updated 25 Apr 2011, 09:01
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Mon, Apr 25, 2011
The Star/ANN
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Designs inspired by deep respect for nature
by S.S. Yoga

SHANGHAI TANG has always been an ambassador for contemporary Chinese chic. For its Spring/Summer 2011 collection, Metamorphosis, the focus is on the Miao, one of China's ethnic minorities.

They live predominantly in the hills of southern China, and their deep respect for nature is reflected in the motifs, embellishments and colours of their clothing. Take the butterfly, for instance, a mythical Miao symbol of metamorphosis and beauty, which is reinterpreted in this collection.

The women's collection centres on prints influenced by those of the Miao people, traditionally in indigo and featuring symbols from nature.

The butterfly is considered the mother of all living things in Miao mythology, and is a prominent symbol in textiles and embellishments. The motifs in the new Butterfly Flower and Miao Flower prints are butterfly wings - with a pixelated effect.

Homage is also paid to the ornate jewellery and decorative elements of the Miao costume on prints such as Charms, and the indigo-hued Miao Star, Indigo Medallion and Batik Butterfly. Miao Celebration offers a sleek, monotone interpretation of traditional festival coats.

The collection ranges from elegant, minimalist representations of Miao prints to their bright traditional colour palette. For instance, the Miao Patch offers a sophisticated patchwork of indigo, red and gold motifs, including butterflies, flowers, birds, coins and lattice patterns.

The Miao's colourful nature is stamped on every item of the Spring/Summer 2011 collection, from intricate embroidery (in Lurex) and embroidered panels on Mao collar jackets, to jewellery-inspired metallic buttons on knits. The black and white palette is punctuated by Miao indigo blues and jade greens with rich red and fuchsia highlights.

More subtle references appear on cotton shirts with tone-on-tone patterns, and embroidery on the sleeves or across the back, and even hidden prints on linings. New to Shanghai Tang's contemporary qipao line is the streamlined, double-pleated dress, which crosses over at the waist and makes a minimalist reference to the pleated skirts often worn by Miao women.

The accessories complement the clothes with the Miao's highly ornate and symbolic jewellery. Intricate embroidery and silver beading give a unique new look to versatile scarves, clutches and handbags.

Classic green or black jade bead necklaces, rings and bracelets come with Miao-inspired silver clasps and silver butterflies. The latest must-have bags are the Braid Bag and Braid Wallet, featuring braided straps and Shanghai Tang's signature jade bead embellishments.

A timeless figure-eight knot belt is the ideal way to highlight the waist, whether worn over a shirt, jacket or qipao this season. Also new is the distinctive Chinese lattice pattern, which adds a geometric touch to laser-cut leather handbags, belts and shoes.

In the men's collection, there are also subtle references to the Miao culture, for example, the predominantly blue and indigo colour palette used for the ethnic minority's costumes, complemented by other bright hues.

The Mandarin collar cotton shirts feature embroidered Miao motifs, such as the Miao star on the cuffs. This season, Shanghai Tang introduces a new higher collar, which may be folded or worn up preppy style.

Stylish men are offered a wide selection of distinctive separates which may be dressed up, or down, to suit the occasion. Highlights include varsity knitwear, bright chinos and classic sports jackets updated with Mandarin collars.

Outerwear also features the reversible Shanghai Tang trench coat, an evolution of the highly popular reversible jackets of past seasons; its Mandarin collar and streamlined minimalist slim cut make it an ideal, modern alternative to the traditional trench coat.

Available at Shanghai Tang Singapore at these locations:

The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands
Shop B1-12 The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands, 2 Bayfront Avenue, Singapore 018972
Tel: 65 6688 7180
Opening hours: Sun to Thu 10am - 11pm | Fri, Sat and Public Holiday's Eve 10am - 12am

Takashimaya Shopping Centre Ngee Ann City
Unit 02 12-G, 391 Orchard Road
Tel: 65 6737 3537
Opening hours: Mon to Sat 10.30am - 8.30pm | Sun and Public Holidays 11am - 8.30pm

Resorts World Sentosa Luxury Fashion/ Galleria
Tel: 65 6723 8005

Changi International Airport Departure/Transit Lounge
Terminal 1, Shop 021-001A
Tel: 65 6546 1661

Changi International Airport Departure/Transit Lounge
Terminal 3, Shop 02-45
Tel: 65 6242 0777

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