5 Chinese designers that should’ve been on the Met Gala red carpet

Updated on May 7 2015

There’s already been plenty of backlash about this year’s theme at the Met Gala 2015, which was supposed to be “China: Through The Looking Glass.” It would’ve been a great opportunity to showcase Chinese designs interpreted by Western designers along with Chinese artifacts, but no.

All over the world, people watched as celebrity after celebrity emerged on the red carpet wearing the finest of gowns and suits. Only, hardly any were by Chinese designers, unless you counted Chinese-American designers like Alexander Wang and Jason Wu, who had designed a simple red gown for Reese Witherspoon.

Even leading Chinese actress Zhang Ziyi was in a qipao-inspired dress by Carolina Herrera, when she could’ve donned a Chinese designer instead (like Fan Bingbing did).

What’s worse is that Western designers usually interpret Chinese culture in the most stereotypical way — we’re talking dragons, silk, blossoms, tassels and the colours red and gold. This is cultural appropriation at its best (SJP’s hat, anyone?).

The only person who got it right was Rihanna, who showed up in a beautifully embroidered gown by Guo Pei, which has since become its own internet meme. A bonafide style icon, it’s no surprise that she chose to wear a designer that no one in the West has heard of.

China’s culture is one of the oldest in the world and there are more than enough Chinese designers to choose from. Here are five that we think should have been on the Met Gala red carpet:

Post image Related: Celeb style: 10 best looks from Golden Globes 2015

1/5

Ryan Lo

Born and raised in Hong Kong before heading over to London for university, Lo finds continuous inspiration in pop culture and is a huge fan of DIY projects. In fact, he taught himself to knit through Youtube tutorials.

Best seen on: Sienna Miller. This dress would fit her bubbly personality perfectly. When it comes to fashion she is definitely not afraid to try something different.

www.ryanlo.co.uk

 

2/5

Yang Li

Li studied at Central Saint Martins and has interned with the likes of Gareth Pugh and Raf Simons, who is now the creative director of Dior. The ideal woman Li designs for is strong and independent.

Best seen on: Helen Mirren. As a force to be reckoned with, this elegant and modern dress is the perfect fit.

yangli.eu

3/5

Laurence Xu

Xu showed his collection at Paris Fashion Week earlier this year for the second time in a row. A master of embroidery and brocades, Xu is usually busy creating costumes for famous Chinese dramas and creating custom designed gowns for China’s elite.

Best seen on: Anne Hathaway. This gown would have looked stunning on the graceful actress.

4/5

Yiqing Yin

Yin immigrated from China at the age of four and went on to study at the Ecole Nationale des Arts Décoratifs in Paris. She has collaborated with brands like Cartier and Guerlain and is considered one of China’s hottest designers.

Best seen on: Katy Perry. Instead of her graffiti covered dress by Moschino, this jumpsuit would have looked more elegant on Perry.

www.yiqingyin.com

5/5

Ne-Tiger

Founder and artistic director of Ne-Tiger, Zhang Zhifeng, started the company in 1982. He is considered to be the first pioneer in China’s luxury industry and continues to be on top of the industry’s game.

Best seen on: Jennifer Lopez. The silhouette of this dress was made to hug every curve on JLo’s vivacious body.

www.ne-tiger.com

Taïs Elize is a half-Dutch half-Surinamese fashion model who has been travelling the world for more than a decade. As a stylist, Taïs believes fashion isn’t about the overall collections; rather, it's about admiring the individuality of each piece and appreciating the beauty that lies in the details. Follow @taiselize on Instagram.