Top Asian Designers—Vivienne Tam

Bold reds, soft violets, and peonies flourishing on flowing silks, Vivienne Tam’s 2009 Spring Collection is in step with her signature “Asian chic” while making an ode to spring after this long long winter.

Among the Asian fashion dynamos, the name Vivienne Tam spells veteran in a surge of hip, young Asian and Asian-American designers. Tam has built a standing in the fashion world that attracts people of all ages, eth-nicities and income levels. One of the vanguards in introducing Asian totems and aesthetic to an industry that has been dominated by a western mindset, Vivienne is dedicated to innovation in exotic imagery, and remains one of the world’s most passionate and symbolic designers today.

For her Spring ready to wear collection, peonies take the stage. A symbolic flower in China frequently used in art and chinaware to denote richness and honor, Tam’s elegant fusion of peonies demanded creativity. As such, she brings the age old symbol to life with cut outs, graphic interpretations, and spiral prints unseen in the traditional interpretation. Fire reds evoking phoenix flames are the outstanding hue of this collection. Whether as dress or suit, the eye-catching color invites the viewer to a new season. Plums and violets also add a harmonious touch, while classic blacks and ivory finish the sleeker sets in the collection. Evoking her classic fusion style that possesses, as noted by fashion critic and curator Richard Martin, an “idealistic globalism that transcends politics and offers a more enchanted, peaceful world,” Tam invites a world to her bi-cultural perspective.

Born in Canton, China and later moving to Hong Kong at age three, Tam’s childhood in one of Asia’s most dynamic economic and cultural capital has shaped her signature style. After graduating from Hong Kong Polytech-nic University, she relocated to New York where she absorbed the energy of the fashion world. Tam launched her collection of Eastern styled clothes with an urban current in 1994, taking on the New York fashion runways. Her successful Mao collection puts her on the fore-front of not only the fashion world, but as one of the first to crossover to the contemporary art world. Many of the iconic images became widely popular and were adopted by other de signers and even curated to museums such as the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburg, The Museum of FIT, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

Vivienne Tam continues to be a name and presence cited by others as forerunner and innovator. She has displayed her consistent appeal with her fresh collection every season and is poised to be a name lasting through the test of fashion history.