Contemporary Chinese Fashion

From walkway to street fashion, China’s fashion sense has grown and changed dramatically in the last decade.  From post Mao era to current day China, there has been many influences on Chinese fashion.  We will be focusing on Chinese street fashion since it is prevalent in everyday Chinese life.

One major influence on the development of Chinese street fashion is the rise of the middle class.

With over 220 million adolescents between the ages 15-24, they are the main focus of Chinese street fashion. Also, this encouraged the “fast fashion” market in China. International brands now sell more affordable versions of clothes by popularity and brand name designers.  Add fast fashion plus the availability of disposable income and the outcome is the rise of teenage “fashionistas.”


Men fashion compared to women fashion are not too different with each other. Both are low key, clean cut and simple. What’s considered “hot” for young men and women are:

  • “chao” which means trendy
  • simple and clean cut for people just graduating school which gives a more mature and sophisticated and professional look
  • the “sporty” look which grew popular and originated after the Beijing 2008 Olympics
  • high end street fashion which can consists of different versions of high end brand names and popular trending clothing

Some examples of trends during 2012 were loafers and bow ties for men and faux-hawk hair styles which elongated their faces.  In regards to shirts and sweaters, the hem or bottom of their shirt should be in between the waist and the crotch of their pants.  If it is too low then it will be considered baggy, if too short, then it is too “geeky.” Men’s pants should be snug fitting, but not too tight like western style jeans.  The bottom of a pant leg should be above the shoe which elongates the leg and rolled up hems that show the ankle are considered fashionable in China.  As for women, cut out prints are popular with fun graphic designs such as animal prints, floral or graffiti prints.  Women are also fans of neon and contrasting colors which brings out the different styles of each piece of clothing.  Between men and women, round vintage glasses are popular too.  In men, it shows intelligence and boldness but for women, it can show daintiness and the cute and passive side of women.


Contemporary Brazil

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Brazil is known for its Bright and Beautiful Colours in Fabrics, clothes and costumes  It is know for the famous Mardi Gras which is known world wide as one huge colourful party. The costumes get more spectacular every year. The music is very loud and the participants more outrageous and daring. The head dresses are huge and the costumes (many bikinis) some extremely tiny.

It is also the home of many famous designers

FRANCISCO  COSTA  born 10th May 1964 is a Brazilian designer and the Women’s Creative Director of Calvin Klein Collection.[2] Costa won the Council of Fashion Designers America (CFDA) award for Womenswear Designer of the Year in 2006[3] as well as in 2008. Costa also won the National Design Award in 2009 in the category of Fashion Design.

He was one of the first to emphasized trouser suits for women as opposed to ruffles in the spring 2004 collections. His creations stress the idea of freedom in dress with female underpinnings. With evening dresses Costa’s designs reveal both flesh and underpants, often accentuated by the cool hues of the sea. He is not uptight concerning nudity and lingerie. Costa prefers sensuality in sexual imagery as opposed to the more explicit ads used to market Calvin Klein clothes formerly.

For 2004 his models wore stretch bras and underpants in foundation colors. Costa utilized a clingy, transparent material for daytime skirts. He combined them with cashmere tops, which sometimes gave the look an artificial quality. Costa’s loose cotton shorts, modelled with cardigan sweaters, were layered over rumpled white shirts and men’s ribbed undershirts.



Mercedes is an actress and Jewellery Designer. Her work is stunning and includes masks, African wildlife and Colombian coast influences. Her Hats include a fruit hat which is hand woven in Iracan palm.

On her webpages She quotes

My designs tell stories. They start from my conviction that jewelry connects people to the universe. My work is the diary of my own life, where there are no impossible materials or dreams.



~Contemporary French Lingerie~





Contemporary Lingerie & Corsetry designs have been strongly inspired by traditional designs.

refer to ” History of Lingerie” blog

Design of lingerie as with all fashion and clothing has been directly influenced by the culture of the day.

As we can see by the images of past to present day clothing and especially lingerie they have been designed with far less fabric, minimalistic craftsmanship and cheaper fabrics / materials i.e.polyster, lycra, elastin compared with pure cottons, silks and satin of days gone by.

Generally speaking modern and more contemporary lingerie shows more flesh to almost nothing  in some instances.

Of course fashion is personal however from my observations quantity and production has taken over quality and design.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


Unknown.jpeg images-1.jpeg



Jean-Paul Gaultier

Coco Chanel

La Perla

Louise Feudalere

Chantal Thomass: Photograph by David Prince, Styled by Robyn Glaser

Modern Spanish Fashion Design

The transition of traditional to modern Spanish Fashion Design was clearly evident by emerging fashion designers such as Leyre Valiente, Balenciaga and Beatriz Penalver.

