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Creator and Editor-in-Chief of this little Shindig Elsbeth van Paridon


The Temper Team throwing Tantrums across the globe Authors A La Extraordinaire: Emily Aspinall, Stephanie Lawson, Jessica Laiter, Minyoung Lee and Alina Raetsep (Video) Contributor to the Revolution – who threw in some moral print support: Daniel Magunje


Marketing Advisor – who threw in some graphic design to boot: Ellen Simons

AWÜ STUDIO: ABOUT FROSTING, SHANGHAI AND SILVER LININGS.............................36 THE TEMPER FACT CHECKER: CORNERSTONE BY SUN YUN.....................................40

The R-Rated and Revolutionary Artists

A RETURN TO TRADITION. CHINA: BACK TO THE FUTURE ...................................42

Collage COVER art by Antwerp-based creator supreme Lebasille Photography by New York’s finest Lu “Luna” Weijia



Fashion illustrations by the illustrious cream of the crop Yvan Deng

For editorial and advertising inquiries, send us Your Tantrum


RE-DRESSED TO KILL: WAVERING BETWEEN LUXURY AND SUSTAINABILITY......................48 CHINA’S PLASTICS FANTASTICS: RECYCLED STYLE, FRESHLY BOTTLED........................52 THE TEMPER FACT CHECKER: HANYU CUI..................................................60 THE NEW MADE IN CHINA RESOLUTION: VIDEMUS OMNIA.....................................62 RATED X: THE CENSORED ARTS OF CHINA.................................................70 FASHION ILLUSTRATOR YVAN DENG: SKETCHING CONTEMPO CATWALK BEATS.....................76

©Temper Media, 2020. All rights reserved. Temper Media VAT: BE0697681012




letter from

the editor

Dear. All. Let me kick this thing off by raising a glass to each and every one of your delish selves currently gazing and gasping (good or bad – you know you subscribed, #evilgrin) at the landslide of letters, lyrics and imageries before you. The eye has to travel, now doesn’t it. Print is not dead. It’s hot. It’s hip. It’s happening. And after the darkness of global Covid-19 lockdown, we at Temper feel the insatiable urge to make print LIT again. So to get those aesthetic juices flowing again, we bring you Temper Magazine. To this day, the “Made In China” label comes with its own mindset of Austen-dramatic ad nauseam-repeated prejudgments. When it comes to China at large, we may take it one step further and say that despite its “if I ruled the world” efforts and strides forward in the past decade, the nation remains an enigma to those who are not moving within its restricted confines. Most people are left outside the gates looking in, breathless at the sheer bossdom making its mark on the creative world (good or bad – you know you’re looking, #evilgrin). Focusing on contemporary China through Fashion and Urban Culture, Temper invites you into the hard core of this panting pandemonium and uncover the undercover… “The R-Rated Revolutionary Issue”. The ultimate palpable seduction of controversial China art, urban underground players, socially R-rated and sustainably revolutionary fashion trends, the newest tidbits from the nation’s New Youth, bridge-burning brands to watch, and many mooore -- #qmusic. Eager to cut the chords with their native country’s OG rules and regulations, yet not disposing of their upbringing and heritage, those featured in this issue all have taken their creativity for a censorsensitive spin. Outlawed by some, lapped up by Temper. R u Ready? Elsbeth van Paridon Editor-in-Chief


Design by LE YIMENG (叶黎萌), the 24/ moments collection — modeled by JEN LIU. Photograph by LU “LUNA” WEIJIA, 2020. All rights reserved.




What? The Fabric Porn genetic structure consists of leading-edge as well as time-honored Chinese influences paired with an off the grid zigzag. Arguably putting an entirely new spin on the term 孝| “filial piety” in Chinese; as in “honor your heritage”, one might even say. Say what, now?

The Temper Fact Checker: Fabric Qorn aka The Brand Making China Lit Again Clickbait roof blowing ratings aside, designer Zhao Chenxi handpicked his brand name to bust wide open the discussion, or should we say the poignant (distressing, even) lack thereof, surrounding sexual education and awareness across China in the Roaring Twenties 2.0. Come hither, Fabric Porn. Check!

Who? Designer Zhao Chenxi in 2019 founded the Fabric Porn brand in Shanghai. With functionality and artistry as its two core pillars, the brand does all but shy away from walking the fine line between art and business. The Fabric Porn male garments take as their starting point that the label’s wearers can team up one interesting piece with anything parked on their clothing hangers already. The theme behind the brand’s first season, i.e. SS20? “Make China Lit Again” -- Trump satire at its finest. Temper says, “Tasty”.

The SS20 collection stemmed from the designer’s observation that the modern Chinese people are lacking in their own cultural confidence, reiterating that they themselves do not agree as much with their own cultural heritage as others (read: outsiders) may. AW20, subsequently, sees Fabric Porn continue to accentuate the cross-stitchings of Chinese elements and combine these with a modern, first-tier urban, underground even, perspective in a bid to revive the forgotten beauty thriving yet hiding throughout many dynasties of Chinese culture. Nevertheless, let not the grandpa quirk fool you! This brand is boasting some majorly tight tailoring skills. Skills that have many a true-blooded fashion aficionado chomping at the bit.

When? Pitti Uomo Exhibitors - Gen 20 Fabric Porn in January 2020, mere moments before the new coronavirus entered our lives, was one of the esteemed Pitti Uomo (“Pitti Men” in English) Exhibitors -- Gen 20. Pitti Uomo counts as one of the world’s most important platforms for men’s clothing and accessories collections, as well as for the launching of new projects in men’s fashion. The brand was also one of the most hotly anticipated labels starring in the Labelhood Live lineup in late March 2020, as part of Shanghai Cloud Fashion Week’s new augmented reality. For many designers, this showcase to many of its participants was a portal to gain some much-needed -- hey, we call ‘em like we see ‘em -- exposure, in particular for relatively unknown talents. And the use of video during the broadcast did not kill this rising star. The Fabric Porn Labelhood Live montage mirage proved the perfect match to connect with a new customer base. The brand’s video went viral on Tmall, as it captured a truly urban, yet exotic feel staged against the backdrop of a dimly-lit, vague, smoggy setting rousing the vibes of New York’s underground music sphere. Representing a raw, rough and razor-sharp reflection of the era we live in.

Where? For now, we recommend taking a look at the Fabric Porn Instagram feed (@fabric_qorn) to scout your goodies and simply DM the brand. Other options are good ole Taobao or the Labelhood Store in ye ole Shanghai!

Why? The Fabric Porn collections feature many a traditional 1990s Chinese element. These influences, including famous comedian Zhao Benshan, red Xi letters and a “Make China Lit Again” cap, resonate with the new-found China patriotic sentiment shared by many young urban millennials today. In times of economic, pandemic ups and downs, Fabric Porn hopes to present China’s New Youth with a new reason to once again embrace their heritage and, moreover, take pride in it. Nimble, naughty, “neat” -- in keeping with 1990s New York slang. Nibble on that.



Image comes courtesy of Fabric Porn, 2020.


CHINA’S LGBT CULTURE IN FASHION: A NON-LABELED ANDROGYNOUS AESTHETIC For the record and to keep those non glow in the dark peeps at bay: Temper has the signed LGBTQ parental permission slip for the positive-only use of the term “queer” safely stashed in the cash ‘n candy pouch. Keywords at hand: Non-labeled, Deconstructivist, Androgynous| Genderf*ck, Club Kids, queer culture, contemporary art and Chinese elements. A verbal workout with designer Li Yiyang.

Raconteur and cultivator of dandy-flamby style Queer Supreme Quentin Crisp (1908-1999) once mused: “The consuming desire of most human beings is deliberately to plant their whole life in the hands of some other person. I would describe this method of searching for happiness as immature. Development of character consists solely in moving toward self-sufficiency.” In combining a celebration of sheer queer culture, fashion and be-bang be-bang weightlifter “guns”, designer Li Yiyang certainly has firmly taken control of his life. The question becomes… How does the development of China’s fashion scene move toward the maturing of the nation’s LGBT community and culture?




Designer, outspoken LGBT activist and fitness fanatic. Li Yiyang (李益阳 in Chinese) was born in a small city somewhere in central China and from an early age onward was highly influenced by his father’s teachings in traditional Chinese painting and calligraphy.

Teenage Li went on to attend the Affiliated Art High School of China Academy of Art (CAA) and graduated with a degree in contemporary art. Currently living in Shanghai, Li set up his own brand — where deconstruvism meets positively constructive art: LYAN. Li’s silhouettes present a mosaical imagery with his roots, the grounding roots of those central Chinese grasslands, running throughout like a thread made up of reflective badges. From birth to boyhood and an urban residential adult life in which a sexuality by individual choice and a society of non-exclusivity are key.

“My art work or designs are not limited by my choices of medium or subject matter. I relate my work to my life experiences, as well as my personal and social identities. I wish to create art that society can relate to through a shared personal experience.”

LYAN. Design by Li Yiyang, 2020. All rights reserved



Li’s designer collage respects tradition, yet at the same time strives to build something new, something modern and outspoken. His collage defends the right to just be who you are, all the while paying respect and tribute to the past struggles that have won China’s millennial generation the right to do just that. To just be you. The outfits people wear, reveal the most obvious information about them as individuals in and to the world. As LI phrases it, “they represent our thoughts, they show a major glimpse of who we are, where we are going, what kind of person we want to be, what we are working toward and who we want to be”, The outfits’ united hemlines are the soundtrack to one lifetime.

TREADING THE FINE GENDERLESS LINE Speaking of revelations, when it comes to design aesthetic, Li draws the following never-conclusive and all-inclusive patterns:

“I’m breaking the boundaries between male and female, blurring the borders using Chinese elements – my roots – in a global and modern art/design environment, and touching upon the linings of contemporary fashion. After all… What defines ‘manly’ what constitutes ‘girly’? It’s a free life. celebrate it.”

Dress to the nines clad in a three-piece suit finished off with a pair of high heels or throw on a fairytale skirt and tuck in that tuxedo shirt, The Stromae “Tous Les Mêmes” vibes are pervasive. The LYAN brand as well as its message are non-labeled. Very outspoken, and refreshingly so, when it comes to his sexuality, Li celebrates his love for (Shanghai’s) queer culture through art: “This is who I am. Being gay and advocating a healthy environment that celebrates every and any type of (non-) sexuality is part of my roots. And my identity; it made who I am today, But this is not just about me, one Chinese gay man, this is about something bigger than one individual… It’s about the evolution of Chinese [urban] society.” An increasing number of Chinese millennials in the past five years have joined the offline (i.e. physical) LGBT communities across the nation’s first-tier cities, Progressively comfortable with their sexual orientation, admittedly known or unknown to their next of kin, this generation moves forward China’s relatively newborn open and outspoken notion of equality in sexuality. China’s “other”sexuals: From social sinners to soul-seeking saints in the time span of 20-something years. Nevertheless, despite this spectacularly optimistic and colorful picture of the Middle Kingdom’s sexual urban landscape anno 2019, one must remember: This evolution and sexual revolution take place mainly across the nation’s largest first-tier cities. More specifically, mainly across their all-embracing and exclusive niches of fashion, art and design. There is still much work to be done. Tread gently.

LYAN. Design by Li Yiyang, 2020. All rights reserved



PROVOCATIVE BEHAVIORISMS — MADE IN CHINA We’re talking hunks, twinks, twunks — and fashion. Better break out that Urban Dictionary. The LGBT community culture is a huge part of fashion culture and, what’s more important slash relevant, it’s where Li’s core passion is at. “I love queer culture and its full-on expressionism, and my designs at times do take a very queer angle,” Li explains, “Take for example the male lingerie line I designed a while back. It would be nice to do some kind of photoshoot starring not just male models, but Chinese hunks, twinks, twunks, drag queens, the works. Not cliché, but cheeky.”

