Most Promising Show at NY’s 2013 Couture Fashion Week

NTD 4th Annual Global Han Couture Design Competition: The designers’ award-winning Han Chinese clothing ensembles floated down the stage as if they’d just arrived through a portal from the palace of an ancient Chinese Empress. (Di Liu / China Gaze)
NTD 4th Annual Global Han Couture Design Competition: The designers’ award-winning Han Chinese clothing ensembles floated down the stage as if they’d just arrived through a portal from the palace of an ancient Chinese Empress. (Di Liu / China Gaze)

NEW YORK—This runway show gave Couture Fashion Week a whole new meaning—the bar has officially been raised. The designers’ award-winning Han Chinese clothing ensembles floated down the stage as if they’d just arrived through a portal from the palace of an ancient Chinese Empress.

New Tang Dynasty’s 4th Annual Global Han Couture Design Competition runway show, at the New Yorker Hotel in Manhattan on Sept. 8, was a showcase of 60 selected outfits and 2013 winning designs. In total, more than 160 costumes were received from around 70 Han couture designers.

This year, the show attracted more designers, supermodels, celebrities, fashion editors, and retailers from the 2013 Couture Fashion Week, after word of the stirring success of the previous shows spread—this one was a must see event.

The purpose of the U.S.-based Chinese television station’s competition, and its whole Han competition series, is to revive the ebbing ancient arts and culture of China. The vast expanse of artistic knowledge and refined techniques, if forgotten, would be a loss for humanity.

Creating traditional Han clothing, or Hanfu, involves a deep study not only of the techniques and styles, but of inner meaning to be reflected through the costumes—symbolizing a connection between Heaven and Earth, and harmony with nature. Ultimately, the result is sheer beauty and grand masculinity, aesthetics close to the human heart.

Awards given included three gold, silver, and bronze awards, eight outstanding awards, and three special awards for Song, Ming, and Tang Dynasty ensembles. A special award was presented for garment matching.

Couture Fashion Week

On Sept. 8, Ann Roth, winner of an Academy Award for Best Costume Design, announced the recipient of the gold award, Taiwanese contestant Su-Chih Chang. (Di Liu/China Gaze)

Couture Fashion Week

The gold award went to Taiwanese contestant Su-Chih Chang. Her work, entitled “Praises to Spring” (“春之頌” in Chinese, chūn zhī sòng in pinyin) was in the style of a Song Dynasty scholar. (Di Liu / China Gaze)

Couture Fashion Week

Wang Li-yu from Taiwan won the silver award. Her Tang Dynasty-style ensemble was titled “Over Heaven and Earth, Shining through the Universe” (“天上人間,光耀寰宇” in Chinese, in pinyin: tiān shàng rén jiān, guāng yào huán yi). (Di Liu / China Gaze)

Couture Fashion Week

Wang’s silver award-winning ensemble as seen from behind, showcasing exquisitely detailed embroidery. (Di Liu / China Gaze)

Couture Fashion Week

The bronze award was given to Tang Lin-li-mei from Taiwan. Her Song Dynasty ensemble was titled “The Universe” (“乾坤” in Chinese, qián kūn in pinyin). (Di Liu / China Gaze)

Couture Fashion Week

Details on the headdress of the bronze award-winning ensemble showcase a mastery of traditional embroidering and bead work. (Di Liu/China Gaze)

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