Leyre Valiente is one of the young rising stars in Spain’s fashion world that creates high quality elegant avant-garde garments. Valiente by Leyre Valiente, the second line label, is a more wearable and approachable line for everyday life. The production is entirely made in small ateliers in Spain, with good quallity fabrics (mostly silk), what reduces the environmental impact. She entered University Rey Juan Carlos in 2003 to study Audiovisual Communication, and during this period she worked as a costume designer and production assistant in several audiovisual productions. After graduating in 2008, she entered the Instituto Europeo di Design to study Fashion Design.

The flamenco dress was the basic day wear for gypsies and low class Spanish women in late XIX century and beginning of the following. It quickly became known as typical Andalusian dress, influencing many designers along the way, even in the present.

Balenciaga was one of the many designers that was inspired by the tradition of flamenco dress. In Spring RTW Collection 2013, it is clearly seen the influence of flamenco style. The ruffles spiraling around skirts, the movements and dynamics of designs are clear examples of importance and influence of flamenco still has in today’s fashion.

On the other hand, Beatriz Penalver portrays a different view about Spanish tradition. It is done in a contemporary Gothic and abstract way that has attracted many people’s interests. The following video ‘Quimera’ presents her first flamenco collection.

Modern Chinese Fashion Design

Yang Li

Yang Li was born in Beijing but moved to Perth at age 10, he states that “as far as culture is concerned there is not much history or tradition here”. Li is now based in London.

Yang Li spent his teen years in Australia playing basketball and skateboarding, which were his routes into fashion as he says “when you play basketball or skate it is how you wear your jeans or the graphics that you have on your skateboard is important, its all about expression”. Li’s athletic roots crept their way into his hyped 2012 debut which included razor sharp double faced construction, sporty tech fabrics, and elongated proportions applied to tops, skirts and jackets.

Modern Moroccan

Modern interior design and decor in Moroccan style is spectacular and versatile. Morroccan architecture, interior design and decor items are a creative blend of African, Arab and Mediterranean decorating style. Moroccan decor includes ethnic motifs and decoration patterns that have been absorbed from different cultures.

A traditional Moroccan colour palette is joyful. It plays with energetic shades that aren’t afraid to clash, and embraces intuitive choices inspired by its desert surroundings. These traditional schemes often include red, gold, orange, and pink. Today Modern Moroccan interiors include softening the look to suit your space with adding neutral shades such as cream, white, grey, and tan.

Modern décor often includes motifs and using mesmerising geometrics patterns which have become ever so popular. Styling with easy and affordable accessories such as patterned cushions and embossed silver tableware makes for an instant refresh as well as the use of cross-hatch patterned rugs.

In addition Layering tactile textures and mood lighting have become a staple when it comes to achieving the Modern Moroccan look also. Lanterns with cut outs that reflect a warm glow, textural throws with raised embroidery, and scattered ottomans with traditional patterns are fuss-free and versatile elements which very much reflect traditional and Modern interior today.

Modern Moroccan architecture today is still expressed through detail, texture and geometry- Rich, luxurious and exotic. This particular style of design makes it a ‘favourite’ among many interior designers and architects.

Some of the most common characteristics of Modern architecture still include arches, domes, courtyards and decorative tile work- all of which remain true design elements of the traditional Moroccan style- which you can help but LOVE!

Betsy Burnham and architect Gordon Stein are among some of the designers which very much represent Moroccan motifs of contemporary design as we see it today. Examples of there work have been featured below- Moroccan Modern design has never been so popular!!!!

Links include;…betsy-burnham-Moroccan-house-tour




Contemporary- Balinese

Balinese architecture is a vernacular style of architecture wherein designers use local materials to help construct buildings, structures, and houses, as well as reflecting local traditional ways.


The current residential Bali Style House is really an amalgam of lots of styles both from within and without Indonesia. One style that began to appear in the 20th century was the concept of “Open Style” architecture. In practice, this there will be a complete wall missing so that interior rooms open up to the garden. This is quite common and desired in a Balinese style home where people want to reconnect with nature. In situations where people are based in the West and must build according to local building codes that would not allow open walls,  or walls made of tempered glass with Wood posts for support and by utilizing over-sized sliding Hardwood Glass Doors for a Bali Style house. It is common to see large vaulted ceilings with creative truss systems exposed with Hardwoods that are extremely favourable ,  large rooms with great expanses that avoid interior posts. In these instances, it is common to see large vaulted ceilings with creative truss systems and exposed rafters offset by lighter beds and furniture eg. (Rattan) matting.



Norwegian Designs


Tveit & Tornøe is a design studio established in 2006 and based in Bergen, Norway. Today the Tveit & Tornøe collaboration consists of Atle Tveit and Lars Tornøe, both with Master Degrees in Furniture and Spatial Design from the Bergen National Academy of the Arts. Tveit & Tornøe’s main focus is on furniture design and product design. They also develop design concepts for interiors, exhibitions and other spatial projects.