Mixing up the craft of clothing design and that of the visual kind leaves much room for interpretation to come to artistic fruition. Build an installation, put it on a model. Take the model, put them on a runway. Put on a show, a performance.

There are no borders when it comes to fashion. Li’s professional turn-ons are all about the meeting halfway of art and academics: “I am no Mr. Know-It-All. I should have (and should still) read more books; I’m not that kind of art guy whose work is solely based on theories and you have to buy the manual to guide you through his collection. Let alone understand its core concept. I just want to create art that society can relate to through a shared personal experience. The most important thing is for this new art to usher the public into a next social phase. Getting society to listen more, be more understanding and accepting. Let the public be ready for our community. The New Made In China.” The crossroads where fashion meets art can introduce the world to China’s modern LGBT scene, presenting both the good and the bad, the hopes and the struggles. Maturity in motion. To wrap this up in sheer queer beauty, from 1931 London all the way to 2020 China, who else should we turn to but Mr. Crisp himself: “The young always have the same problem — how to rebel and conform at the same time. They have now solved this by defying their parents and copying one another.” End quote. Begin era.

by Elsbeth Van Paridon


LYAN. Design by Li Yiyang, 2020. All rights reserved


MALE BEAUTY BLEMISHES NO MORE: HOW CHINA IS LOOSENING THE RIGID REIGNS OF GENDER Though male makeup actually plays a significant part in China’s long history, today’s digital society has seen a surge of male beauty bloggers promoting and creating a market demand for cosmetics through their online tutorials and reviews. From brush to rush, it’s free reign for all!

As the rigid gender reigns seem to be loosening in China, male makeup is seemingly no longer a taboo. Jumping onto Taobao to order your monthly fix of BB cream or eyebrow pencil is now a regular occurrence for this millennial Chinese generation. No slap in the face — get it? get it?! — to follow anymore. Part of Temper Magazine’s upcoming “The Redressed Revolutionary Issue,” tackling all that is artisanal and sustainable in China’s current fashion and urban affairs, it is hereby high time to take it back to where it all began.

A BRIEF HISTORY OF MALE MAKEUP IN CHINA The debate has been heating up lately surrounding the trendy and flawless-looking men plastered across the advertising boards of China — who are now also walking the streets. However, a country with a long history and years’ worth of literature can provide us some insight into contemporary China and the popularization of male beauty. All those years ago, the Han Dynasty (206 B.C. – 220 A.D.) saw the first use of white face powder to lighten the skin, as it became popular amongst men… It

14Image comes courtesy of Modern Weekly China, October 2017. All rights reserved Photographer: Liu Song, Hair Styling: Minghu Zhang, MUA: Clive.x

seems it has always been important to correct one’s complexion. The white skin fascination is very much still prevalent in the East as it was all those years ago. During the Ming and Qing dynasties (13681911), the most beautiful version of a man was a delicate, gentle and kind mannered one. In Chinese literature masterpiece “The Dream of Red Chamber” (written towards the end of Qing Dynasty), the lead male character’s eyebrows are described as being the “shape of fine willow leaves” and he always has blushed cheeks. Also, let us not forget the national treasure, the Beijing opera (京剧 or jīngjù in Chinese), which sees men in full faces of carefully designed makeup, each color, and stroke bearing a deeper meaning. It seems that as a male looking after your skin, taking care in and enhancing your appearance has always been completely “normal.”

MOTHER NATURE’S VERY OWN In modern society, our makeup is produced and perfectly formulated in a chemistry lab. Today, the Chinese market runs far and wide in terms of products for every skin tone, texture, and formulae. One thing is for sure, in ancient China they couldn’t find pre-made


cosmetics, of course, it came from the soil, aka Mother Nature Herself. In an age of no beauty bloggers or fashion KOLs to aspire to, Chinese people had to use their own terrain to enhance their looks.

As early as 3000 B.C., Chinese beauty aficionados| and -as began to stain their fingernails with natural sources such as beeswax and egg white, each nail color indicating their status in society.

flowers and applied to the cheek. Similarly, grinding rice finely and applying it to one’s face acted as a skin-whitening powder or skin foundation. In today’s online, digital age, it’s becoming ever more popular for male beauty bloggers to share their skills online. Whether that be in the form of follow-along tutorials, sponsored reviews or blogging.


In the Shang Dynasty (1600-1046 B.C, give or take) rouge, or blusher as we know it now, was to be made from the liquid of bright

We turn to Daxue Consulting for the hard data as the agency in July 2019 reported, “One report released in June of 2018 by Vipshop. com (唯品会) and (京东) showed that the Chinese skincare market has reached ten billion RMB. It is estimated that the total value in male skincare will reach RMB15.4 billion. The data collected on found that 96% of males purchased cosmetics.

“The sales volume of skincare product purchased by men almost doubles every year. In the male cosmetics era, facial masks ranked first. BB creams, lips and eyebrow pencil also became the primary choice for most men.” Daxue Consulting

The male skincare market size in China expanded at a fast peace and experienced a substantial increase. It can be found that the market experienced explosive stage and now would enter into the maturity stage. At present, men’s products are divided according to the sales scale. The first group is L’Oreal (欧莱雅), Nivea (妮 维雅) and Mentholatum (曼秀雷敦), with a scale of more than 500 million. The second group army includes Goff (高夫), Biotherm (碧欧泉), Garnier (卡尼尔) and Olay Men (欧莱雅男士).


All All evidence evidence points points to to a a new new era era of of Chinese Chinese male male beauty beauty and and a a redefinition redefinition of of male male beauty beauty standards. standards. Nevertheless Nevertheless, , skin skin whitening, whitening, rouging rouging and and bronzing bronzing has has been been p part art of of Chinese Chinese history history for for a a long long while while. .

Whether Whether it’ it’s s today today or or thousands thousands of of years years ago ago, , male male makeup makeup continues continues to to have have its its place place

in in the the Middle Middle Kingdom Kingdom and and its its recent recent surge surge in in popularity popularity is is helping helping stiff stiff gender gender attitudes attitudes shift shift. .

Take Chinese-born Lan Haoyi (known as Lan Pu Lan online) as a successful example, he is just one of the hundreds of male bloggers blurring the lines between entertainment and advertising. With 1.4 million followers, foreign beauty brands like Aesop are sponsoring for him to use and promote their products in his tutorials, shot at home in his Beijing bed-sit. Despite the often-nasty comments from those

behind the keyboard, the increased online representation means makeup is no longer a “feminine” or even “masculine” thing, it simply just a tool. For everyone to access. The flawless skin and softly spoken voices of China youth boybands like The TF Boys have perhaps paved the way online vloggers to take male beauty to the next online platform. What’s more, this isn’t just a China trend, K-Pop groups like BTS have popularized male beauty across Asia. Similarly, in Japan, a genderless, androgynous style is popular amongst men, including nail polish and colored contact lenses.

Social media, allowing that exposure to worldwide grooming styles, has helped to break down barriers between male and female beauty. It isn’t just as linear anymore.

Economic growth and personal success for the urban Chinese male seem to be equating to a more elaborate skincare routine. Market demand is prompting international brands like Tom Ford and L’Oréal to create male-specific beauty products. This new culture is all about self-expression. But comes from humble beginnings.

by Emily Aspinall

And And gain gain free free reign. reign.


Image comes courtesy of Modern Weekly China, October 2017. All rights reserved Photographer: Liu Song, Hair Styling: Minghu Zhang, MUA: Clive.x


Design by RONG XIAO (IG@WRONGXIAO) the wrong hotel collection. Photography by LU “LUNA” WEIJIA, 2020. All rights reserved.



MODELING RACIAL FLUIDITY IN CHINA: THAT PAN-GLOBAL STOMP? Chinese big buck beauty standards today are notoriously known to include a desire for big eyes with double eyelids, that bar all sunlight skin tone, a sharp chin, and one Slim Jim silhouette — movie star Fan Bingbing (范冰冰 in Chinese) embodies this entire beauty box. The R-Rated question remains… How can one society go from cash-flow to cultural fluidity? Interestingly, some of the first Chinese pioneers in the international fashion industry did not possess the “double eyelids, big, round eyes” features. Liu Wen (刘雯 in Chinese) was once named “China’s first bona fide supermodel” by the New York Times. Tall and slender, she certainly is, but rather than doll eyes, Liu features your “typical” almond-shaped Asian peepers — and stands out from the modeling crowd. Liu is the haute couture, the cat’s meow and runway pow of models. Then we have Dilraba Dilmurat (迪丽热巴), a Chinese model and actress of Uyghur ethnicity, currently the most sought-after ethnic group in China’s fashion and entertainment industries, who in 2019 has received the “honor” of being China’s “No.1 Wanna-Have Face.” The above beckons to wonder and ponder… How fluid are the Middle Kingdom’s beauty and modeling standards?

BODACIOUS, CURVACEOUS AND VORACIOUS First things first. Not all the aforementioned Fan features have always been considered the epitome of beauty. Think of the infamous practice of foot binding – which has fortunately


(well, for 99.9 percent) disappeared today. Other beauty standards have faded with the centuries. Traditional Chinese clothing designer Ao Luojia (敖珞珈 in Chinese) back in early 2018 caused an online sensation with her photoshoot portraying women in the Tang Dynasty (唐朝| 618-907) era. The photos showcase the typical beauty ideals of that age, which appear to be rather different from those upheld by the nation today – or should we simply say “on the opposite of Fan”. Back then, women were considered beautiful when they could boast a curvaceous bodacious figure. I.e. a portrait of wealth. During the Song (宋朝| 960-1279) and Ming (明朝| 1368-1644) Dynasties, the days of the dramatic curves were long gone and beauty attitudes changed towards the androgynous model. Straight and slender body shapes covered by simple, yet colorful, clothing became the cat’s pajamas. Under Qing rulership (清朝| 1644-1912), the modest fashions of previous decades expanded into to an overall lifestyle commanding women to be silent and obedient. Until the 1950s and 60s, when Mao Zedong’s idea of a New China came packing unisex vibes, the 21st Century facial standards of wide eyes with double eyelids and a V-shaped chin were hard to come by. Nevertheless… Common denominator? A light-skinned complexion. Influencer Scarlett Hao (@scarletthao_) speaks up for that curvy Asian women active within the fashion industry. Hao is the first curvy Chinese influencer and promotes a body-positive attitude to women around the globe. Photography by @jchchechenchenchen. Image via scarlett Hao (@scarletthao_).


Creamy white skin is an old Chinese tradition. The history of appreciating fair skin dates back to the Han Dynasty (汉朝 | 206 B.C.220 A.D.). Just like a well-rounded figure indicated wealth back in the days of Tang, a light skin tone, too, implied the social class. The most common occupation of the lower classes included working the land, turning the skin darker as a result of sunray-laden labor. Pale skin became the telltale sign that the woman in question had nothing to do with physical toil, thus hailing from a higher social level.

