APPENDIX A: “Ming”, STOLEN Spring/Summer 2016
A treasure preserved by time.
Nestled within a jagged mountain landscape and plush greenery lies a window into an ancient past. Humble stone buildings, ancient courtyards, centuries-old woodwork and fading paintings capture glimpses of China’s historical Ming Dynasty in a village named Cuandixia.
Fascinated by the raw urban landscape of this ancient village and the rich cultural heritage preserved by its people that she witnessed while on a personal trip, STOLEN designer Elyn Wong was inspired to create the Spring/Summer 2016 collection, “Ming”, as a modern tribute to the unconventional beauty of Cuandixia.
The name “Cuandixia” roughly translates to “under the oven”, a colloquial phrase that can be interpreted to mean a well-hidden and safe spot. Situated over 90km west of the bustling capital city of Beijing, Cuandixia is one of the last villages dating from the Ming Dynasty that remains visually untouched by modernity, home to familial descendants of some of its original inhabitants centuries ago.
Featuring STOLEN’s signature minimalist aesthetic and clean lines, the collection evokes Chinese traditional dress with its long silhouettes, straight-legged trousers, contrasting colours, elongated robes, Mao collars, and winged sleeves reminiscent of Chinese opera, reconstructed in a contemporary context. The collection’s key accent colour is dark emerald green, suggesting the lush foliage that envelops Cuandixia while also imparting a quiet, elegant regality.
Beyond visual references, the heart of STOLEN’s Spring/Summer 2016 collection is captured in the cultural integrity and visual authenticity of this ancient village, a historical artefact recalling the artistic richness of the Ming Dynasty – when literature, poetry, painting, and music flourished – made only more beautiful and precious with the passing of time.