SHANGHAI SPECIAL | Fashion in China | Yoanna Liu - Fashion Editor - Exclusive Interview for Lelook. Could you tell us more about your blog www.yoannaliu.co.uk? Why did you start blogging? Why do you continue to do it?
I started blogging four years ago just for my personal interest about fashion. Then people noticed me and it's really a surprise to find out that there are readers really like your blog and really follow your every entry. My blog used to be under main websites like sina.com. Then one year ago my friend built this independent site for me, so there is the yoannaliu.com you see now. I like blogging because it's a way that you can really tell your true opinion. But since my main job now is the fashion editor at Vision, and it has taken most of my time and energy, I'm spending less and less time for my blog. It's pity. But I want to keep my blog as a personal portfolio of my editorial works.
Describe your work as a fashion writer.
I won't judge degierns' work in a very mean and critical way. I believe that every opision should be respected. And since I used to spend two years in Saint Martins and most of my time was hanging out with designers in the studio, I know how hard they try to push a collection forward. So I try to build an understanding between designers and readers in my articles. I try to tell my readers how to appreciate true creativity and tell them what is design. Try to show the good sides of everything. I think that's my way of being a fashion writer.
We have discovered many interesting Chinese designers during our trip to Shanghai, Neither Nor, Masha Ma, Helen Lee, Uma Wang, Qiu Hao, for instance. Who are your favorite designers at the moment in China?
I really like Masha Ma, she has her style, which is sharp, and just beautiful. And she's also developing a practical approach in design, which makes her a successful designer. So does Xander Zhou, a very tallented designer with a really cool and fun personality. He always brings laugh and inspiration to us. And Yifang Wan, one of the youngest Chinese designer who just graduated from CSM last year, also a very potential girl.
And your favorite up&coming designers in Europe?
I would say Dion Lee. He just started showing in London. I think Dion Lee has a very iconic style and really cool technique in structure and draping.
There's a growing core of independent fashion designers in China. What is their strength compared to the fashion designers in Europe?
The biggest strength is that THEY ARE FROM CHINA. They have the culture deep in their blood. And many of them have been trained in Europe or America, so they are kind of a mixture of the Chinese way of thinking and the Western way of style and design. People may find they design practical to wear but also with some very unique details.
Fashion-wise, the most inspirational city: Shanghai or Beijing?
I still think it's Beijing. Artists are here, interesting people are here, creative people are here. Beijing is a city with history and culture. Shanghai is stylish in fashion, but Beijing is where the inspiration from.
You travel a lot between Beijing and London, what is your perception of street style in those 2 cities?
Londoners, especially those East London kids, are fearless to dress. And people on the street won't judge how you dress, they would say 'Cool! Nice jacket!' But in Beijing, stylish people only apprear in certain areas. Most people are just copying street style of model style on blogs or websites like Jack&Jil. And they are very sensitive on what others wear. Like peacocks.
Finally, could you recommend some fashion blogs or websites that you often visit?
by Stella She's a very lovely girl and keen to art and design. She recently did a series of entries called The Studio Visit, showcasing the working situation of some designers, which is really sweet and professional as well.