MY FAIR LADIES The fair skin phenomenon dates back to the day of China’s “Four Great Beauties” (四大美 女| sìdàměinǚ in Chinese). Even the legendary beauties from their time boasted the lighter facial palettes – think Xi Shi during the Spring and Autumn Period, Wang Zhaojun of the Western Han Dynasty, Diaochan in the Late Eastern Han times and Three Kingdoms Period and Yang Guifei of the Tang Dynasty. And yes, we’re sparing you the Chinese for all of these. Even the recent term “báifùmĕi” (白富美 in Chinese), literally meaning “white, rich, beauty”, shows us just how very much alive this cultural notion slash tradition remains to this day. Beauty model Dilraba Dilmurat (‫تارۇملىد ابەرلىد‬‎ in Uyghur) in 2019 has the honor of being China’s “No.1 Wanna-Have Face”. To be more precise, the majority of Chinese women pointed towards her in a poll seeking out the most desired face Chinese twentysomething women would want to obtain -- with a little help from plastic surgery, that is. Dilmurat is a Chinese actress of Uyghur ethnicity, currently

Influencer Scarlett Hao (@scarletthao_) speaks up for that curvy Asian women active within the fashion industry. Hao is the first curvy Chinese influencer and promotes a body-positive attitude to women around the globe. Photography by @jchchechenchenchen. Image 22 via scarlett Hao (@scarletthao_).

the most sought-after ethnic group in China’s fashion and entertainment industries. Dilmurat’s fellow Uyghur actress Gülnezer Bextiyar (‫ رايىتخەب رەزەنلۈگ‬in Uyghur), too, frequently receives much “acclaim” for her snowy white appearance. Many videos across Sina Weibo, Youku, Tudou and even YouTube livestreaming channels show Chinese judging or contest and beauty panels referring to her as “Xinjiang’s Venus,” “Barbie Doll” and “Snow White”, obviously and strongly emphasizing her “gorgeous white complexion.” They ask her if her light-colored skin is genetic, they compare her skin color with the skin tones of your “average” Jane Wang”, and so the list goes on. Bextiyar in these interviews often does mention how her older sister, who is relatively darker-skinned, felt the pressures of society as a little girl when compared to her younger sibling because of her “not as light” complexion and used to ask her parents why she wasn’t born lighter-skinned. In one 2017 interview, Gülnezer herself, too, has confessed to almost caving into the burdens of beauty and considering rhinoplasty in order to get a more “standard” face. Beauty may physically speaking only be skin deep, but its social standards can cause far deeper mental scars.

The recent beauty criteria started to change from the 1970s onwards, when the Middle Kingdom opened up its doors to the rest of the world. The most recent changes in Chinese beauty standards are often explained through the rise of Chinese consumerism.


The recent beauty criteria started to change from the 1970s onwards, when the Middle Kingdom opened up its doors to the rest of the world. The most recent changes in Chinese beauty standards are often explained through the rise of Chinese consumerism.

RUNNING WITH ECONOMIC MODELS Professor Jaehee Jung (University of Delaware), wrote in Science Daily that the Chinese beauty image is “not just signaling the Westernization of culture, but also the changing of gender roles and increased consumerism in the Chinese economy, which is growing so fast.” The professor points out that the drastically changed beauty criteria in contemporary China seem to be “unrealistic and remarkably similar to Western standards.” Max Liu, CEO of Beijing-based modeling agency Fun Models, also refers to the current Chinese beauty standards having their roots in the newly blossoming Chinese consumerism back in the 1990s. In one NPR interview, Liu explained that “up and coming Chinese domestic fashion brands, joint by the rise of Chinese purchasing power, started searching for a new image. One more friendly than the Caucasian models, yet more exotic than ‘real locals’. The industry therefore ended up employing the Uyghurs, a Turkic ethnic group featuring a half-Asian, half-European appearance, not to mention that they are Mandarin-speaking, Chinese nationalities”. The new wave of Chinese middle-classers, aka “Generation 2”, embraces yuppies born during China’s economic reform and opening up. This segment of the population covered 15 percent of urban consumption back in 2012, and is

expected to increase its spending up to 35 percent in 2022. Question remains… How does this new culture of spending propel a new culture of beauty?

The number of Uyghur models starring in China homegrown beauty campaigns is now increasing by an annual 10 percent.

THE PAN-ASIAN CATWALK GOES TRENDING Preceding the recent Uyghur “hype”, Generation 2 had already been expressing their preference for Eurasian, and Pan-Asian, beauty. Time to break down the barriers of one concept… Angelababy (Angela Yeung Wing or 杨 颖 in Chinese), the Chinese actress often described as a beauty icon, is one quarter German -- explains her more “interesting” characteristics. Tajik Minority policewoman Dilireba Yahefu (迪丽热巴·牙合甫) in 2014 went viral, not because of her professional occupation in the realm of law enforcement, but because of her “exotic” Han Chinese – Tajik, a Xinjiang Province minority which has its roots in Iranian culture, appearance. Interestingly, some of the first Chinese pioneers in the international fashion industry

did not possess the “double eyelids, big, round eyes” features. Liu Wen (刘雯 in Chinese), the first Chinese model to appear on the cover of American Vogue and the first Asian model to appear in Victoria’s Secret and Estée Lauder campaigns, was named “China’s first bona fide super model” by the New York Times. Tall and slender, she certainly is, but rather than doll eyes, Liu features your “typical” almondshaped Asian peepers -- and stands out from the modeling crowd. Liu is the haute couture, the cat’s meow and runway pow of models. When push comes to shove, all beauty standards and ideals aside, in a once-and-still-whitedominated fashion world, Asian models are to this day habitually regarded as a token of diversity and multicolored-ness. However, the increasing global demand for Asian and Chinese models in particular also announces the second coming of Greater China, a state that will for the first time in centuries “overtake the U.S. as the world’s largest fashion market,” according to McKinsey’s State of Fashion 2019. China is ready to get its Pan-Global stomp on.

The driving forces behind racial fluidity within China Fashion are the combined results of one Kingdom’s traditional beauty standards, the rise of consumerism and the new national power that is Generation 2. It’s the tale of how, once upon a 21st Century time, cash goes with the cultural flow.

Influencer Scarlett Hao (@scarletthao_) speaks up for that curvy Asian women active within the fashion industry. Hao is the first curvy Chinese influencer and promotes a body-positive attitude to women around the globe. Photography by @jchchechenchenchen. Image via scarlett Hao (@scarletthao_).

by Minyoung Lee 24

Image courtesy of MARRKNULL STUDIO, SS19. IG@marknull_studio


Q T The R, From Tùzi (兔子) To Tù (吐): Eating Disorders In Online China Q or Cute, that is. The word is universal. It’s a harmless, sweet word; until it’s not. Unfortunately eating disorders are also universal. Yet they are anything other than cute. From Sina Weibo “thin” support groups to vomit tubes sold on Taobao, it’s an R-Rated viral disease on the rise.

Hence, why it is called the beauty sickness. It was even recorded, from an interview with BBC that doctors are telling women patients that too much muscle is destined to make them undesirable; if it is being prescribed by a medical professional, it must be true. Right?

They are desperate, and hurtful. Ironically but literally, they eat their victims alive. In the West, it comes in many forms, the two most well-known are Anorexia and Bulimia. Over in the Middle Kingdom, eating disorders are to this day referred to as the “beauty sickness”; anorexia (厌食症| yànshízhèng in Chinese) being translated as the “hate to eat disorder.” This is a fairly inaccurate translation, because most women or men who suffer from this kind of disorder do not hate eating food. In fact, they love it. The struggle is loving food but being afraid to eat it for fear of weighing more than what is socially acceptable in order to be viewed as beautiful.


Q To The R Being cute in China is what it’s all about, it’s how many Chinese women prefer to be portrayed. Cute is often considered the equivalent of sexy. Not only is it because most Chinese women look younger than their biological age, but there is also an undercurrent of male-female social roles that draw from the traditional form of the passive female and dominant male. Despite the rising successes of women today, dressing and acting soft, feminine, and cute, in a way, intends to stroke the male ego. Just as fashion is a conduit for sexual-politics, unfortunately so is weight. As the old academic wisdom goes… With economic growth, often comes a rise in eating disorders; people are more sedentary, but indulge in more food, and therefore gain weight. Usually this reflects an economically successful country, but for those women torn between a skinny, cute-centric society and food oriented socializing, it’s anything but a recipe for success.

Antwerp Collage artist LEBASILLE brings the re-cycled, re-printed, re-purposed booty, 2020. All rights reserved.


From Tùzi (兔子) To Tù (吐)

struggling women.

As a result, online communities have developed to serve as a support group to women who love eating but want to remain thin. Those who participate in these online groups are named “Rabbits”, in Chinese, 兔子 (tùzi). The name was derived based on its similar pronunciation to the word for “to vomit” in Chinese, 吐 (tù). Rabbits are also cute, of course.

In China, having a bad relationship with food and dealing with an eating disorder is still very much a taboo topic. It is not only a stereotype that Asian women are naturally thin, (despite the readily available drool worthy and unhealthy options), but in China, mental health is a stigmatized discussion. Any mental health issue is almost always referenced to as a physical ailment. Many women who are suffering from eating disorders will often describe their ailments as having a headache or stomach ache as a way to divert the conversation.

This tug of war in China is snuggly related to the culture, because it is a “no food left behind” mentality. On the contrary, media encourages women to be haphazardly thin, setting an unachievable beauty standard. So the question often remains, is it more important to respect the culture, or to be beautiful and admired by others? The answer? Both.

Design by Cui Hanyu (崔翰宇), the 24/ Day Dreamer’s Day Dream Collection — Modeled by Jen Liu. Photography by Lu “Luna” Weijia , 2020. All rights reserved


Livestreaming in China has turned into one of the popularized forms of entertainment. One of the larger channels is hosted by The Big Stomach King Floggers, a group of women who post content on social media of them eating a sh*t ton of food, challenging themselves to excessively overeat, with an implied vomit session post meal. They have over 7 million followers on Sina Weibo (China’s Twitteresque platform) and have quite a significant impact on these online communities of

Dramatically enough, vomit tubes are being sold on Taobao. That is just how woven eating disorders are into the fabric of modern Chinese society.

Within the aforementioned online communities, women exchange ideas and methodologies for vomiting after food consumption to become the ultimate, well rounded woman they were born to be. A woman who can eat and be skinny and cute? That’s the dream.

by Jessica Laiter




What? The brand models itself after news outlets, researching and reflecting upon what is overlooked in and by society. Presenting their findings and insights trough physical catwalks and digital events, onlookers raise a question mark and one eyebrow alike. Private Policy focuses on reinventing downtown streetwear. From the designers’ POV, they “see many young people with a rebellious heart, but it is hard to find anything matching their free spirit. Their needs are what we want to fashionably fulfill. Living in Downtown New York, we love observing people walking in Lower East Side, SoHo and Chinatown”.

The Temper Fact Checker: Private Policy Pushes All Your Buttons Personal needs present personal style. It’s a matter of personal policy. After all, who’d want everything you wear to look like it’s bearing a grudge? Labeled “Private Policy”: Check!

The downtown vibe is palpable with every single Private Policy stitch. Clothes for people who heart fashion and mind the world.

When? Li and Qu graduated from Parsons’ New School in 2015 and right after set up their own collaborative brand. The duo has been a fixture on the New York Fashion Week (NYFW) stage since 2017. On March 29, 2020, the brand enters Shanghai Cloud Fashion Week AW20 as part of the lush Labelhood Live lineup.

Where? EUROPE STOCKISTS: Selfridges London, United Kingdom; Printemps Paris, France. CHINA STOCKISTS: Labelhood Shanghai, China; LMDS Shanghai, China; Magmode Beijing, China; WOD Guangzhou, China; Chichic, Chengdu, China; Duier, Chengdu, China; Magmode Chengdu, China.


JAPAN STOCKISTS: Opening Ceremony Tokyo; Koh’s Lick Curro Tokyo.

Established in 2015, New York-based Chinese designer team Haoran Li and Siying Qu presents cutting edge genderless clothing. In their own brand storytale words: “We are not trying to make fancy sh*t for people, we rather make cool stuff for the young kids today. And this is how we came up with the idea of making the brand Private Policy. This idea brought us together when we were in school. We both would loathe to whip up another ‘just-pretty’ garment.” High-quality fabrics meet classical shapes, pushing all the visual and tactile buttons; all about the individual pursuit of fashionable freedom.

