Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Oriental Fascination: the Beauty of Porcelain Part II – Designer Brands Get Inspir'd by Chinese Blue and White Qing Hwa Porcelain

When I was sharin' the pics of sum designer brands' collections inspir'd by Chinese blue and white Qing Hwa porcelain the other day on facebook, a friend commented and gav an alternative view 'bout the inspiration of such design dat the blue and white embroideries on sum pieces such as the gowns presented in Christian Dior Spring/Summer 09 Haute Couture collection are in fact possibly closer to Delftware or ceramic blue tile reference originated frm the Netherlands and Portugal respectively. Considerin' the floral motif of turnips as a symbol of the Netherlands, Galliano's apparently work'n on a distinctly European design rather than adoptin' the Chinese elements in his works. I definitely take his point as many aftershow reviews'd taken note of the influence of the Dutch masters frm whom the designer took a rich Vermeer palette. Nevertheless, when I juxtapos'd the pics of Chinese Qing Hwa porcelain, Dutch Delft pottery and of Portuguese handpainted ceramic tiles, I was amaz'd at the similarities among 'em all and hav come up with a conclusion dat the mutual cultural influence between the East and the West's a history dat possibly dates back to the 15th century, i.e. the Ming Dynasty of China when a lively trade took place between the East and the Dutch East India Company during the Dutch Golden Age. Millions of pieces of Chinese porcelain were imported in the early 1600s.The Chinese workmanship and attention to detail impress'd many. Only the richest could afford the early imports tho. Although Dutch potters didn't immediately imitate Chinese porcelain, they began to do it in 1620 when the supply to Europe's interrupted. Delftware inspir'd by Chinese originals persisted frm 'bout 1630 to the mid-eighteenth century alongside European patterns.

Ohhhhh dat's enough history. To be fair, seein' the design as either purely European or simply a borrowin' of Chinese attributes' still not gud enough. I'd like to see it a blend of the influence of traditional Chinese craftwork and Renaissance art instead, which wud more effectively portray the whole image. And of cuz most important of all, as long as the design's chic and beautiful, it's gonna able to set a trend.

Chinese blue and white Qing Hwa porcelain

Dutch Delft pottery

Portuguese blue ceramic tiles

Miss Olympic Etiquette 2008 Beijing in Qing Hwa qi pao

John Galliano's Christian Dior Spring/Summer 2009 Haute Couture collection

John Galliano wasn't the only designer who got inspir'd by blue and white porcelain. Roberto Cavalli had launch'd the “porcelain collection” as early as 2005 Spring/Summer. Victoria Beckham wore it, too.

The Chinese celebs, Chiling Lin, Bing Bing Fan and Fei Fei Dai dress'd in Qing Hwa prints

The Chinese designer Guo Pei's Autumn/Winter 2010 Haute Couture inspir'd by Qing Hwa porcelain showin' the subdued nature of Chinese culture. The fan-shaped headpiece reminds the princesses' of the Qing Dynasty.

The launch of Gucci Shanghai Dragon Bag to celebrate the openin' of the flagship in Shanghai, China


  1. i got to admit the content of this blog improves everytime i look at it. although i am not a fashion guy but i am shocked by the casual, beautiful dresses. i am also surprised by the porcelain collection. wld love to see this idea developed in men's suits or jackets.

  2. Great post, I adore porcelain & china, it's classically chic.
    Love the images you've chosen here.
    Thanks for your comment :)