Vivienne Tam brings China Chic to NY
Published: Feb 16, 2016 05:38 PM Updated: Feb 16, 2016 08:22 PM

Models show off the latest collection from Vivienne Tam in New York on Monday. Photos: IC


Vivienne Tam

Chinese-born New York designer Vivienne Tam sent a glorious fall/winter 2016 collection down the runway on a snowy night, influenced by China's western border, central Asia and the Caucasus.

As snow and ice coated the streets of Manhattan, Tam treated the fashion set to a blaze of pattern and rich colors evoking indigenous cultures from China's Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, Kazakhstan, Turkey and Russia.

The collection showcased ancient and modern ikat patterns reminiscent of carpets and tapestries, and she made great use of patchwork, particularly in suede skirts, jackets, coats and dresses.

The stand-out signature looks for the season were sensational pleated lame skirts and maxi dresses in crystal that sparkled and shimmered, and were also copied in scarves.

Flowers and medallions were embroidered onto suede, wool and leather. There were sequins, and fire cloud embroidery applique on a mesh dress. Capes have been big this season and Tam's were jacquard.

It was a riot of green and burgundies, blacks and burnished pewter, with shimmering silver and bronze metallics. There was a mandarin collar patchwork leather jacket in black, red, yellow and green.

Hers is a look that is versatile and cross-culture, featuring baggy gaucho pants, oversized trousers, mesh and knits that could be worn by women desiring to cover modestly - or indeed anyone.

Born in the Chinese mainland, Tam moved to Hong Kong when she was 3 years old where she says her upbringing there sowed the seeds of her east meets west aesthetic.

She debuted her first collection after moving to New York in the 1990s, and her designs can be seen at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art and London's Victoria and Albert Museum.

Fashion Week organizers have in the past summed up her brand as China Chic, and her collections are available in dozens of boutiques and scores of department stores worldwide.