Why? The brand has a tendency to pack every season’s presentation with one strong socio-politico statement. Throughout the years, they have used NYFW to spotlight the South Asian fishing industry (SS17), support LGBTQ rights, break the Asian stereotypes (SS19); just to name a few. Their SS20 “COMM-UNITY” collection was inspired by the 1969 Stonewall Riots, sparked by its prominent figure Marsha Johnson’s, gay liberation activist and self-identified drag queen, “queerness” and skin color. Private Policy this time around through fashion spearheads political tensions, differences, and unsolved institutionalized oppression leading to global outbreaks of violence (think France’s “Yellow Vests”). The resulting collection consisted of militant and activist-friendly design details merged with durable outdoor fabrics and a soft color palette, including cherry blossom pinks, witch-haze mellow yellow, and crisp park greens. The message? You don’t need to be (or dress like) a soldier to stand up for your rights. You make your own rules. Your own Private Policy.

IG@privatepolicyny Image 30 courtesy of Private Policy NY


Rocking Character, Quirk, and Chinese Whispers: Fun Facts With Kiki Zhu Zhu’s style functions as a vehement vehicle that uses design and art to infuse a dose of fun and joy into a scenery of chaos. From golden pearls, 1980s style and acrylic to qipao buttons… Behold, it’s the depeche mode on Zhu.

Nailing a look sometimes requires a little help from your own personal style Jesus — i.e. a canonical accessory in jewelry. We’re not saying one must yield to the literally tough as nails punk powers that be/once were, but achieving a fine balance desires one to steer clear of the traditional and add some radical rock abnormality to your dressing discipline. To break bland style silence, one must reach out and touch accessorizing base. We’re talking the new #NORMAL rock and roll jewelry. Zhu’s design mosaic of opposing sober black ‘n white elegance and loud characteristic quirkiness — one for us to know and for you to find out! — trots out a genderless rock soul with an oversized edge. Like Dave Gahan in his glasses noir and golden boots, one must always over-do things a little. To prove the #Normal hype isn’t all hearsay (听说 | tīngshuō in Chinese)… Temper hits up Zhu in Shanghai and discusses standing out, shì (事 “things”) happenings and exaggerating.









I felt like I simply had no choice but to learn more about it; I had no choice but to learn how to draw them. And I am still learning.

I always loved arts and crafts; I was always putting something together. Doll dresses, for example. There was this 1997 Chinese movie called “Lawyer, Lawyer” (算死草 in Chinese) in which the protagonist sends his wife off to France to study law. Instead, she opts to learn about fashion and design. I thought it looked like fun and so I became a fashion designer. Tadaaah! TEMPER MAGAZINE


school — I mean, who doesn’t like beautiful things?! Whether it concerns the smell of mom’s cooking, the shape of the dress she’s wearing, the sound of tree leaves waving in the wind… It’s art all around.

Simply because it always proved a difficult feat to find accessories I really liked, I set out to create my own. In that fashion, #Normal came to life.

Image courtesy of Kiki Zhu -NORMAL


AMBIANCE AND INSPIRATION Zhu: The ambiance and the people surrounding me are my inspiration. There are just so many creative people and outside-the-box designers trotting the globe — just think Maison Martin Margiela, among others. Margiela’s work is very experimental, simple and delicate.

I also very much like artist and innovator Roosegaarde who in 2014 to create diamonds from air.

Dutch Daan managed polluted

The first time I saw actual single Roman letters used as jewelry was probably on “Sex


Zhu word to the wise. When

accessorizing, go simple. If you’re decked out in prints or patterns, just add one simple ring or one pair of earrings or punk studs. On the opposite end of the dress code spectrum, if you wear a uni-color outfit, bear a big earring in order to stand out. We feel you.

and the City” — yes, I’m referring to Carrie’s eponymous necklace. Nonetheless, when I started looking for the Chinese character version of this concept, it was nowhere to be found. I out there. The Chinese [written] language has such solid rich culture behind it, I had no choice but to “go there”. Furthermore, as in Chinese culture we don’t really show emotion, the first Chinese characters I did were the “喜怒哀乐” [xǐnùāilè | happy, angry, sad and laughing], helping people to display their mood of the day.

STRINGING TOGETHER PAST AND PRESENT In creating my pieces, I observe, feel and then sketch — before getting to the process of actual creation. I do indeed apply a number of traditional Chinese techniques, such as using a qipao button (盘扣 |qípáokòu in Chinese) to craft a modern earring.

It’s all different; men, women, children…. Inspiration is omnipresent. And so is the clientele. Anyone can be the wearer of the jewelry I design. I do sometimes make more special pieces for special friends — #wink.

FUTURE FASHIONABLE CONTRIBUTIONS Zhu: Things are changing every day and I’ll go with the jewelry angle to answer this question. China boasts a long history for the love of jewelry; the majority of people to this day do still favor pearls, smaller gold and jade artifacts….But change is a coming! Young people are starting to crave that feel of standing out from the crowd which makes for a very exciting designer environment and source of inspiration; anything goes! Gold is still rather more of a Western thing and it was only around the time of the Industrial Revolutions that the jewelry scene started incorporating an increased level of metals. I personally love the 1980s [we hear that!]. This was the time that China started to open its mind and accessory design started to employ different materials such as acrylic; all in super-exaggerated fashion! I actually once made an acrylic disco ball. Wonder where that one went…

development [achievement, even] in itself. The new legion of post-80 and post-90 Chinese photographers, artists and designers reflect a shift in China’s cultural Zeitgeist. They play a very important role in Chinese art, music and fashion. They had nothing to work with, but that gap (or emptiness) — left by the Cultural Revolution [1966-1976] — I mentioned earlier on. Even their parents won’t discuss those days of the harsh past. I myself remember the news reports of mothers handing out flowers to the new high school graduates — a token of pride because they themselves often had never had the chance to complete any form of education. China’s post-80 and post-90 generation [80后 and 90后 in Chinese], being the only children we are, have been granted much freedom to learn and to express the self. We have become the bridge connecting old and new, East and West.

Image courtesy of Kiki Zhu -NORMAL

CHINA’S REVOLUTION IN MOTION Zhu: Because China is still in full developmental swing, things are happening. Changes occur every day, but the young often need to guide the “old”. During my mom’s time, people often had no food, no (higher) education, no “fashion”… Unlike the West, China displays some major gaps throughout its 20th Century past. Standing out is a difficult thing for us to do, but at the very least we’re trying! And that’s one wonder-full

by Elsbeth Van Paridon 34

Image courtesy of Kiki Zhu -NORMAL


AWÜ STUDIO: ABOUT RAW FROSTING, SHANGHAI, AND SILVER LININGS Accessories“dot the eyes” in fashion styling. Come again? Ye olde idiom huà lóng diǎn jīng (画龙点睛) means to “dot the eyes of the painted dragon”, the Chinese “icing on the cake”, so to speak. Enter: AWÜ Studio.

For the sake of adhering to Temper Magazine’s visually thrillingly enthralling prowess, we say (silver,) not diamonds) are a girl’s best friend. Even if you are allergic to the metal. Taipei, Montreal, Buenos Aires and downtow Shanghai aside from all three reigning as sizzling international globetrotter favorites nerve centers can boast one more asset: Jewelry designer Angie Wu. This Canadian artist had taken on Fine Arts and Industrial Design in Montreal and worked in the creative industry for 15 years when in 2014, she founded her contemporary jewelry brand AWÜ Studio.

Angie Wu frosts her clientele with a Vernian journey around the world; one to stretch well beyond the 80-day limit.

Angie Wu frosts her clientele with a Vernian journey around the world; one to stretch well beyond the 80-day limit. The various AWÜ collections consist of unique jewelry pieces showing off their versatility in design from the urbane limited edition

36 AWÜ Studio Fold Ring Lifestyle Design

pieces to the unique made-to-measure artisan artworks. Wu throughout her wide-ranging work shares with wearers and audiences alike her personal penchant for striking profiles, elegant design and refreshing material combinations. Altogether, these pieces present us with a unique ID-tag that soaks up the poetic and exotic Asian, devours the passionate and playful Latin, snuggles up with some French refinery and romance and commands the British stiff upper lip discipline. Wu frosts -- some chickflick lingo to boot, alright -- her clientele with a Vernian journey around the world; one to stretch well beyond the 80-day limit. À la main design with a little cosmopolitan crème. Temper presents without further ado: Wu — in her own words, instead of this gal’s usual sentence sauntering. VAN PARIDON: WHAT DOES LIVING IN SHANGHAI BRING TO YOUR BRAND’S CREATIONS? Wu: “Shanghai is a super contemporary and international city where anything is possible. It’s here where I could set up a studio and showcase my work to a vast variety of customers


from different background. My clientele are composed of some 60 percent local mainlanders and 40 percent expats from around the world.”

have long lasting value, so that my jewelry is timeless both in design and durability. My work goes beyond the cultural differences with an esthetic that appeals to women from different backgrounds and nationalities.

The goal of my work is to achieve the ideal combination of form, material and technique in each piece while interpreting the strong concept attached to it.

My collections wed the classical with the experimental. Beautiful design, quality workmanship and durability lie at the heart of my pieces. By working geometrical profiles into the desired shapes, I create thematic metaphors. Patterns and elegantly curved lines also rank among my favorite motifs.

VAN PARIDON: DO YOU FAVOR CERTAIN (SUSTAINABLE) MATERIALS — AS FAR AS THAT IS POSSIBLE IN JEWELRY DESIGN? Wu: “I love all raw materials in their purest form. They are a promise to infinite possibilities and they are so beautiful. In jewelry design, one can use recycled silver and gold, both from a social and an environmental standpoint. Gold and silver mines often harbor terrible working conditions, particularly in third- world countries, as well as causing erosion, waste, and landscape destruction. Un-mined silver and gold are reclaimed from old jewelry, computer parts, and electrical contacts and then recycled into new jewelry.” VAN PARIDON: STYLE — AND I QUOTE: “SOME RESPOND TO MY MEMORIES; SOME ARE SHAPES THAT I AM IRRESISTIBLY ATTRACTED TO AND SOME ARE UNKNOWN FIELDS I AM CURIOUS TO EXPLORE AND EXPERIMENT”. Wu: “The jewelry I design is elegant, simple, sculptural, timeless, unique and very wearable. I select high quality materials that


My work does not begin life as a drawing, but is usually the result of an experimental development process. Quite often, it all starts with me playing with a particular concept or technique, eager to discover their boundaries. The goal of my work is to achieve the ideal combination of form, material and technique in each piece while interpreting the strong concept attached to it.”

One must always bear in mind that whilst the right piece can dot the outfit I’s, overkill will hurt the eyes.

As a finishing touch, Temper encourages all to put on that thinking top hat and leaves you with the following to ponder: “Trendy is the last stage before tacky,” Der Karl.

by Elsbeth Van Paridon

Image courtesy of AWÜ Studio. All rights reserved.




What? Sun brings an interesting take to menswear by firmly linking the pillars of architecture through innovative materials and marvelous aesthetic codes — hard to not gaze at. Architecture and clothing in the art of Sunzi both exist to meet the human need for space and security. Sun combines his technical knowledge with his artistic sensibility, weaving together a wholly slash holy new framework for fashion. Aside from sensibility, sustainability, too, certainly seems to be a key component to Cornerstone’s blueprint, with deconstruction and upcycling traceable throughout its collections.

