“Chinese Fashion Design Now”… In Bangkok

If the name of this exhibition sounds unlikely, it is. I know there’s a gentle nod to Orientalism these days, with Louis Vuitton’s disco-in-China look and Donatella’s revival of the Chinese fret, but for any Thai designer to claim to know what’s the state of  “Chinese Fashion Design Now” is, frankly, pompous or utterly imaginative.

The on-going photo exhibition at CentralWorld is a one-man show by photographer cum underwear designer Amat Nimitpark. So, perhaps it is not entirely the contributing designers’ fault. Clothes from the usual Thai brands (and some high-street labels) on the usual models and celebrities were shot against ornate Chinese screens, and suddenly they are a visual dissertation on “Chinese Fashion Design Now”. It’s like putting a cocktail umbrella on a chignon and call the wearer la femme chinois!

One picture stood out: a male model wearing a dudou, an ancient woman’s undergarment that literally means stomach cover. What fashion is there, Chinese or not? What design? And is it now?

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