Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Kelly Chen looking great on the runway.

For most designers the perfect model would be six feet tall, wear a size 4, have a perfect cross-over walk and no personality. Designers often look at models as a necessary evil--they need the models for shows to exhibit their lines of clothing for buyers and the fashion press but the designers would be happier if they could somehow just send the dresses down the runway by themselves or perhaps draped on mannequins or dress forms. But they can't which is why one sees so many 17 year-old giraffes from Eastern Europe, girls with no hips or breasts, hitting the runways in Milan, Paris and New York. They are the next best thing to a mannequin.

Designers love movie stars, particularly those whose red carpet images wearing the latest frock will appear in the press and on the internet. Putting them on the runway is much chancier--while it will insure plenty of coverage, the spotlight might shine brighter on the star than on the clothing.

The ubiquitous Pamela Anderson has walked in shows for slightly edgy designer Vivienne Westwood

Italian actress Manuela Arcuri drew some attention to the Soprani Spring/Summer 2009 show in Milan:

William Tang Tat-chi decided his Spring/Summer 2010 show needed a splash so he convinced Kelly Chen to appear on the runway in his designs. It seems to have worked, since these pictures are popping up in lots of places including at CRIENGLISH.


Thursday, January 7, 2010

A flood of Chinese stars in cheongsam

"CRIEnglish" has an article that is a joy to those stuck in the snowy wastes of the crumbling wreck of North America's former industrial heartland. A perfect timeless or evergreen feature piece, on that could run almost anytime, it is little more than scores of pictures of actresses, singers and models, most of them Chinese, wearing variations of the cheongsam.

I have only a few quibbles with the editors at CRIEnglish. The first is their count on the number of different versions of the cheongsam that Maggie Cheung wears in "In the Mood for Love". The article states that it is 23 while I counted 32 different ones. Their source may be better than mine (I might have simply counted a few twice) but I will stick with the larger number for now.

Another is that they showed some dresses that could only be seen as a cheongsam if someone decided they were. This was probably due to them wanting to run as many pictures as possible, a decision with which I fully agree. Frederick Engels was correct when he wrote that quantity becomes quality (or the more, the better) so we can put with a few instances of red mini-dresses with capped sleeves stuck in among the flood of pictures of the real thing.

Interesting contrast showing how close to perfect this garment can be and why is has been so popular for so long--Celine Dion wearing what looks to be exactly the same dress as Gong Li (what, her again?) with both of them looking perfectly smashing.

Here is Celine Dion at some red carpet event with Jennifer Lopez in a slip dress. Dion's gown accents her willowy figure and essentially keeps her from disappearing while next to the more abundant (and more abundantly displayed) assets of Jennifer Lopez:

Someone should have told Jennifer to lose that green belt/sash/whatever with the huge fabric flower but that is another story.

Similar poses in the same dress--note the piping on the sleeve holes, for example--Celine Dion and Gong Li:


I won't bother with any more images--CRI has a truckload of them.

A quick update since durian dave mentioned the picture of Cecilia Cheung--I agree it is a lovely image--and it is a bit buried at CRI, this is it: