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China Through The Looking Glass

Reflecting upon 2015 museum exhibitions, The Met’s “China Through The Looking Glass” resonated as a fresh cultural reimagining of China’s influence on the West. From ancient dynasties to pop culture, the curated halls positioned ornate costumes completed with playful head dresses against backdrops of exotic imagery.  

As mannequins were placed in translucent boxes, images of Chinese models reflected the Hollywood golden age adding an undeniable allure. The original design sketches by the late designer Yves Saint Laurent for his iconic Opium perfume that dominated the 80s and beyond were especially wonderful among the glistening Chinese lacquered objects.

Throughout my design career I’ve been fortunate to travel to China working in cities like Shanghai and neighboring villages collaborating with talented artisans. These trips have immersed me in Chinese decorative arts and techniques similar to the ones found in the curated exhibition. This refreshing presentation weaving Chinese cinema added another dimension to the familiar treasures.  

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