Festivals, Cultural and City Events

A Catwalk Sent From Shanghai With Love

For the third year running, the Playfair Library will be home to the fashion show and exhibition From Shanghai with Love, offering a discovery of elegant, enduring and electrifying Qipao fashion on a journey along the Silk Road through the ages and into the future. The event marks and celebrates the partnership between the University’s Confucius Institute for Scotland with Donghua University’s Shanghai International College of Fashion and Innovation – known collectively as the Donghua Edinburgh Centre for Creative Industries.

The Confucius Institute for Scotland is a national centre that allows the University to promote educational, economic and cultural ties between China and Scotland. The upcoming show and exhibition will look to celebrate such a connection through the medium of fashion, with displayed garments curated by the Shanghai Museum of Textile and Costume and designs on the runway created by students at the Donghua University’s Shanghai International College of Fashion and Innovation.

I think it is significant in all sorts of ways... international collaboration is very important to the University of Edinburgh and collaborations with China and other parts of Asia are particularly significant at this time. This is also a great example of complementarity, so we have particular skills for example in engineering here, which are an area of great interest to the fashion world... the collaboration between Edinburgh and Donghua makes all sorts of sense.

Peter Mathieson - Principal and Vice Chancellor, discussing the 2018 Fashion Show and Exhibition

The exhibition will feature Shanghai Style fashion from the Republican period and beyond, with Shanghai known as the city of fashion and the birthplace of modern Qipao. Qipao describes a close fitting woman’s dress with high neck and slit skirt design, which is often regarded as Chinese national dress and therefore comparable in its symbolism to the Kimono in Japan or the Sari in India. As a symbol for the blending of Chinese and Western cultures, the Qipao epitomises the cultural ties between Scotland and China at the Edinburgh Festival. Despite its traditional nature, the Qipao has long been associated with a very modern look and has evolved over time to remain a highly fashionable garment.

We are delighted to hold this celebration of Chinese fashion for the third year. I’m sure audiences will be captivated by the eye-catching designs, which merge cutting-edge technology with traditional Chinese design.

Professor Natascha Gentz - Director of the Confucius Institute for Scotland in the University of Edinburgh
Fashion Show Models
Image Credit - Lesley Martin

Expect to see contemporary and futuristic Qipao designs featuring on the runway. 2018’s displays saw students at the International College encouraged to develop their designs using technology and material innovation as well as drawing on cultural heritage. This year is no different with expected designs using the latest high tech materials and techniques to underline traditional styles with overarching modernity, including luminous, shape-changing and 3D printing designs.

The shows will take places on the 23 and 24 of August at 15.00 and 18.00. The exhibition will be open for half an hour either side of the start and end times of the fashion show and a glass of fizz is included in the ticket price. Tickets are available here.