Chinese designer focuses on reviving fashion trends with a twist

Published on 05/07 2018  Source: China Daily


With the sounds of a smartphone clicking, the first model walks down a staircase marking the start of the "China Gram!" Cabbeen 2018 fashion show at 751D Park in the Chaoyang district of Beijing recently. 

With one hand in his pocket and the other holding the phone he is tapping on, the model walks on. 

He is wearing an oversized green T-shirt, covered with a white color block with the word "hope" in Chinese written on it. And it was matched with sport pants with green bars on the sides. This retro campus style outfit is the core design of the first series of the collection. 

The second series "High Level Capsule" is a more advanced and mature form of retro. Here, T-shirts with simple patterns are matched with loose jogging trousers to deliver comfort. 

In these two series, oversized shirts and hoodies are overlapped to subvert people's traditional dress habits. 

The third series, "Retro and the Future", is inspired by the American film Aliens - from the simplest logo T-shirt to headscarf accessories in black and white. Then, as is traditional with Cabbeen, sports features in the fourth series. 

Echoing the upcoming 2018 FIFA World Cup in June, colors of the Russian national flag - red, blue and white - have been bumping into each other. 

The sleeveless hoodies, overlapping baggy shorts and pants are trying to set a new trend. 

Cabbeen believes that "fun is a cool thing", and advocates the absolute freedom of costume matching, and also encourages people to "play with your own style". 

Throughout the show, the brand introduced a rich collection of accessories, including baseball hats, peaked caps, waist bags, and black patent leather shoes. Another eye-catching item is a large transparent plastic bags filled with fruits, such as green apples and lemons. 

Yang Ziming, the founder of the brand, says that he enjoys walking out of food markets with plastic bags. And he's pleased to see objects from daily life becomes an expression of fashion. 

As for how the brand came up with the theme of this year's show, Cabbeen says it has been studying and analyzing trends, and the retro style and oversized designs were found to be two of the most popular elements this year. 

Yang also adores the resurgence of fashion, so he set the theme of the collection based on a picture of himself at the age of 20. 

In the picture, he is wearing an oversized T-shirt with the top half covered in green and black vertical stripes, with the rest of it in black bearing printed logo. 

Speaking about the revival of trends, Yang says: "Fashion is like a big wheel, and no one can stop it rolling. As a fashion designer, I blend elements from the past with the present in my creations." 

A fan of Chinese culture, Yang placed the Chinese words "hope", "hello", "bye", "the golden age" and "pure" on the clothes to show his love for the language. 

He claims that a friend from the United States, who fell in love with Chinese language about a year ago, frequently discusses the meaning of Chinese characters with him. 

Yang also says that during the discussions he found the Chinese characters lining up beautifully with the translations in English. "Each character has a story, and every stroke has a specific meaning," he says. 

"Such a discovery really slowed my hand writing down for quite a long time, and I've been totally immersed in the happiness of creating every stroke and attempting to memorize and understand its meaning." 

In 1997, Yang was recognized as the designer who challenged the tradition of highlighting the male waistline and designing menswear with materials that were commonly only used in women's clothing. 

And since then, he has never stopped challenging himself, stepping across different fields with passion and curiosity. 

Yang can be labeled with many tags, including that of being the founder of a 20-year-old brand, the first Chinese fashion designer who brought his brand to New York Fashion Week, an actor who participated in an internet drama, a boxer and a racer. But most of all he likes to call himself an innovator. 

Speaking about his work, he says: "At the start, I saw surprise, caution and even repulsion in people's eyes, but luckily there is now recognition and praise. Such a change is due to the rapid development of the country. What I can do and will do is to stay true and always be brave enough to start from scratch."