The Temper Fact Checker: Cornerstone by Sun Yun Temper presents five facts on this fashion bone tickling brand. Labeled “CORNERSTONE by Sun Yun”:

Stepping up to the stage of fashion, then, Sun’s first-ever brand collection presentation took place during Shanghai Fashion Week in April 2017.


It is now full steam ahead for the three-year-old menswear brand, with the captain of the ship working towards setting up (physical) shop inside an independent retail space in the heart of London. ASAP.

Cornerstone is a Hangzhou-based menswear brand aesthetically brick layered from its 2017 foundations by Sun Yun. Challenging the notion that’s perceived and expected with age, designer Sun has proven otherwise in the menswear game mostly dominated by young players in China — often his juniors by some two decades. This designer’s story proves to a testament to breaking boundaries as he is, in fact, a trained and acclaimed interior designer and architect. And pastor. This Chinese creator has also been a priest — Ps, explained — for the last ten years of his rather “unusual” career. Unwaveringly boss, Temper says. Sunzi: The Art of Wardrobe. #wearecheesy #andweknowit by Daniel


IG@cornerstonebysunyun 40

The renowned architect is no stranger to stepping up his overall design game as he has over the years worked on successful building projects commissioned by big corporate giants, including Alibaba and Yahoo!.


“The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone.” (Ps118:22)

Image courtesy of Cornerstone by Sun Yun, AW17


Where? Going into its second time showcasing at Labelhood this AW20 season, Cornerstone undeniably has that Temper savoir-faire that just keeps drawing edgy brick and mortar and e-tailers alike from the Middle Kingdom and abroad. With notable stockists ranging from IT, MagMode and coveted Californian based avant-garde multilabel retailer H Lorenzo, all recognizing the predominance of embedding a Cornerstone to their structure. #getit #getit #?!

Why? The core brand idea here is to use the old to create the new (“Rebirth”) and shaping new garments by utilizing antique Chinese designs and fabrics. Sun’s collections have in the past also not shied away from experimentation and criticism, addressing social issues in China. Take, for example, the brand’s AW19 “Jù Yīng” (巨婴 in Chinese aka “giant baby syndrome”) collection. By experimenting with pattern-making inspired by toddlers’ onesies and elderly clothing, the designs hitting the runway during AW19 highlighted cultural infantilism, a phenomenon commonly known in China as, you guessed it, “Jù Yīng” (giant baby syndrome). “Some Chinese citizens and tourists abroad act like infants and it’s part of a normalized identity crisis,” Sun lamented on the topic in one BoF interview. When all is said and done, in an industry driven by the Kool-Aid of hype, Cornerstone is the exception as the brand remains intentional, from its inception onwards, on delivering quality. Worship, we do.


A Return To Tradition. China: Back To The Future China. Land of promise, land of opportunity. It’s the new Hollywood, the new anything you want. It’s a perfect copy it’s a completely unique piece of art, it’s a traditional that’s been practiced for over a millennium. Old and new. New Genuinely Fake. Being in Beijing for a little over four years, researching the local culture, fashion, lifestyles, attitudes, and habits has been an incredible life experience. Seeing skyscrapers being built with a speed I’ve never witnessed before, technology penetrating all layers of life, yet as soon as you turn into a quiet hutong lifestyle there seems as if it hasn’t changed in centuries. Past and present mix in China like nowhere else in the world. Tradition and heritage are of an immense value to the Chinese and their fascination with technology is renown. Progress moves so quickly you can hardly follow as things unravel. Where a year ago there was a deserted spot, is now a bustling city center full of restaurants, shops and nightclubs. Rickshaws ride alongside Maserati, local baozi are sold off wooden wheel carts outside expensive gourmet restaurants. China is a land of contrasts, and this is its most valuable point of attraction.

Nonetheless, as fast as China’s city landscapes are changing, the Chinese fashion and design scene is changing faster still.

FROM UNIFORM TO UNIQUE Since the economic boom Chinese millionaire population has exploded - and so has its ravenous taste for Gucci and Prada. Eager to show off the money it was of the utmost importance that the label was big and screamed “I am wealthy!’ at a passerby. But this has changed too, commonly retrospectively, with an almost nostalgic appreciation for prerevolutionary sartorial freedom. Quite unlike their Russian counterparts, Chinese consumers are increasingly less impressed with gold and bling, and look more for refinement and craftsmanship that echoes their cultural traditions. They yearn for the traditional craftsmanship, and the uniqueness and quality that comes with it. Yet the uniformal way of living, thinking and dressing brought around by the communist regime left a big dent in China’s evolution in the field of fashion. Bringing back the individuality and shaking off their grandparents’ Mao uniforms, the new generation of Chinese designers is defining the future of the industry, and bringing it to the international arena. Young

Antwerp Collage artist LEBASILLE brings the re-cycled, re-printed, 42 re-purposed booty, 2020. All rights reserved.

San Francisco, the new of a designer handbag, skill of paper cutting Really , old and Brand






experimental and risky in their work, feeling their path to the true Chinese fashion identity.

TODAY, TOMORROW, TOYO… LONG TIME AGO Up until 16 years ago China had no designer brand to call its own - that was until Ma Ke (马可 in Chinese), founder of Exception De MixMind, entered the scene with her sustainable fashion philosophy, pioneering the move away from mass-produced fashion and cheap labor. Ma offered an experimental approach to fashion that weaved Chinese culture and Oriental philosophy with modern shapes, which was groundbreaking at the time. These days, more and more designers are committed to bringing a new meaning to “Made in China” - one of individuality, tradition and craftsmanship. This spectacular momentum of Chinese fashion has been in many ways driven by three key domestic figures -- Angelica Cheung, editor of Vogue China, Hung Huang, media mogul and founder of Brand New China, plus retail revolutionary Charles Wang. Shaped by the cultural heritage of The Middle Kingdom, and identified by quests for original concepts, the modern Chinese fashion aesthetic is deeply connected to the nation’s ancient roots, and that has made the evolution of the fashion ecosystem in China superbly unique.

THE UPSIDE DOWN Imagine a brand that can charge thousands of dollars for an item with the tagline “Made


in China.” A brand that restores dignity to Chinese heritage. That is all that Shang Xia aspires to be and more. Mandarin for “Up Down,” the name conveys the paradoxical harmony of polar opposites (like yin and yang, East and West, tradition and modernity) that is so intrinsic in Shang Xia’s core philosophy. At Shang Xia hundreds, sometimes thousands, of hours are poured into designing a single item: A table made from rare rosewood (紫檀木 | zĭtánmù in Chinese), a yak-hair felt coat, a gold-woven tea cup. Many are limited to eight pieces or less worldwide, so it is not a profit-making machine. Shang Xia can afford to be patient, however, being an outpost of the French fashion house Hermès, who reportedly own 75 percent of the company. “China has spent the last 30 years [trying] to conquer the world with its economy,” says Shang Xia’s CEO and artistic director Jiang Qiong’er (蒋琼耳 in Chinese). “Over the next 30 years China has the opportunity to conquer the world with a Chinese cultural renaissance.”

Drawing inspiration from ethnic groups in South East Asia, the brand’s ethos centers on supporting artisanal crafts. Where possible, the brand uses traditional Chinese dyeing, which emplowys vegetable dyes such as red delivered from logwood and brown extracted from tea leaves – a tradition practiced in China for over 3,000 years.

Antwerp Collage artist LEBASILLE brings the re-cycled, re-printed, 45 re-purposed booty, 2020. All rights reserved.

Elusive with press, Zhang Da (张达 in Chinese) has earned a reputation as one of China’s most mysterious designers. Having founded his label Boundless (没边 in Chinese) back in 2005, Zhang is inspired by “Chinese people’s way of thinking”, and tends to work exclusively with understated materials, and non-fashion ‘ordinary’ people in his fashion shows. Instead, Zhang emphasizes the intellectual element of his designs that reflects Chinese sensibility towards clothing. Zhang’s label has been widely featured in Vogue China, Vogue Italia, Vogue France and Elle China.

Speaking to one of the brand’s founders, I asked Urban Tribe what they deemed to be their brand’s biggest achievement to date:

Zhang himself has been recently approached by Hermès’ abovementioned Shang Xia for collaboration. One shall have to wait and see.

Urban Tribe provided them with the materials and covered all production expenses, as well as awarded the creators for the final product. We documented the entire process behind these garment creations, conducting field interviews and filming, made picture albums for charity, and donated all the proceeds to the mother and her daughter teams, helping spread the knowledge and love of traditional needlework. For us, this is what we can do now to help protect the local environment, handing down the knowledge and skill-ship of past generations.”

LOCAL ARTISANS The brand Shanghai Trio welcomes a return to traditional Chinese craftwork, bringing back objects and skills from the old China that have been long lost and forgotten. Committed to improving living standards through sustainable trade, Shanghai Trio work with local Chinese artisans, combining their expertise with such materials as bamboo, linen and organic cotton. The result is a diverse range of bags, scarves and accessories, sustainably and ethically created in China. A boutique, a gallery and a teahouse, Urban Tribe in Shanghai is a unique shopping experience -- but their commitment to natural living is what really sets them apart. Urban Tribe’s minimalist collections, which are presented alongside unique handmade jewelry, use only natural fabrics such as cotton, linen and wool.


“I think the answer is the book published by us called ‘Needlework Interview: with Miao Mother and Daughters’. The book describes a journey of the Urban Tribe team, who visited several Miao Minority (苗族 | miáozú in Chinese) villages in China’s southwestern Guizhou Province, and commissioned local mother-and-daughter teams to co-create a piece of traditional clothing to feature in the book.

Bellerive in Zurich, Museum of Fine Arts in Beijing, Fukuoka Museum of Art in Japan and Hong Kong Museum of Art. She was handpicked by Hugo Boss, who commissioned Lee to create window installations at 16 of its stores across Asia to front its Boss Black Dragon Collection campaign. Lee hand cuts each work on a single sheet of Chinese (rice)paper ( 宣纸| xuānzhǐ in Chinese) mounted on silk, both of which are renewable materials. She compares her work to “drawing with a knife” and sees it as being rooted deep in her study

of Chinese calligraphy and pencil drawing. Far from being a dying craft, the traditional Chinese art of paper cutting today inspires fashion designers all over the world, and brings a touch of China to their collections. Louis Vuitton, Marchesa, Ralph Lauren -- to name but a few -- all borrowed from this ancient technique. by Alina Raetsep

Looking at China from outside in it’s still obvious that Chinese love -and love to imitate -Western fashion and lifestyle, but however tech and worldsavvy the new generations might be, they are always going to be fiercely proud and protective of


their roots and it will shine through

A distinctive visual art of Chinese handicrafts, paper cutting originated in the 6th century. Women used to paste golden and silver foil cuttings onto their hair at the temples, and men used them in sacred rituals. But paper cutting takes on a whole new meaning under the knife of the artist Bovey Lee.

whether it is fashion food or ceramics. And as they walk into tomorrow a part of their being will always belong to the

Born in Hong Kong, Lee has exhibited with an array of art museums and galleries, including Brooklyn Museum of Art in New York, Museum

country’s great past.

Antwerp Collage artist LEBASILLE brings the re-cycled, re-printed, re-purposed booty, 2020. All rights reserved.


Re-Dressed to Kill: Wavering between Luxury and Sustainability What do sustainability and luxury have in common, one might ask? That is the question lingering on tongues tied. Especially when discussing the Middle Kingdom, because when they all collide, the effects are, well, unknown.

Fingers often point at China for its negative impact on the environment due to the amount of industry found across its landscape. This tiny accusation has given rise to talks on how China can better contribute to saving the planet while maintaining the status quo in its consumption and production numbers. Simultaneously, China’s luxury market has excelled and its consumer is one of the most sought after demographics in the world. Ergo, the question often begs… How will the role of sustainable fashion impact the Chinese luxury consumer market?

