Global Han Couture Design Competitions 2013

Global Han Couture Design Competitions 2013 Winner (centered)

Article by Yvonne Lo
Photo credit Niko

New Tang Dynasty’s 4th Annual Global Han Couture Design Competition runway show was held on September 8th at the New Yorker Hotel in Manhattan. The competition aims to revive the art of traditional Chinese dress, called Hanfu – “Han” after the ethnic majority of China, and “fu” meaning dress. This year, more than 160 costumes were received from around 70 Han couture designers, only 60 selected outfits were showcased.

Ann Roth

“I have seen a lot of costume and fashion shows, but I can’t remember one that combines serenity and excitement in one costume—not to mention in 60,” said Ann Roth, renowned Academy award-winning theatrical costume designer. This year, Roth won a Tony for Best Costume Design of a Play, and the Henry Hewes Design Award for Best Costume Design (both for Broadway production “The Nance”).

Creating stunning Hanfu costumes is only part of what the judges are looking for. They consider whether the contestants have understood and followed the philosophies that have guided Chinese dress for millennia. 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. Both historical accuracy and creativity are required for contestants to place well.

Judges do not expect perfect historical accuracy. Visual wow-factor is not a huge influencer, either. But judges do give high priority to a contestant’s ability to contextualize garments. A contestant needs to be able to create this or her own work based on the customs and aesthetics of that period. The gold award was the most sedate of the top entries; the silver entry was the glitzier and the bronzer more elaborate than both.

Congratulations to the winners of the NTD’s 4th Annual Global Han Couture Design Competition, and don’t forget to catch next year’s competition for more amazing designs.

Su-Chih Chang

The gold award went to Taiwanese contestant Su-Chih Chang. Her work entitled “Praises to Spring” (chūn zhī sòng) was in the style of a Song Dynasty scholar.

Wang Li-yu

Wang Li-yu from Taiwan won the silver award. Her Tang Dynasty-style ensemble was titled “Over Heaven and Earth, Shining through the Universe” (tiān shàng rén jiān, guāng yào huán yi).

Tang Lin-li-mei

The bronze award was given to Tang Lin-li-mei from Taiwan. Her Song Dynasty ensemble was titled “The Universe” (qián kūn).

Full Winners List
Category Designer Dynasty Designer’s Country of Origin
Gold Award Su-chih Chang Song Taiwan
Silver Award Li-yu Wang Tang Taiwan
Bronze Award Lin-li-mei Tang Song Taiwan
Special award for Tang Dynasty dress Shu-yun Li and Li Wang Tang China
Special award for Song Dynasty dress Tou-ying Kao Song Taiwan
Special award for Ming Dynasty dress Ya-chi Chan Ming Taiwan
Award for special garment matching Hsiao-wei Lin Ming Taiwan
Outstanding award Li-yu Wang Song Taiwan
Outstanding award Su-chih Chang Tang Taiwan
Outstanding award Kun-ming Lee Tang Taiwan
Outstanding award Li-chuan Chen Ming Taiwan
Outstanding award Mei-ho Chen Tang Taiwan
Outstanding award Shui-chin Wu Song Taiwan
Outstanding award Mei-chen Yeh Ming Taiwan
Outstanding award Robin Deng Tang USA

Avatar photo

About AsianInNY is New York’s leader in Asian networking and a multi-cultural entertainment site. AsianInNY has established itself as the premier social and cultural authority for Asians in New York City. AsianInNY maintains the highest standards in providing reliable online content and producing live offline events. AsianInNY seeks to inspire, educate, and connect our community, using a versatile platform that engages our audience via a multi-layered digital presence that showcases the best of New York City. Our pages are updated daily with a rich cultural mix of news, events, interviews, and more. AsianInNY: Connect with Everything Asian!