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Edited by on March 1 2012 at 10:25 AM

Probably more than we could begin to count, much of fashion is being sourced in China; it’s that sweet sweet price that keeps bringing us back. But now designers are taking something completely different and free from the Chinese: Inspiration. There’s a turn toward the orient that is translating in a traditional manner. Gilded birds glide down Dries Van Noten and Proenza Schouler garments, referencing Song Dynasty’s luxurious governmental garb. Marni dipped a toe into splashes of mod Chinese red, but stepped full foot into kabuki shoes that translated the collection into Mandarin. Josie Natori may take the prize for who took the theme most literally, with obi belts, Mandarin collars and a feathered fan. Meanwhile, Jason Wu twisted his own heritage into Maoist jackets and looks that lean toward what Americans in the 1930s thought Chinese clothing was like. Ironically, most of these designers produce locally. Perhaps they are holding up a mirror to the rest of the fashion industry, to make us think about where our clothing is made.

Dries Van Noten

Story by Jessica Lapidos

I impart my daily love of light layering, thick-as-thieves platforms and undiscovered fashionable gems. I love to turn a phrase, and in truth I'm a designer at werq.