The irony here is that many people living in China insist on wearing facemasks to protect themselves from the pollution, but will still wear shirts dyed with poisonous chemicals. So many questions beg to answer the illogical thought process behind this backward thinking.



Many companies are making an effort to edit towards a more sustainable model, and the conversation surrounding eco-friendly fashion is definitely rising. However, when it comes to sustainable fashion, consumers are asked to shift their mentality from one of the more selfish needs to those of caring for the wellbeing of others and the environment. When a person makes a decision based on what they eat or drink, it’s easier to make the healthy decision, because said person will directly reap the repercussions.

The challenge and possibly the answer lies in educating people about the sustainability industry, and effectively proving why it is so crucial, and getting them to consider certain facts before making a purchase. It’s also imperative that the companies create a product that fulfills the consumers need for luxury while also saving the earth. The story needs to be told as one, in regards to both education and quality of product. There was a report on Jing Daily in regards to companies that are trying to be sustainable, such as Stella Mccartney. Her brand is renowned for



When it comes to material items, people can not directly relate to the landfills where fashion dies, or see the chemicals creating breathable toxicity. People are a lot less likely to make shopping decisions based on how their decision is going to affect others for years into the foreseeable and unforeseeable future.

Antwerp Collage artist LEBASILLE brings the re-cycled, re-printed, re-purposed booty, 2020. All rights reserved.


It is not just about labeling the brand as sustainable, but also about doing something that really exhibits a visible change in the ethos of the product and brand; a change that makes a difference, not one just for show.

It’s unsure as to whether or not this actually impacts buyer decisions, but it’s a step. Right now, the general consensus is that buyers are buying sustainably to appear sustainable, not in actual belief. This conversation also includes young emerging designers, not just established brands and consumers. Emerging designers in China are low on budget, but trying to make meaningful collections that appeals to a wide audience.

Is sustainability something that should be adopted from the beginning, even if the price point for sustainable goods is too high? Will this work for them or against them since many still refer to vegan leather as unluxurious and undesirable?








Chinese consumers is through interaction and connection. A story that resonates with an individual’s lifestyle and way of thought is crucial to building a sturdy bridge between consumer and brand. As a result, brands may need to start selling through experiences that promote and embrace sustainable practices. Kering, for example, launched a mini-program on Wechat called “EP&L”, standing for “Environment Profit & Loss” which essentially


If people were to (fore)see the ultimate repercussions wasteful fashion has and will have on the planet, there might be a deeper empathy for sustainability and an invested interest in bettering the manufacturing processes. The price for sustainable fashion is, however, going to hike even higher, so the largest challenge here for brands is proving that a product was indeed produced sustainably and that it is also worth the price tag.

This, of course, requires a significant amount of transparency from companies, and a willingness to stand by ethical decision making. So really it’s a joint venture and an oath to the truth, and a desire for the betterment from all parties involved.

Be a foxy fashion lady| gent. Re-dressed to kill.

Case in point, rare should not be the scale of luxury. Luxury should be weighed by the level of TLC the planet receives on a daily basis. Just as brands needed to educate Chinese consumers upon first entering the China market, now too is re-education on sustainable luxury an absolute must.

allows a consumer to see where their buying decision lands on the eco-ethical scale.

Why waver, when you can have the arti cupcake. And urbane-ly eat it, too?

vegan, one pillar of sustainable practice. However, her product is very highly-priced, which is frowned upon by Chinese consumers, for being so expensive while her materials are not considered rare.

All companies are searching for a profit, and sustainable fashion feels like the long road

to get there. If there is such a genuine understanding and demand from the consumer for this type of business practice, then the transparency and higher prices shouldn’t be too much of a commitment. by Jessica Laiter

Antwerp Collage artist LEBASILLE brings the re-cycled, re-printed, re-purposed booty, 2020. All rights reserved.





China’s Plastics Fantastics: Recycled Style, Freshly Bottled Here’s one for the hardcore Temper courters! We are entering a new era. Not the one where we spend our days pajama-clad and house-bound, no. The one where we all get très, très trashique wearing recycled plastics. RPET. Repreve… Come again? Those with the green gene are forgiven for raising an eyebrow: “sustainable fashion” made from plastic? First things first, according to Greenpeace polyester is now used in about 60 percent of our clothes and that is forecast to double by 2030. Not only do we know that polyester is a bad egg; destructive in its use of fossil fuels, is emissions-heavy and is non-biodegradable, it also ends up in the guts of our sea creatures and invisibly pollutes our water. The question beckons… What is there to like?

ABOUT POLYESTER AND POSTER-CHILDREN RPET (better known as recycled polyester) is toted as one convenient answer to the problem. It can require less energy to produce, it diverts plastics from landfill/going into the sea by re-use instead of using up fossil fuels and it often requires less washing/ lasts longer than natural fibers. The cons? It still releases micro-fibers into the sea (and air), it is not easy to recollect and recycle, especially different types of plastics that require different processes and even if we just switched over to recycled it’s still not enough to make the dramatic energy savings and emissions cuts needed.

So, what is a fashion furor to do? Posterchild for sustainable clothing Patagonia — designer of outdoor clothing and gear for the silent sports — recently announced that they have switched 80 percent of their polyester products from virgin to recycled fibers, amongst initiatives such as the exploration of “biodegradable synthetics” and further recycling investments. Their customer message encourages us to buy recycled. Plus overall better and less;

PLASTICS FANTASTICS… TEAM CHINA Hangzhou’s popular native label JNBY (“just naturally be yourself”) in 2018 created Reverb — an entire brand focusing on sportswear and centered on recycled fibers and sustainability without compromising on style. Fashion local Reclothing Bank (of Fake Natoo fame) also includes recycled polyester in their collections — in addition to the reclaimed fabrics they are famous for. Burberry has rolled out two sports casual looks for the China conscious consumer made of recycled polyester. Sports giants LiNing, Erke and 特步(XStep) have products on the proverbial shelf, described as “recycled polyester”.

Since 2010, Nike has diverted more than 7 billion plastic bottles from landfills and all fly-knit shoes are made using recycled polyester. Only time will tell if local sports corps follow in their footsteps.


Instagram: @jnby_china


Image comes courtesy of HowBottle

Team #1

Team #2



HowTo Do Plastic

This brings us to HowBottle; a start-up overflowing with enthusiasm and determination, light-heartedly riding the current wave of promotion-by-collaboration of their meaningpacked clothes and accessories. Just like us, they love a good story; not only have they collaborated with Coca-Cola but also with China Aerospace Corporation, CASC.

The Sustainable Re-Birth

such unlimited convenience has now begun to receive criticism. Though there are not enough materials and immediate solutions to fix the existing dilemmas problems.”

In an industry renowned for its high usage of natural resources, it is perhaps inevitable that more brands move towards a conscious mode of creation.

The HowBottle focus on people and culture is real and notable. “The uniqueness [of our products] represents the uniqueness of China’s younger generations,” Huang concludes.

Canadian-born sister-and-brother Jamil and Alia Juma, captains of the aponymous Juma Studio ship, in 2003 started putting their shared global background to work for an international boutique fashion customer. Excitingly, Juma — offering directional workwear and lifestyle accessories — has now become a full-fledged sustainable company.

Team #1

The numbers? They have thus far allegedly saved 600,000 waste plastic bottles from landfills which equates to savings of 23 tons of reduced petroleum and 23 tons of reduced CO2 emissions. Not bad! HowTo Do Plastic The mantra? “Make yourself happy, make the world happy.” This brings us to HowBottle; a start-up over“In the days when all my life could be packed flowing with enthusiasm and determination, into a bag, my life became full,” the designer Huang previously worked at Alibaba in light-heartedly riding where the current wavewasof sums up that time for Temper. e-commerce operations her goal promotion-by-collaboration of their meaningto allow more people to buy more things. packed clothes and accessories. Just like us, She realized she could put the power to Huang felt something was off and during some they love a good story; not only have they change the environment in the hands of each time off spent traveling, collaborated with Coca-Cola she but realized also with that China customer. As she elaborates: “Our generation happiness Corporation, is not obtained Aerospace CASC.through material resonates very much with disposable plastic… goods but often through what nature can give This kind of material that has brought us The numbers? They have thus far allegedly saved such unlimited convenience has now begun to to you. 600,000 waste plastic bottles from landfills receive criticism. Though there are not enough which equates to savings of 23 tons of reduced materials and immediate solutions to fix the “In the days when all my life could be packed petroleum tons of reduced existing dilemmas problems.” into a bag,and my 23 life became full,” CO2 the emissions. designer Not bad! sums up that time for Temper. The HowBottle focus on people and culture The mantra? “Make yourself happy, make the is real and notable. “The uniqueness [of our She realized world happy.” she could put the power to products] represents the uniqueness of China’s change the environment in the hands of each younger generations,” Huang concludes. customer. As she worked elaborates: “Ouringeneration Huang previously at Alibaba e-commerce operations where her goal was to allow more resonates very much with disposable plastic… Huang Ningning and HowBottle, started out people to buy more things. Huang felt something This kind of material that has brought us in 2017. Their most recent campaign “Good was off and during some time off spent traveling, Bottle” uses canvases reborn from plastic she realized that happiness is not obtained bottles to collect stories worth seeing; to through material goods but often through what create “Good” products.” nature can give to you.




Instagram: @pawnstarchina

Their latest collection uses eco-friendly materials retrieved from, among others, recycled water bottles. “The idea is to create clothing that is directional in design with the purpose of reducing the impact on the environment as well as re-using existing materials as a smart design initiative,” the Juma siblings inform us. The Jumas to this end tell Temper: “The consumer is also becoming more aware of the needs of the environment and so the company sees they are also looking for ways to participate and contribute by supporting and wearing brands that align with this movement.” Instagram: @jumastudio

The Juma website also helpfully explains

the processes behind sustainable fashion

for those who want to understand it. On

that note, we asked if they think recycled plastic in fashion is an easy sell to

fashion-lovers and if customer education is


Image comes courtesy of Jumastudio



The Sustainable Re-Birth

Pawnstar Vintage recently produced its first-ever recycled accessories collection made from recycled plastic bottles. See bag (right): “I am a bag made of a new type of environmentally friendly [plastic] material; low-toxic and low-lead which reduces the loss of materials and dust during the production. I want to let everyone know that plastic bags are not only disposable. I am affordable because that is what people like but you don’t need to throw me away when my life-cycle is over as my materials can be recycled and reused. Though I am not made of 100 percent recycled plastic and there is no certificate it is because IF, in China, an item were to be made of 100 percent recycled plastic in China, it could be recycled NO more… No wastewater is discharged and no glue is used. I am also concerned about the health of the workers’ working environment.” Instagram: @ pawnstarchina

by Stephanie Lawson


Image comes courtesy of Pawnstar

Image comes courtesy of HowBottle




What? Painting and fashion design are intrinsically linked across Cui’s work. Inspired by his “daydreams” of mythical worlds and creatures, the artist sketches the more impassioned and sensitive side of mankind through the juxtapositioning of scale and breathe tangible life into custom prints. Cui inhabits a “Universe Without Boundaries” — aka a direct translation of his full name as well as the title of his latest Thai exhibition.

The Temper Fact Checker: Hanyu Cui 5W, you ask? “Who, What, When, Where, Why” we say. Come hither, Hanyu Cui.

