TAM’S EASTERN PHILOSOPHY
Byline: Georgia Lee
She was onto the Asian trend long before it became the rage. “It’s great to see it everywhere,” said Chinese-born designer Vivienne Tam. “I think, rather than fade away, Asian looks will become classic.”
Tam, who has always been inspired by the Orient, was in town in March to show her spring collection at Neiman Marcus. In a three-hour period, $10,000 of spring merchandise was sold, with $3,000 worth of fall items pre-sold, according to Brian Hogan, vice president.Tam has total annual sales of around $5 million.
Devotees — mostly a young, sophisticated crowd — gushed with enthusiasm for Tam’s mesh prints and beaded and embroidered tops, dresses and capri pants.
Tam said she always strives for a blend of modern and ancient elements in her designs, which include Western shapes and Eastern prints. She also favors daytime looks for night, and night for day.
“That’s the way today’s woman is — she travels, she needs simplicity. We as designers need to offer more flexibility, more options,” said Tam. And despite a fondness for black, Tam said her fall collection will be “full of color.”
Spirituality is also a key component of the line. The spring collection was inspired by Chinese cosmology, which divides the universe into five elements: metal, wood, water, fire and earth. The “Chakra” print dress — inspired by the body’s energy points, or chakras — retails for $240 and sold five units at the Neiman’s event.