Contemporary Fashion Illustration in China and Its Application in the Chinese Fashion Market with Special Reference to Chinese Elements

Zhao, Ting (2018) Contemporary Fashion Illustration in China and Its Application in the Chinese Fashion Market with Special Reference to Chinese Elements. Doctoral thesis, Birmingham City University.

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This study investigates the developing directions of fashion illustration and the potential for fashion illustration with Chinese elements in the Chinese market. Experts in this area believe that contemporary fashion illustration faces a huge challenge from fashion photography and that the future of fashion illustration is within digital imagery. This research firstly focuses on the role of fashion illustration in commercial advertisements, and considers whether the future direction of fashion illustration is more likely to develop as an attractive art form in fashion promotion rather than taking the place of fashion photography. Secondly, this paper discusses the feasibility of integrating national culture into fashion illustration through theoretical and practical aspects – a combined approach which is of increasing value to fashion illustration. When applying fashion illustration in transnational promotions, the addition of cultural concepts is a shortcut to get closer to consumers in a specific target market; it helps to meet the aesthetics of local customers and achieve the commercial demands of the market. This research focuses on integrating contemporary fashion illustration with Chinese elements, and develops the process of drawing into a creative thinking mode.

The investigation starts with research on redefining fashion illustration and analysing the evolution of fashion illustration, particularly in the Chinese context. Through the collection and analysis of images, the overview of Chinese fashion illustration in this research fills the gap in materials relating to the history and development of fashion illustration in China. Furthermore, the discussion of Chinese elements and the current situation of contemporary fashion illustration ensures that the basis of the practical work is credible. Information gathered from the interviews and questionnaires is useful throughout the research. A collection of practical illustrations is then drawn and developed, based upon earlier findings. The concept of the 24 Solar Terms – a traditional Chinese lunar calendar that divides a year into 24 time periods – establishes the frame of the practical work. Therefore, there are 24 pieces of illustration included in the collection. Furthermore, various Chinese elements and cultural concepts, which are related to the chosen fashion brands and fashion products, offer references and inspirations and enhance the illustrations’ connotations and value to illustrators and marketers. The feedback from the questionnaire confirms the outcome of this research: that to create fashion illustrations with Chinese elements in a modernised way, which are adaptable to the fashion market, has great value and potential.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Additional Information: Firstly, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to my supervisor, Professor Colin Gale, for his continuous support and constructive advice throughout my Ph.D. study. His immense knowledge of art, fashion and culture broadened my mind while I was developing this study, and his patient guidance encouraged me when I felt down. Alongside my advisor, I would like to thank the rest of my thesis committee. I am thankful to my second supervisor, Dr. Anne Boultwood, for her valuable suggestions and kind support. Her patience and useful comments helped me to improve the contents of this thesis. I am also grateful to my second supervisor, Professor Zhan Kai, for his advice on drawing the illustrations and for recommending me to those famous people when I was doing interviews in China. I am also grateful to all interviewees involved in this research. Despite being successful and busy artists, illustrators and professors in China, all of them were extraordinarily kind and provided such valuable assistance in collecting research material and helping me to develop my practical works. Last, but not least, I would like to thank my parents for being there whenever I needed support throughout the writing of this thesis – in particular my mother, Prof. Xie Mingjie, who gave me many useful suggestions and inspirations – even though great distances separated us, they were always concerned about my study and life. A special thanks to my beloved fiancé, his love never changed even though we were in a long-distance relationship for almost five years during my Ph.D. study. This journey would not have been possible without their understanding and encouragement. Acknowledgement also goes to Birmingham City University and university staff for their unfailing support and assistance for this research.
12 December 2018Completed
Uncontrolled Keywords: Fashion Illustration, Chinese Elements
Subjects: CAH19 - language and area studies > CAH19-04 - languages and area studies > CAH19-04-06 - Asian studies
CAH25 - design, and creative and performing arts > CAH25-01 - creative arts and design > CAH25-01-05 - others in creative arts and design
Divisions: Doctoral Research College > Doctoral Theses Collection
Depositing User: Kip Darling
Date Deposited: 20 Mar 2019 15:40
Last Modified: 12 Jan 2022 17:20

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