Fashion Express to the Orient

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By Fatima Najm

Kimono-style shirts are cropping up on campus courtesy of Canadian retailers Le Chateau and Dynamite.

Halter crops, fashioned from Chinese embroidered fabric, are not an unusual sight on the club circuit. Toronto-based clothing company Yellow Fellow has taken the familiar yellow smiley face and given it an Asian spin by adding slanted eyes. Their take on urban Asian chic is showcased at yellowfellow.com.

Some Ryerson students say their find the cheung sam (ankle length traditional Chinese dress) has replaced the little black dress for formal wear.

“It is just so much more exquisite, detailed and delicate,” says fashion design student Samantha Low. If it were up to her, the cheung sam might find itself mass-marketed as business wear.

By keeping the high neck, form-fitting design and using black and white pinstriped cloth instead of fuchsia pink or bright red, she hopes to make them more accessible to Torontonians.

While Low is considering toning down colours to maximize the wearability of traditional eastern outfits, Sarah Houghton doesn’t think twice about coming to campus in brightly patterned kimonos that she picked up in Tokyo for a mere $10 apiece. Brand new, the hand-embroidered garments retail at $400 per kimono and obi (waist tie) set, but Houghton reaped the rewards of frequenting Tokyo flea markets geared to foreigners. “Most Japanese people consider second-hand stuff garbage,” says the second-year radio and television arts student, particularly pleased that she brought back plenty of the flowy wraps.

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