Modern Chinese Fashion: The Latest Trends In Chinese Clothing
China first signalled that it was ready to set trends in 2011 when local designers combined their talent and energy to stage the first-ever Shanghai Fashion Week.
The most recent Shanghai Fashion Week took place this April 2019, and featured creations from some of the best new talent in Chinese fashion design. SHUSHU/TONG, Particle Fever, and Ximon Lee are just three of the many Chinese designers who are now selling their collections worldwide or showing in New York and Paris for Fashion Week.
Taobao is China’s biggest e-commerce platform, and in March 2019, it released a video report online on the coolest fashion in the country. One of the trends which has been predicted to be huge in China is gender-bending clothing; suits and faux-menswear for women and ‘feminine’ items like pink clothes or floral shirts for men.
Another big trend? Buying local. ‘Chinese heritage hip’ is now a buzzword amongst those who choose Chinese fashion over Western haute couture. As luxury brands become increasingly popular, Chinese fashionistas yearn for more exclusive items to stand out. The need for exclusivity and the rise of the ‘woke’ millennial shopper meant that more people are now interested in traditional designs and supporting homegrown talent. With all these new potential buyers, it’s no surprise that Chinese fashion is flourishing!
The Six Biggest Chinese Clothing Trends Today
1. The Oversized Blazer
Super Comfy And Flattering For All Figures
One of the most frequently-searched terms on Taobao is ‘big brother blazer’, and this is how Chinese women refer to the baggy, oversized piece that looks like you nabbed it from your brother’s closet! Huge sleeves and figure-forgiving cuts are all the rage in China. This trend has also been spotted on Gigi Hadid and Kendall Jenner!
2. An Updated Cheongsam
Metallic Silk And Elaborate Embroidery Are Chic Again
We’ve been in love with the Chinese traditional silk dress for ages, but over the past few years, it’s been making a big comeback on the runway. Alexa Chung and Jessica Chastain have been spotted wearing modernised cheongsams. The key to keep this Asian style dress from looking too costume-y is to pair it with plain accessories like black heels and a thick belt.
3. Relaxed Suits
Androgynous Fashion That Makes A Bold Statement
In China, suits for women have become as popular – if not more so – than dresses. Made wildly popular by actress Yao Chen in the drama All Is Well, iterations of her plaid and neutral suits were soon seen in virtually every department store. While suits are also a Western style staple, Chinese women have updated the basic suit with baggier silhouettes, luxe fabrics, and contrasting prints.
4. Traditional Details, But Modern Cuts
Paying Tribute To The Old, Through The New
Asian fashionistas have been inspired to pair typical streetwear with historical Chinese style dress. It’s not unusual to see a mandarin collar blouse worn with a plaid skirt or a pair of flared pants with brush-style embroidery. Knot buttons and dragon or phoenix patterns are just some of the old-school features making a comeback.
5. Pyjamas In Public
Now This Is Loungewear!
While wearing pyjamas outdoors is becoming slightly more acceptable here in Australia, the Chinese have been doing this for years! Whether it’s a plush version like the one worn by singer Dee Hsu here, or sleek and silky takes like those in H&M, Chinese women have had no qualms about wearing their jammies everywhere. We’re honestly quite envious!
6. Loose Hoodies
Versatile, Useful, And Utterly On-Trend
Athleisure is already a massive hit in the US, and Chinese women are keen on its comfy cuts and fabrics. Loose pants and hoodies that were previously a no-no are now trendy pieces you can wear from day to night. Parkas and sweatshirts are often spotted on young Chinese women, but more for their stylishness than their practicality.