Main Image: Courtesy Ming Ma

Shanghai’s Polished Femininity

At Shanghai Fashion Week, designers explored a polished, sculptural take on femininity.

Shanghai Fashion Week has quickly established itself as the highlight of Asia’s fashion calendar, often with Western-trained local talents rousing international interest through experimental design and craftsmanship. For AW’19, emerging designers explored a fresh take on femininity through refined sculptural elements and polished silhouettes. Below, discover the new wave of Chinese designers to buy now.

  • Ming Ma AW'19. Images courtesy.

Ming Ma

Only debuting at Shanghai Fashion Week last season, Shanghai-based designer Ming Ma is turning heads with his voluminous silhouettes and effortless contemporary aesthetic. This season he reimagined 1920’s shapes for the modern woman, inspired by the elegant wardrobe of Austrian fashion designer Emilie Flöge, and the romantic oil paintings of Chinese painter San Yu. The lineup embraced juxtaposition: full-bodied fur contrasted flowing chiffon; shiny satins danced against matt jacquards; puffed sleeves mismatched slim column skirts and dainty bralettes. A striking and thoughtful collection, it offered a refreshing point of view of femininity – sophisticated, sculpted and persuasive.

  • At-One-Ment by Wanbing Huang AW'19. Images courtesy.

At-One-Ment by Wanbing Huang

Known for a highly conceptual design approach since founding her namesake label in 2016, last season Wanbing Huang renamed her brand At-One-Ment in a bid to develop a more wearable and sophisticated offering. Without losing sight of her original design identity, for AW’19 she sent out an elevated lineup reflecting this evolution: focusing on tailored suiting and shirting in hues of butterscotch, powder blue and grey, stand out pieces included asymmetric tops, dresses and pencil skirts with undulating 3D sculptural accents – proof that the designer can balance creativity and wearability with ease.

  • Xu Zhi AW'19.

Xu Zhi

Having showcased in London, Paris and Milan since launching in 2015, designer Xuzhi Chen is fast becoming a household name in his native China. This season, he amplified his signature textural techniques on tailored wool separates and elegant duster coats. He reintroduced exaggerated fringing to great effect: fringe details, in woven silk or diamante beading, were layered over pleated leather skirts, sleek cocktail dresses and tuxedo-style blazers, which elongated silhouettes and added a sense of rippling energy.

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