By  on October 23, 2019

SHANGHAI — To say that the first collection from Guangzhou-based designer Yueqi Qi was haunting is a bit on the nose. Her presentation at Shanghai Fashion Week was a plaintive and eccentric exploration of the practice of ghost marriages. But in truth, it was her distinctive blend of intricate beading with vintage Chinese references that really stayed with showgoers after.

For the uninitiated, ghost marriages in the Chinese tradition are when one or two of the parties are deceased, historically as a way to ensure no person would be left without descendants to worship them, as some believe. The famous folktale of the Butterfly Lovers — which features an ill-fated couple akin to China’s version of Romeo and Juliet — figured as the core inspiration for the collection, and so at Qi’s presentation, models with eyes circled in thick red and blue eye shadow, slowly drifted around the room like spirits returned from the afterworld, circling two large spittoons and a pile of pomelos.

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