When? Education Beijing Institute of Fashion Technology, 2012-2016 (Beijing, China) Bachelor of Fashion Design and Technology Parsons School of Design, 2016- 2018 (New York, U.S.) Master of Fashion Design and Society Awards


The New School Dean’s Merit Scholarship, 2016; CFDA+the 2017 Geoffrey Beene Design Scholar Award, 2017



Hanyu Cui (崔翰宇 in Chinese) is a young artist and fashion designer currently based in New York City. Cui in September 2018 graduated from Parsons New School of Design. His graduation work showed a man who dares let creativity and conception carouse, turning into dramatic fashion previous swirls on paper inspired by the pop culture of monsters, manga, and fairytales from his youth. At the age of 26, Cui already has a multifaceted and rich palmares to present. Summing up:


Cui’s pieces have been featured in Vogue Italia and Harper’s Bazaar Arabia; The Cui label has been cast by more than one celeb gig, from East to West, singers and actresses alike.

Where? Cui was born in Guiyang, a small mountainous scenic village in Guizhou province. Upon graduating from the Beijing Institute of Fashion Technology, Cui was left feeling unfulfilled with his artistic progress, especially when comparing his artworks to those of his peers from internationally acclaimed art schools. Brimming with ambition, the artist subsequently decided to apply to one of the world’s top design schools, i.e. the Parsons New School of Design in New York.In December of 2019, Cui found himself basking in Bangkok’s creative climate when presenting his “Universe Without Boundaries” art exhibit. According to one interview with ADF Webmagazine, Cui was “so smitten with the city that he decided to set up a studio for the next three months to develop his métier and decide on his future direction”. New incentives on the horizon include another fashion collection and collaborations with local Thai artists.

Why? In a bid to break the sense of mediocre artistic movement, and up the expressionist game, Cui chose to switch to fashion design when attending Parsons. With a portfolio boosted by streaks and strokes of his existing collection of highly intricate illustrations in pencil plus the fashion pieces from his Parsons graduation collection… Cui’s work is a feast for the eyes. The eye must and shall travel.

Design by Cui Hanyu (崔翰宇), the 24/ Day Dreamer’s Day Dream Collection — Modeled by60 Jen Liu. Photography by Lu “Luna” Weijia , 2020. All rights reserved


Videmus Omnia 62


THE NEW MADE IN CHINA RESOLUTION: VIDEMUS OMNIA From the pulsating pavements of the New (York) World to the rues remouantes of the Old, get your Google on, this is an R-Rated tale of avant-garde, coming of couture age and unbridled potential; the kind that would never constrict one creator’s designs or personal style due to nationality. A unique pioneer in the fashion industry, with an aesthetic as twisted and intriguing as a detective show. Clothing createuse extraordinaire Yun Qu (韵屈 in Chinese) is enthralled by the TV genre for its suspense and mystery at every turn, a sense of anticipation that even drove her to the name of her very own brand: Videmus Omnia (i.e. “we see all”).

five, before chasing my dreams as a fashion designer. I gradually developed a unique and unconventional style and was unsatisfied with the current fashion industry in New York, where the majority of brands are trendoriented and lack variety, innovation, and creativity. This drove me to launch my own brand in October 2016.

Let us now truly dive into the deep dark pool of suspenseful fashion and speak with the haute couture designer who graces the city streets from the New World to the Old with her avantgarde designs.

I aim to reinterpret unique concepts in style, creating surreal forms through intricate cutting and combining manipulated textiles, as well as working with scientists and engineers to rebuild the new Avant-garde fashion.

High Temper Time to get up close and personal with Qu. On the creation and evolution of her brand. TEMPER: WHAT SPARKED THE PASSION FOR FASHION?

BIO, HEIGHT,…: THE FASHION CREDENTIALS LAITER: WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHEN, WHY? Qu: My name is Yun Qu and I am and creative director of Videmus always had a different approach I studied classical music from


the founder Omnia. I’ve to fashion. the age of

Qu: Music. I always wore fancy and unique dresses during my piano recitals, and my mom loved fashion. It inspired me to start dressing differently to express myself. I would wear whatever I wanted to be different. I never wanted to be a designer, I wanted

We See All – Videmus omnia, all rights reserved


to be a musician. When I finally had to face reality and chose a career (like most Asian parents, mine didn’t want me to study music), I decided to study design. After a few years of school in Italy, I realized that music and fashion are so similar and require so much creativity. I developed my own way of designing clothes, using music as inspiration.




LAITER: HOW DID THE NAME FOR YOUR BRAND COME TO BE? Qu: I am very into mysterious stories. The brand name, Videmus Omnia was inspired by a secret group I saw on a detective show. It means “We See Everything.” I have a vision that the future fashion industry will be supported and catered for millions of small fashion workshops, studios, and companies. This mysterious name will open many opportunities to experiment and innovate.

The plan is to also collaborate with many young talents around the world and to work with scientists and engineers to present innovative designs for its customers and individual clients.

Eventually, Videmus Omnia will turn into a hub, a relationship, where designers, musicians, and artists collaborate.


Qu: I use fashion to express myself and create wearable art. I combine traditional haute couture along with my own unique techniques to finish each garment. I want my customers to dress boldly and differently to express themselves.

Qu: Besides music, I draw inspiration from everywhere. I want to create something that people can’t see anywhere else. In a complete collection, I usually have multiple inspirations. Sometimes it’s based on emotion, sometimes it’s sound or light. I can merge all of my inspirations to make just one garment in a collection, or I use just one. But overall, I have a coherent look and design.




communication, and I love talking to people. If you speak their language, you will be able to connect and possibly work with them in the future. LAITER: HOW DO YOU FEEL THAT YOUR BRAND STORY AND ETHICS WORK WITH TEMPER MAGAZINE’S “THE R-RATED ISSUE”? Qu: I don’t really like to touch on politics or religion. I usually do lots of experimenting with new techniques or materials, but I am against mass production, pollution, and material waste. Those are rated R in my book. I think that the fast fashion industry has ruined fashion and brought so much waste to the world.

LAITER: WHAT ARE YOUR FEELINGS ON THE EVOLUTION OF FASHION AND WHAT THIS ENTAILS FOR THE CHINESE DESIGNER INDUSTRY? Qu: I think fashion evolved significantly during the 20th century. We saw so many different styles. Many designers in Europe and Japan had started to invent new materials and conducting unique fashion experiments. However, post-2000, the fashion industry became quite chaotic. Everybody wants to be a designer, everybody who has money wants to open a design studio. The fashion industry is oversaturated. It is not hard to start a brand, but it will be very hard to make a profit and sustain the company itself as an independent brand these days.


LAITER: HOW DO YOU FEEL AS A CHINESE DESIGNER IN THE U.S. OPPORTUNITY, STIGMA? Qu: I came to the United States when I was young, and I don’t have too many Chinese designer friends so I can’t really speak for them. I noticed that I have more opportunities to collaborate with people around the world because of my life experience and music background, and not because I’m Chinese. When I came to New York, I didn’t have a hard time fitting in. I think being able to speak multiple languages and being Chinese, will open doors to many opportunities. People around the world love

We See All – Videmus omnia, all rights reserved


For the Chinese designer industry, there are pros and cons. China is a major market for fashion. More and more people care about what brands they wear and how they spend their money. I think because of our culture, we care about how we look and how we present ourselves. We can also distinguish the difference between good and poor quality. It’s beneficial to young Chinese designers that Chinese factories are able to produce premium quality clothing.


Qu: I am able to create whatever I want for now. As a designer who is based outside of China, I do have a fear that the Chinese government would discourage their people from opening companies overseas. LAITER: HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT MIXING RELIGION AND FASHION? Qu: I don’t really believe in religion. liberal and believe that aliens exist or created us. I just think designers are to mix whatever they want as long as believe in what they are trying to do.



Qu: The Made in China label has already changed. I think that many Chinese people have already made important contributions to the fashion industry. There are premium quality clothes being produced in China, many skilled pattern- and sample-makers are from China and there are factories around the world being opened by Chinese.

Fashion IS a religion.

Fashion is also rapidly changing across mainland China; many fashion students are returning from abroad to bring what they know to the domestic market.

I am even able they

“I don’t do fashion, I AM fashion.” — Coco Chanel

Instagram: @videmusomnia

by Jessica Laiter


Nonetheless, fashion is still very rigid in China, even in New York. I believe the industry will change in the future due to young designers, Chinese or not. LAITER: ALTHOUGH WE ARE IN A COUNTRY WITH FREEDOM OF SPEECH, DO YOU STILL FEEL LIKE YOU ARE LIMITED IN WHAT YOU WANT TO CREATE?

NYC Ueber Influencer and Temper fave Chris Lavish (IG@nyclavish) decked out in Videmus Omnia. Image comes courtesy of Videmus Omnia.



RATED X: THE CENSORED ARTS OF CHINA Fashion and politics have always been intertwined. Moreover, there are certain eras where the connection is more apparent than others, in more recent years both fashion designers and artists in China have been subtly (or not so, in some cases) expressing their political opinions en masse. The limitations of the great firewall and censorship make this a particularly difficult and daring feat. What’s more, these political statements don’t always go to ‘plan’ or get received well. Despite being Rated X, Chinese artists allow their imaginations run wild to create political art and fashion, despite all. Temper dives in and explores this fascinating movement.

A recent example where fashion became particularly political this year (2018) when fashion and cosmetics giant Dolce & Gabbana posted their controversial advert, showing a Chinese model struggling to eat pasta and pizza with chopsticks. This ad faced huge online backlash, accusing the brand of trivializing Chinese culture while promoting stereotypes. Major sites such as Taobao and subsequently removed D&G products from their shopping Walhallas.

STATEMENTS AND STRUGGLES Political fashion statements aren’t exactly a new phenomenon, in fact they can be traced right back. To name a few, Jean Paul Gautier first sent men in skirts down the runway in 1984, despite sharply divided onions, this was arguably a vital piece of the transgender fashion movement puzzle. McQueen broke ground in 1998 featuring a disabled cover model and Chanel staged a feminist march lead by Cara Delevingne. That’s just naming a few. Question becomes… Where does China stand in all this modish mayhem? Well, it’s not always an easy ride. With most people these days boasting a fierce online opinion, the safety net and anonymity of a screen makes it easy to express hate or feelings.

Images come courtesy of YIJUN LIAO, “EXPERIMENTAL RELATIONSHIP,” 2020. IG@bloodypixy 70

The luxury market in China is huge and any famed brand will no doubt struggle without their Chinese consumers. The Dolce affair is merely one example of how brands need to think twice about cultural implications. Before clicking those very powerful buttons.

ALL THINGS ART Censorship strays beyond the world of China Fashion, flowing right through into the nation’s art scene. Chinese artists face the issue of censorship when creating work with


political, controversial messages. China’s great firewall can be a hurdle in the road for artists and designers wanting to promote their products. The wall is rising, with a lot of people wondering, how high will it go? Art censorship is a big problem in China, it’s one way the government can control public opinion. Art is often a reflection of current affairs, society, culture, but in China, that kind of stuff is unwanted. Now it’s unlikely that a landscape painting of trees blowing in the wind would be censored, however, add some thick grey smog and the painting becomes a problem; becoming substantially political. Here in the East, free speech is limited in order to create a more “idealised” vision of things. Ai Weiwei (艾未未 in Chinese) is one of many artists who have been censored due to the political statements they’ve made in the past decades. Born in 1957, Ai resides and works in Beijing. He helped bring to life the much-admired Bird’s Nest (鸟巢| niǎocháo in Chinese) Stadium from the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. Over the years of his work, he’s been arrested, exiled and censored and it seems that this whirlwind of energy-consuming controversy is not over just yet. The artist in August 2018 Instagram’ed a snap of his Beijing studio being demolished, captioning the image “Farewell”.

