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White Shirt Wednesday: Ming Dynasty Remix

chic chinese style inspiration silk and jade

If this year’s Victoria Secret show taught us anything, it’s that the city of a thousand lanterns is well and truly back on trend. Resplendent with lucky red, rich embroidery and folklore-inspired water dragons, the likes of Kendall Jenner and Xiao Wen strutted up the Parisian catwalk in an array of phoenix feathers, jade tiaras and dramatic kimono sleeved robes.

Exploring a cultural mash-up throughout their whirlwind show, the stylists behind Victoria Secret skillfully refined this year’s biggest fashion milestones into one best-selling bonanza. Teaming crushed velvet with intricate embroidery, longline silhouettes and soft brushstrokes, 2016’s fashion agenda has panned across the globe in a celebration of heirloom artistry.

Touching base in mainland China, designers from the likes of Prada, Gucci and Fendi looked to ancient tapestries, vases and even wallpaper for inspiration. The result? An oriental-inspired melange of traditional themes with a western twist - giving fortune cookie kitsch a high designer feel.

Hot on our annual countdown of the best looks for 2016, this Ming remix is the ideal culture-clash that blends opulent mysticism with a new world clairvoyance. A power ballad between the two most primal fashion forces, this haute couture Valentino ankle skimming jacket with an archived orchid print inspired by 15th-century watercolours  gives instant stage presence to playfully practical outerwear.

Styled in unison with these silken printed cherry blossom palazzo pants, this look softly sings a love song to fine art traditionalism. Worn with our ladylike pussy bow silk shirt, this VAUGHAN original adds a touch of retro allure to this bold duo, offering an innocent whimsy that mirrors these light and versatile trousers. Worn tucked into the waist with a double knot ascot tie artfully around the neck, this ensemble needs little accessorising.

Paired with disco fever gold platform heels to add height and crimson mile allure to this runway-worthy look, these stunning stilettos bring organic florals into a fierce new sphere, marrying contemporary sculptural profiles with the natural poetry of silk. What better way to carry on this apt theme than with a pair of pure jade pendant earrings. Worn on the continent to symbolise benevolence and spirituality, these discreet half moon jewels invite a touch of authenticity into a fashion-focused ensemble. Finished to perfection with a Perspex Pandora clutch with Chen Rong influenced golden dragon figurine, this boxy clutch perfectly reflects the secondary black and gold theme that resonates through this commemorative outfit.

Washing away once tacky references and digging deep to celebrate this year’s biggest trend latecomer, the discerning it girl demands high profile silhouettes with an unabashed and festive elegance -  putting the classic kimono on the shelf and looking further into the expansive world of oriental art for answers to today’s sartorial narrative.

Pictured: VAUGHAN Cassie shirt in Pure White, Valentino kimono and silk pajama style trousers, Charlotte Olympia suede platform pumps and dragon clutch bag, New Directions jade half moon drop earrings

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