What's the point of fashion week? Through the looking glass of Beijing Fashion Week's awarded designer, Eric Tibusch
It’s fashion week peak season and all eyes are on the runways. Every magazine, blog and social media channels are talking about the who, what, when and where. Everything from the hot to the not of runway trends, looks of the front row crew and those Crocs on Christopher Kane’s collection that has caught the attention of fashion aficionados.
We all know how important it is for a designer to participate in fashion weeks, but the question lies on why. Some designers might say it’s the biggest stepping-stone of their career, a way for the media and press to snap up their name and make it go viral over night. Imagine being everyone’s favorite!
Those are all feasible, but what really happens behind the scenes of any brand that wishes to present during Fashion Week?
We talked to Parisian Haute Couture designer Eric Tibusch to take us through his collection and the upcoming trends for the season. Aside from being this year's awarded international designer from Beijing Fashion Week 2016 he is also a vice president and an executive chief creative officer of TY, a luxury Chinese brand from Xinaweisi group. TY which stands for Tibusch and Ying is a mix between Chinese and French Culture, with a focus on French technique when it comes to the garment. Ying, Eric’s partner, is also the president of he Swelnus Fashion group, LTD. TY first open their store in Nanjing, China and now expanding to Shanghai, opening its store in Super Brand Mall this 15th October just two days before his show in Shanghai Fashion Week.
But first we wanted to ask the designer himself some quick facts about Fashion Week:
How long is a Fashion Show?
A show can be as short as 7 minutes or as long as 20 minutes. It depends on how many outfits are being showed - a 20-minute show normally would have around 50 looks.
How do you get your own fashion show?
Connections and hard work. Getting in touch with professionals in the industry would help or you can apply through the fashion councils.
Why do the models walk like they do? What do you think models should keep in mind during the show? or What do you consider when casting models?
Models should have their own signature walk and charisma and at the same time portray my work. In the end, I chose them because I believe they can make my collection comes to life.
What does a fashion editor look for at the shows? What does an editor do with what they see at the shows?
The show’s purpose is to provide a wealth of ideas, a source of inspiration for everyone including the editors, to develop new concept.
How much does it cost?
Fashion Week is not inexpensive. Depends on several factors, registration fees, venues, models, make-up artists and the amount of PR you would like to push. The most expensive part of the whole show is the lighting production .
Are there certain critics/writers whom designers love or loathe? Do designers read their press?
One of the first thing to be aware of is the newspapers, to make sure that the journalists understand the designer’s work and write it accordingly. Of course, all designers have to read their press, because it helps them to understand the public and to grow as a brand.
What is the relative importance of the various fashion weeks? Is there a hierarchy? For example, is Paris more prestigious than New York? Does each week have different participants? Its own flavor or mood?
Paris, London, Milan, and New York or now Shanghai or Beijing, each city is known for their own signature style.
New York:is the world’s first organized fashion week. It was called “Press Week” in the beginning to attract attention away from French fashion during WWII, when fashion insiders weren’t able to travel to Paris to see PFW. It’s well-known for the minimalistic, contemporary pragmatics, the city of media.
London: Well known for its creative side with newcomers and innovative and originality looks through all that fog every season. Daring, rule-breaking, and free from standards!
Paris: The most eccentric and extravagant fashion week, where the big money is spent buy the buyers. In addition to ready-to-wear shows, it’s also well-known for it’s haute couture shows.
Milan: Taking inspiration from the leading Parisian couture of the time, developed its own approach, which was by nature devoted to sobriety, simplicity and the quality of the fabric.
It stands out as the last stop of the big four for the never-ending classics. Big with menswear and glamour
Shanghai and Beijing: Two of the most influential cities with endless innovation that collaborates in the circle of fashion week. Beijing Fashion Week itself was first held in 1997 and it is held twice a year. Filled with exciting fashion shows, exhibitions, and fashion forums, more than 500 local to international designers have been participating 1073 fashion shows along the history of runway in Beijing, attracting hundreds of media from around the world each season.
But while these extra bits can help round out the show—it is, after all the final look that matters.
We paid a visit to the atelier of French Haute Couture designer, Eric Tibusch just before his show in Beijing Fashion Week the 29th of September, in which he was awarded the International Design Award, and also Shanghai Fashion Week the 19th of October to see the process from preparation to presentation. Eric Tibusch, who worked for Jean Paul Gaultier for almost a decade told us he had been working on his RTW collection for three months now along with his team in Shanghai, with the help of Henri Joli, his partner who’s also worked with Jean Paul Gaultier for more than 20 years.
He shared some stories and personal preferences of his that can guide us through the upcoming season and trends, and here are 8 things we learned from him:
1. He wanted to be a fashion designer since 7 years old
Eric Tibusch observed his mum in her dress-maker atelier, admiring her talent and devotion, the desire to learn came to him when he was 7 years old. He first started by trying to dress his cousin’s Barbie doll with some leftover fabric pieces. At this very exact moment, the artist and fashion visionary Eric Tibusch as we know him today, was born.
2. “Romanticism” as a hint of his upcoming collection
Very often described as classic, his collections constantly reflect a distinguished personal touch. This season he added touches of sophistication and softness to reflect a new perspective of him yet still having a strong value of the brand Eric Tibusch.
3. His muse: Marlene Dietrich, Grace Kelly and Greta Garbo
Eric Tibusch mentioned about three of his muses who inspired him throughout his career.
Marlene Dietrich was a German actress and singer in the 30s who maintained her own popularity by continually re-inventing herself, professionally and characteristically. Meanwhile, Grace Kelly is well known as an American actor before being the princess of Monaco after marrying Prince Rainier III. Last but not least, Greta Garbo, a Swedish-born American actress and international star icon during the 20s and 30s.
Having three legendary women who know how to dress as his muse is no surprise when we see Eric Tibusch’s elegant designs.
4. His favourite chinese word is 快点 (kuai dian) which means Quickly
As a designer, Eric Tibusch’s schedule is always packed with deadlines here and there. It’s not surprising that it’ll be a word he uses a lot that helps him on a daily basis, especially days before fashion week!
5. According to him, the upcoming trend for this winter would be rock and roll graphic.
Trends come and go, yet a true person’s style always stay the same. The revival of Rock and Roll graphic is about to be seen in the streets especially during the season of fashion week. But for Eric Tibusch, he is more drawn towards elegance and sophisticated designs, which can be seen in his collections.
6. His favourite features about Chinese women : their hair and skin
Asian women tend to have silky strong jet black hair and smooth dewy skin. Since centuries ago, the fairer the skin, women are considered the elites while the tanned skin are women who work outside for a living. On the other hand, their genes and the environment surrounding them are also one of the many other reason for this.
7. He’d love to dress Angelababy
We All know Yang Ying, or better known with her stage name Angelababy, the Chinese-born Hong Kong model, actress, and singer that you see everyday on the biggest ads and fashion spreads all around the country.
8. Favorite movie : Angelique, Marquise des Anges
Vintage french movie from the 1960s with no less than extravagant and elegant hair and costume, you can already feel how much it drives Eric Tibusch to where he is now. It links to all the trends he holds in admiration; sophistication and gracefulness that reminds him of his muses and the women he grew up with, his grandmother, mother and her atelier.
Last but not least, he gave us a motivational quote to get you through the day (or to make you believe that you’re French for a split second).
Awarded Best International Designer at Beijing Fashion Week
29th September 2016
In memory of Byron, Eric Tibusch´s Official Mascot.
A video production by RECQUIXIT.