Lars Tornøe has won many awards such as Designer of the Year in Norway and the Award for Design Excellence. His work has been shown at many international exhibitions and The Dots for Muuto is part of the permanent collection at the Danish Design Centre.

He created the wooden Dots that sit on the walls as decorative and useable objects that are very popular even in todays design.

“I select my ideas very carefully. A concept has to give me great motivation, otherwise I kill it. A lot of my initial ideas include an abstract vision of the expression and personality the product should communicate. Translating this into physical form is my favorite part of the design process.”


This slideshow requires JavaScript.


Built their first building in Norway which was the Cathedral of the Northern Lights.. The brief was to build a building to create a new architectural landmark that would highlight a top destination to view the northern lights. The spiraling shape of the cathedral winds up on itself to make a pointed belfry 47 meters above the ground. It was built using Titanium so to reflect the northern lights dancing in the sky in the long dark winters. This Cathedral was opened in February 2013.

At the center of this thrust is the nave, the main seating area, whose atmosphere of meditative calm contrasts with the dynamic architectural idiom that is the buildings hallmark. The structure can accommodate 350 people in the church room, and also includes admin offices, classrooms, exhibition areas and a parochial area.

The Cathedral church is made of raw concrete, titanium and wood, underpinning the key design concept: a church that resonates with its location.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Modern Japanese Clothing

Tokyo, as the largest city in the world, serves as home to countless fashion trends, from casual to trendy. Many such trends are timeless, and are seen for years after their inception, both in Japan and beyond.

Gyaru Style

Gyaru (“gal” in Japanese) are casual trends typically for women in their early 20s. These styles consist of brightly colored clothing, which often contrast with dark skin from fake tanning products, and bleached hair. Occasionally, gothic-style dresses are part of Gyaru trends, as is heavy makeup and hair extensions.

Onee Kei

Onee Kei is a female version of a male style, Onii Kei. These customs incorporate both American and Italian casual styles. Onee Kei–a highly accessorized style that began in the 1990s and originates in the Gyaru style–incorporates more adult-looking dresses. This style also often projects an overall military-style appearance.

Lolita Style

Lolita style incorporates 19th century Victorian and Edwardian dress, which is closely related to the look of porcelain dolls, including bonnets, ribbons and lace.

Decora Style

Decora, short for “decoration,” is a fashion for street wear that calls for a maximum amount of brightly colored clothing. This is also a highly accessorized style, including feather boas, plastic jewelry and multiple layers of socks.


Japanese Streetwear is a general term, but such clothing articles are often taken from Japanese hip-hop culture designs. This style includes military-fashion jackets, high-end branded sneakers and printed t-shirts.

Neighborhood Style

In Tokyo, bustling Japanese neighborhoods have each offered distinct creative flavors for fashion, which often serve as a gauge for trends to be adopted in other parts of the world. It might be said that global fashion, in many cases, takes its inspiration from modern Japanese clothing styles.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Oceanic Architecture

While the South Pacific is justly famed for its white beaches and vibrant ocean life, it is also home to some of the world’s most striking architecture, found in a dynamic region of beauty housing vibrant communities with rich artistic cultures that have attracted travellers for centuries.

Conditioned by the dynamics of its remote location and imported design influences, the architecture is expressive of the emergence of a contemporary South Pacific identity. Often, the evolution of architecture in the region typifies its history, as the different islands have been subjected to the trans-formative forces of foreign trade and religion, colonization, war and the growth of tourism and renewed nationalism in the postcolonial era.

Some fine, if modest, Colonial architecture remains, while the charmingly naïve “faith and fantasy” churches of the Wallis and Futuna Islands provide a set of indelible architectural images.

The contemporary architectural offering is quite limited. There are excellent white modernist 1960s and 70s buildings in Noumea by Gabriel Cayrol, and the occasional house by a stylish Sydney designer, such as those by Douglas Snelling in Noumea and Mont Mou, New Caledonia; and one by Peter Stutchbury at Port Vila, Vanuatu. The landmark structure is the Renzo Piano Building Workshop’s Jean-Marie Tjibaou Cultural Centre, which is set on a wooded peninsula near Noumea. Conventional cultural facilities are located on one side of the building’s spine; on the other side, circular spaces rise to form lofty slatted timber drums. Set amid a landscape of tropical lagoons and rain forest, these drum-like spheres provide an imposing sculptural motif that is instantly recognizable.

Polynesian islanders spent several centuries in almost total isolation with little to no connection with surrounding mainland countries. Because of this, much of the interior and exterior décor of the South Pacific is composed of all natural materials, such as sandalwood, rosewood or mahogany – lumber which comes from trees native to these islands. Furniture or décor made with these exotic woods, or woods finished in colors similar to these woods, will help create a tropical feel.