It wasn't a train, rather a bit of shameless product placement, but a car on the runway nonetheless injected a bit of excitement to the opening show of China Fashion Week in Beijing on Saturday afternoon. Wang Yutao presented such a strong and vibrant mix of jaunty kilts and neat, sport-infused tailoring for his label Beauty Berry spring/summer, that we wondered how he would follow it this season.
For autumn/winter, mushroom, taupe and slate grey dominated the palette in the first half, with mossy greens and deep burgundy appearing later. With a colour scheme like this, there was a definite sense that luxury cars provided some of the inspiration for the collection. The designer played with contrasting tones and fabrics on lapels, elbow patches and horizontal strips which ran across the body.
The polo collar was included in most looks, especially on long-sleeve knits layered under sleeveless suit jackets, giving everything a smooth, luxe feeling without being too formal. The mix of greens was particularly striking on several looks, akin to last season's use of colour, and the introduction of burgundy and mahogany added to the effect. In fact, as the suits became darker and we saw pops of embroidery and black leather piping, not to mention fur-lined jackets and capes, things began to feel even richer. Perhaps it was in the styling- dickie bows, handsome side partings and the odd moustache which put us in mind of some devilish Dorian Gray opulence. A black suit woven with silver thread had a glossy sheen, tasseled slip-on loafers were of a matte gold and even the quilted gold and steel grey pieces that wrapped round the waist and shoulders gave the looks the ambience of a shiny new car.
Trousers were straight and tailored, several coming in a dark grey twill, or loose and baggy around the thigh and tucked into high leather riding boots. Argyle socks flashed under cropped trousers and a few kilts (hurrah!) showing that the designer was having some fun with the look.
Womenswear involved lots of draping, though fabrics were daringly see-through. The motoring theme came across strongly, with stiff, curving hemlines on collarless jackets and long leather gloves, all in shades of taupe and mushroom.
It was a strong collection of refined knits, smart suits and rich colours. A worthy follow-up that shows he's still in the fast lane.