The Queen of Pop-Art Chinoiserie. Vivienne Tam created a niche of contemporary designer sportswear inspired by traditional Chinese motifs reborn as ironic design. She first made waves re-interpreting images of Mao in a Warhol-esque palette. Since then, she has introduced delicate embroideries into cutting edge looks and high-tech digital printing for her signature pop prints.
For Spring 2012, these trademarks were translated into pretty, ladylike silhouettes, but at sexy lengths. Miniskirts were paired with embroidered or transparent print blouses. Appliques and more embroidery framed necklines and bodylines in a flattering way. The colors were tonal shades of celadon, blues, greens or violet, coral, cream and pinks. They looked like a bolder, more cosmopolitan idea of pastels for the urban girl who really doesn't do pastels (like me).
Ms. Tam's shows during NY Fashion Week are one of the favorites I look forward to every season, and I'm there with my nose pressed up against the glass at her Soho boutique and sample sales.