On the morning of July 1, a grand rally to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China was held in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square. Photo by Xinhua News Agency reporter Chen Jianli/

What is the spirit of contemporary Chinese youth?

Is it self-confidence? Is it vigorous? Is it lively? At first, the teachers of Beijing Institute of Fashion Technology did not have a specific design concept. On February 9, 2021, two days before the Chinese New Year’s Eve, Beijing Institute of Fashion Technology received the task of designing clothing and accessories for the choir and dedication troupe participating in the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China.

A design team with an average age of about 30 was established at the Beijing Institute of Fashion Technology, and began to create with the theme of “100 years of glory”.

The young design team switched on high-speed operation. Starting from February 18, each person will draw dozens of costume designs every day. Sun Ningning, a teacher at the School of Fashion Art and Engineering at Beijing Institute of Fashion Technology, remembers staying in the office at 7 p.m. and handing in at 8 a.m. the next morning, drawing 50 sets of designs at a time.

At first, the image of Chinese teenagers was blurred in everyone’s mind. On February 26, on the day of the Lantern Festival, on the first edition of the design draft, each designer handed over more than 80 sets of clothing design drafts, including small red dresses and light-colored small puffy skirts. The various designs are mostly festive style.

“This is a conference, not a comedy show, and the sense of scale is particularly important.” Zou You, the head of the design team and a professor at the Beijing Institute of Fashion Technology, remembers that in the first round of screening, hundreds of design drawings were rejected one by one.

The spirit of Chinese teenagers is constantly embodied in the costume design drawings. “At first, I struggled with how to design clothes for teenagers, but when I actually put pen to paper, my mind started to get excited.” Sun Ningning looked at the design drawings and felt that his heart suddenly calmed down, and he thought deeply about what Chinese teenagers should be like.

In Sun Ningning’s view, from a historical point of view, the changes in youth clothing are resonating with the development of the times. Nowadays, on many occasions, Chinese children stand with children from any country, and from the appearance of clothing, “they feel very confident and eye-catching.” Sun Ningning said.

The image of a thriving and responsible Chinese teenager gradually became clear. Over 128 days, the design team determined the basic styles, color systems and outfits of 14 garments and 2 raincoats from more than 1,000 design drawings.

“Our designs are not just for good looks, but can be seen in the costumes, and this is how our teenagers should be.” Sun Ningning said.

More details were noticed by the young design team. Zou You remembers that during the team discussions, what Chinese colors were was never determined. “If the garment is placed in a large environment and presented at a distance, the whole color matching is particularly important.” In the design, Zou You found that there were a large number of red and yellow flowers around Tiananmen Square, “then the color of this clothing must jump out of it.” ”

During the rehearsal, the design of the square resembles a giant ship moving forward, and the teenager in blue is like a wave pushing the sails forward. The whole color system was finally determined to be blue and green as the main color system, and the four keynote speakers stood on the red carpet, white jade white and clear water blue were placed on it, forming a peaceful transition between heaven and earth with the bright red conference site.

In the clothing design, as small as an inconspicuous red scarf, there are many mysteries hidden behind it. The team found that if the red scarf distributed by the school was used, the color was too bright and shiny, and it was easy to wrinkle, and the spirit would suddenly weaken. Their design of the red scarf has been further refined, measuring a standard 1.2 meters long and fabric using 16 mmi silk twill. A uniform paradigm is set from the folding method of the red scarf, the width of the folding, the tying method, the shape of the bow tie, the position and the relationship between the shirt collar. “The later red scarf has a subtle luster, making people feel youthful and unassuming.” Sun Ningning explained.

In order to ensure the unity of the red scarf, the designer team spent more time with the children. Zou You remembers that a young teacher of the team, during the preparation of the rehearsal, walked among hundreds of children and helped the children tie red scarves one by one.

What impressed Sun Ningning the most was that at the end of each rehearsal, the children of the choir and dedication group handed over their clothes to the teachers one by one, and before leaving, they said to them one by one, “The teachers have worked hard.” This made Sun Ningning feel particularly moved, I used to read online comments, saying that now Chinese youth are popular in Buddhist culture, I sometimes wonder, what happened to the 90s and 00s now? But after really coming into contact with the children, I felt that Chinese youth are vigorous and full of vitality.

On July 1, after the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China, she would carefully read the comments on social platforms, and the words were full of youthful power. “I can feel that being born in China, the future of young people is promising and responsible.” Sun Ningning said.

And Sun Ningning sometimes chatted with designer Xu Bo about this experience, feeling from confusion to excitement to gratitude, and he also learned a lot from it as a post-80s young teacher.

In the past, I always felt that doing fashion design was a job that was constantly running and needed to change with changes. Later, Sun Ningning found that what remained unchanged was the persistence of his love for the direction of his career. In the future, she wants to tell her students on the stage that they should seriously interpret the spirit of the times with their own profession, and they must persist in walking when encountering difficulties.

Yang Jie, trainee reporter of China Youth Daily Source: China Youth Daily

Source: China Youth Daily client

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