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London Fashion Week: Ji Cheng

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BY LISA JIANG

Ji Cheng captivated us at London Fashion Week for the second time this season, showcasing her spring/summer 2013 collection at Freemasons’ Hall with Vauxhall Fashion Scout. The invitation was a work of art in itself – it came through the post wrapped around a bag of jasmine tea (which was instantly appropriated by my mum), a fitting nod to the inspiration behind her new Teaism collection.

“Tea is considered an art form in China,” explains the designer, “I hope this beauty translates into my newest collection.” Ji Cheng drew influences from traditional Chinese culture to bring together the East and West in a celebration of “one of the most consumed practices in the world”.

There was a hush of anticipation as the first model floated onto the tea-scattered catwalk to a haunting soundtrack by Tadi Yan. Ji Cheng is one of China’s leading designers and a long-standing favourite at Shanghai Fashion Week; you could definitely see why.

The Teaism collection was a delicate blend of Oriental and European design aesthetics – the raw poise of Chinese tea farmers brought right up to date with asymmetric cuts, pleated panels and sharp tailoring. The designer went for a natural look in a palette of olive, white, black and taupe, sending her models down the runway in organic cotton and silk. Ji Cheng combined demure mandarin collars with deep, plunging backs for a fresh new twist on seduction. Each look was finished off with a handmade bamboo hat; tipped at an impish angle, they added just the right amount of insouciance to the collection.

Highlights from the show included a white shift dress with ankle-grazing sheer split sleeves and an exquisitely crafted peplum blouse with the tiniest pin-tucks imaginable. Ji Cheng walked the fine line between costume and couture with absolute precision, creating a very wearable collection for both day and evening.

Find out more about Ji Cheng at http://www.vauxhallfashionscout.com/jicheng.html

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