Style Court

Textiles, Art History, Gardens, and a Little Mental Traveling with Courtney Barnes 2006-2016


More on China Chic

"I've always surrounded my work with red -- it stops everybody's eye. It has such a strong positive feeling. It looks good with every color. When I painted the walls in the shop red, everyone told me it would clash with the clothes and overpower them. But the red actually makes the designs look much richer and gives them more power."

Vivienne Tam in China Chic

For me, Tam's book is an eloquent little primer on core elements of Chinese style -- the cheongsam, double happiness, Ming dynasty, Qing dynasty, Mao mania, Kuanyin, courtyards -- all told from Tam's perspective as a highly creative Chinese-born, Hong Kong-raised, Western fashion designer. Tam is especially insightful about the intersection of East and West, even covering chinoiserie and europeanoiserie.

I regret not buying the first edition bound in glossy red, but as I mentioned earlier, the pint-size volume is incredibly lavish and economical. "Crossover appeal" is a phrase used often, however I think here it really fits. Readers interested in art, interior design and travel will be fascinated -- although it may most interest students of fashion.

All images from China Chic, published by Collins Design.


Anonymous said...

Thank god about red (making things look better). Perhaps I'm getting a special personlized Style Court reading today. Call it psychic Style Court.

I can't seem to get the nerve to paint my 8 X 8 dining area a 1920s type tomato red. There are only 3 walls to paint, and one of them features a picture window while another has a 4-foot wide door opening (pocket door). So really it's nothing. But still I'm petrified.

Style Court said...

seeing red,

Go for it! Sounds like it would be fabulous. I love red in tiny spaces.

Raf M said...

Ive seen red in action in Marion Hall Best's work, but the aesthetic Chinese red is really a world apart.
Australia's Best and China's ancient red: both are red, but very different.
Carnival glass and Decorating ideas

Easy and Elegant Life said...

Seeing Red -- you'll love it. Our bar room (13' X 7') is painted Foxfire and it's everyone's favourite room in the house. Not as deep as Chinese red lacquer, but still...

blah said...

Living in Hk, I love Chinoise - great post!

Style Court said...

thanks all things!