Nagasaki (Japan) and Yunnan (China). This collection also features the traditional dyeing techniques of Shibori from Nagasaki, Batik from Indonesia, and Gara from Sierra Leone (textiles). The designs are very dynamic. So many different influences – different layers, textures, fabrics, prints and colors all wrapped into one! The colors are bright and vivid including indigo blue, aubergine and rosette. The cultural influences are very present making this collection an oriental gem! The best thing is, that it is not kitsch at all, even though it represents many different cultures. This collection is creative, innovative and daring…praise worthy! Applause!
Photography credits: Faisal Farooqui and his team at Dragonfly