WHEN ART MEETS MAO What’s more, a fresh crop of Chinese artists is now responding to significant events, namely, the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976). Mao Zedong inspired sculptures, paintings and drawings are appearing and despite censorship


in the middle kingdom, those further afield can appreciate the works. Liao Yibai (廖一 百 in Chinese) is a Chinese sculptor who specialises in giant silver stainless steel pop-art sculpture. Liao was born in a missile factory during the war and uses his toughupbringing to inspire his work. His steel sculpture “Top Secret Hamburger” comments upon China and America’s long, complex history, fuelling his obsession with what he calls “the slow and delicious enlightenment of Western culture.”

Though it’s not clear if the destruction was aimed specifically at Weiwei directly, Chinese authorities don’t seem very happy with the likes of (in) famously flamboyant artistic characters.

On the prowl for expert insights, we spoke to Misha Maruma about such Rated X issues. Maruma is the founder of CNCREATE, a Chinese contemporary art blog and art consultancy based in London and Shanghai. When asked if he feels the effects of censorship in Chinese art industry he said, “I think in China artists try not to be overtly political anymore. Maybe the generation after the death of Mao in the 1980s were the last of the political artists in China.” He continued, “Hopefully, in the next five to 10 years, more young Chinese artists will be represented outside of their homeland. I for one think they have something truly different

Images come courtesy of YIJUN LIAO, “EXPERIMENTAL RELATIONSHIP,” 2020. IG@bloodypixy


to add to the global artistic conversation.”

A number of Chinese artists are outwardly happy to live with the repercussions of their work, despite its potential to unnerve the government.

Take, for example, the street art culture that is graffiti. China in 2019 boasts a massive and ever-evolving underground graffiti culture. This phenomenon is a rather unbelievable one, considering that if you put a poster on a public Chinese wall it will be taken down in minutes. As Maruma puts it, “China Street Art is huge and there are simply too many people involved to mention. Big name foreign street artists receive invitations to visit China all the time, think Parisian-based Seth. In the next five years, we will see street artists coming out of China who will prove to possess international tagging temptation.”

Chinese artists in the 2010s are increasingly creating proud and groundbreaking work, with powerful statements to match, in spite of Great Firewall and government pressures. No one can predict what will happen in the next few years, but excited, one should be. Just envision the greatness of creation and so it shall be.

Imagery comes courtesy of our favorite “hot mess” LAO XIE XIE, 2020. IG@lao_xie_xie

Imagery comes courtesy of our favorite “hot mess” LAO XIE XIE, 2020. IG@lao_xie_xie

by Emily Aspinall



FASHION ILLUSTRATOR YVAN DENG: SKETCHING CONTEMPO CATWALK BEATS Art represents the Zeitgeist. When it comes to China’s younger generations, contempo fashion illustrations reflect the spirit of the society as much as they do the actual pieces on the catwalk. Temper colors outside the lines and gets creative with young Qingdao native Yvan Deng (邓依凡 in Chinese), the one and only live illustrator at Shanghai Fashion Week. As models rock to the 10 minute runway rhythm, Deng’s magic in motion, too, shines bright.

Yvan Deng may have started his art career in Chinese painting, but the first thing he did when he decided to show his drawings to the world in 2014, was to open up an Instagram account (@yvan_deng). Deng subsequently has kept grinding his skills and sharpening his ever-polished pencils thanks to the culturerich Chinese surroundings, as well as those of the online realm. The fashion enthusiast’s artwork nowadays is crossing borders: From Lane Crawford shop windows to Instagram posts and the pages of fashion magazines including InStyle (China), Marie Claire and Cosmopolitan. Is this illustrator mixing and mashing Oriental ink and Western social media? Is this live sketcher repainting western design using Chinese brushstrokes? Or does Deng simply express his feeling and being at large through art? In this interview with Temper Magazine, Deng talks about his working styles and sources of creative inspiration. Time to break out (of) that crayon case!

DRAWING DALLIANCES TEMPER: BACK TO BASICS. FAVORITE COLOR SCHEME? Deng: The colors that I like are the colors that I’m feeling in the moment. I may at times follow a seasonal trend or mood, but I simply love all the colors in the scheme and will never limit the work to one specific color pallet. TEMPER: YOUR ART STRONGLY BRUSHSTROKES. STYLE SOURCE?



Deng: I have been practicing Chinese painting since I was five so I’m naturally inclined to follow many a different brushstroke style. I paint with my fingers, my hands, crayons, pastels, carbon, and I also use different media to create a different perspective when embarking on a new piece.

TEMPER: THE WIDE AND SLANTED EYES, SOMETIMES CROSSING THE CONTOURS OF THE FACE, ARE THE YVAN DENG TRADEMARK. WHAT SAY YOU? Deng: After being in the painting plot for so many years, I find that people’s eyes can tell you many things: The right and the


Fashion illustration by Yvan Deng, based on the Redress 2019 Finalists’ collections, 2020. All rights reserved


Fashion illustration by Yvan Deng, based on the Redress 2019 Finalists’ collections, 2020. All rights reserved

wrong, the deep, down and “dirty” reflections of the soul. I find that each eye has a special streak of its own and that’s what I want to show: One specific personality for every character I put on paper.

My style and imagination come from anywhere: Trips, fashion, personal experiences, but most of all from what I’m feeling in that very moment of painting. The style stems from both the past and the future, from how we first saw things and how we will perceive them. It’s simply a general idea of what things look like from my point of view, a mix of all concepts and inspirations.

WHIMSICAL WORKINGS TEMPER: WHAT GOES THROUGH YOUR MIND BEFORE YOU START CRAYON-ING AWAY “FRONT ROW”? PLUS, AFTERMATH? Deng: My working style, hmmm… To be honest, live illustrating is a different way to express a notion from the artist’s or fashion designer’s perspective. Fashion has been always a deep inspiration for me and what I do when sketching live, is in fact creating a piece of art within the 10 to 15 minutes a show takes to run from opening design to closing model. Inspired by the music, the ambiance, the colors, the shapes, the textures and a


designer’s collection, an unexpected and new take on art comes to live. I think live illustrations should be incorporated into fashion shows as a fundamental part of the side show because there are so many different ways to express one designer’s disposition. When it’s lights come on on the runway, it’s all about letting myself go with the flow and the feel of the show, taking in the music, listening to the crowd’s hushed hubbub, spotting the lights, tackling the textures, the lines, the accessories, … It’s about spine-tingling imagery catching my eye. And I just start sketching away; a look, a face, a movement at a time.

TEMPER: WHEN DRAWING… STRATEGIZED OR SPONTANEOUS, BUILDUP, COLORS, PROPORTIONS,… ? Deng: I don’t strategize, the live sketching game is about trying to catch the designer’s viewpoint and get inspired from thereon out. I don’t know anything in terms of colors or proportions before the show starts; I just choose a piece of paper and get all my tools ready. The main ingredient is “emotion”. I can get inspired by the 1920s, 50s, 80s, Chinese culture, Mexican culture, food, flowers, Indian culture, a Caribbean beach or the colors of the French Riviera. At a show, then, what inspires me is what the designer is trying to convey to his or her audience. And then I just come up with my own interpretation of that. Sometimes I’m actually surprised by the amount of inspirational sources the brain can gather and “transpire”, so to speak!


FROM INFLUENCERS TO PARENTAL INFLUENCES I do indeed love 1960s and 70s fashion photography and Brigitte Bardot, Twiggy or fashion magazine covers from that era can inspire me any day. Nevertheless, I do not follow a specific trend or inspiration from any specific era.

FASHION ILLUSTRATIONS AND POSITIONS TEMPER: HOW DID YOU GET WHERE YOU ARE NOW? Deng: Well, I think success is just a matter of perspective — I don’t consider myself successful because I think only through failure, will you perhaps be able to catch a glimpse of success. That’s just something we say in the studi. Hard work, education and doing what I like without thinking of other people’s likes or un-likes are all that matter. And, of course, the most important is that I have the trust and support of my partner, family and friends. TEMPER: YOU ENTERED THE WORLD THAT IS INSTAGRAM BACK IN 2014. WAS THIS YOUR FIRST TIME UNVEILING YOUR WORK TO GLOBAL ONLOOKERS? Deng: Yes. Fashion has been always my passion and I have been posting on Instagram since 2014 as a fashion illustrator. It was that very same year when I finally understood that I possess a special talent to create this type of imagery. Even though I’d been painting using different techniques and styles since the age of five, I in 2014 started to venture out in pursuit of my own style.


TEMPER: DID YOUR PURSUIT OF THE ARTS CAUSE ANY RIFTS WITH THE RENTS? Deng: My parents, too, have always been fans of the traditional Chinese arts and they early on realized I had knack for painting. So they enrolled me in classes when I was five. They were not overly confident when I told them that I want to study Fashion Design at university, though. I studied hard and did well in high school so the obvious parental wish was for me to become a civil servant or teacher — aka stable jobs. In sum, at first, they did not understand “fashion” and its surrounding myths and were very hesitant when it came to my future dabblings/ endeavors, but as soon as I showed my passion and love for the field, they accepted the idea of my doing “this”. Resulting in their major support today!

its mark on our personal styles. My advice? Do not tread carefully, but do touch carefully. Chinese art is rich and varied, it is a complex concept to grasp. Deng always aims to show his roots via art; personal style, after all, is about pride, progress and revolution. All rolled into one pencil pouch. Inspired by his grandmother, one fully self-

taught folk artist, and her paintings, Deng is now exploring the clever cosmos of ancient Chinese ceramic vase patterns. A little hint of these here and there may be spotted in live beats to come. As Chinese ceramics and porcelain in days of yore served as diplomatic gifts for trade, so do Deng’s live sketches now brave borders, cultures and times alike. by Minyoung Lee

TEMPER: WHAT EXPERIENCES HAVE AFFECTED YOUR CAREER AND| OR STYLE? Deng: I’m proud to say that because in China we have a widespread cultural depth (both in time and space), plus an array of ancient techniques and styles, we have much room for future fashion growth. Which is already developing now. This background innately influences my life and work. Of course, everything we see and do will affect the direction of our lives, our characters, our wishes, our goals and our perceptions. I have thus far had the chance to see much of the world and this travel in turn serves as a source of inspiration. The best of times, the worst of times, failure, loss, love, all shape the human beings we become. Everything we do, read, eat, touch and smell, will leave

Fashion illustration by Yvan Deng, based on the Redress 2019 Finalists’ collections, 2020. All rights reserved


Temper offers a gritty slash grungy look at contemporary China through a fashionfocused lens. Paired with a deep devotion to the nation’s underground scene and some sustainable savviness. Escorted by the increasingly strong influence of a new thinking among China’s younger generations regarding individuality and the expression thereof, the fashion scene in the Middle Kingdom is exploding. Inundated with mobile apps, from Alibaba livestreaming to WeChat Mini Programs and Little Red Book shenanigans, influencing (or “Opinion Leading”) their everyday lives and moves, China’s digital Zeitgeist is altering personalities and behaviorisms at the speed of lightning — at the risk of daily life becoming fleeting. From artisanal fashion design to hip hop and folk culture or LGBTQ and genderless streetwear, China’s Roaring Twenties 2.0 are on the prowl for… “More”. More exclusivity, more inclusivity. The “Made in China” label is undergoing the ultimate 21st Century makeover — with a subversive twist. This rapidly changing creative landscape is a unique phenomenon that stretches well beyond the mere Summer/Winter collections. It waves the flag for the changes vibrating within China’s society-at-large today. Temper chases the Fashion Dragon. Design by LE YIMENG (叶黎萌), the 24/ moments collection — modeled by JEN LIU. Photograph by LU 82 “LUNA” WEIJIA, 2020. All rights reserved.

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Antwerp Collage artist LEBASILLE brings the re-cycled, re-printed, 84 re-purposed booty, 2020. All rights reserved.

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