The final countdown for lingerie designer

Updated: 2011-04-29 17:34

By Xu Xiaomin (China Daily)

Twitter Facebook Myspace Yahoo! Linkedin Mixx

The final countdown for lingerie designer

A model displays Bai Ge's lingerie design Time at Triumph Inspiration Award. Provided to China Daily

A lingerie model made up to look like the inner mechanism of a clock may sound like a bold gambit, but it paid off for winning designer Bai Ge at this month's Triumph Inspiration Award in Shanghai.

The Chinese finals of the global competition featured designs from 15 young Chinese with a heavy accent on creativity and daring.

Instead of traditional lace and embroidery, the audience was treated to a smorgasbord of interesting juxtapositions that included feathers, canes, see-through boxes and even metal bolts.

However, it was Bai's design that held the judges captive at the end of the day on the edge of a bustling catwalk. Bai, a senior majoring in lingerie at the Beijing Institute of Fashion Technology, won with a piece called Time, featuring dozens of gear wheels of various sizes and two white shoulder bands shaped like wings.

Bai will represent China as one of the international finalists from 28 countries and regions in the global final in Berlin in July. The winner will pick up 15,000 euros ($21,996) and have his or her work presented by German lingerie manufacturer Triumph International as a limited edition set. No Chinese designer has yet won the award.

A model displays Bai Ge's lingerie design Time at Triumph Inspiration Award. Provided to China Daily

"Representing China is a very big deal for me, especially as this is my first time competing in an international fashion contest," Bai says. "Now I've got two months to make sure everything's perfect."

Instead of falling back on traditional lingerie that highlights a woman's femininity and youth, Bai's work celebrates the charm and power that women acquire over time.

Her use of acrylic, leather, fish bone, chains and knitting fabric guarantee wearing comfort, but eschew the seductive and curvy look that characterizes most lingerie. The sharpness of Bai's chosen materials creates a tough and shining veneer that makes the model look like she has just stepped out of the future and onto the catwalk.

"Now we have different definitions for what constitutes 'modern sexy'," says Anna Wang, a supermodel from Shanghai who was on the judging panel.

"Obviously having a curvaceous body is very sexy, but a more neutral (androgynous) look also has its charms. I guess being yourself is the best definition for 'sexy'."

Bai is something of a surprise winner. As a young student growing up in Shandong province, she never had the money nor the nerve to splurge on a wardrobe of colorful and sensual underwear.

However, after studying lingerie for two years at college she now sees it as an art form. "I have taken apart and analyzed many name brands," she says. "A high-quality bra requires 20 to 30 pieces of fabric. This is what it takes to make a women feel sexy and comfortable at the same time. It's really a challenge.

"Many Chinese women don't realize the importance of lingerie. They just see it as something to protect them from prying eyes," she adds.

"I hope that through my work, modern women will realize that lingerie can give them more confidence and make them look even more beautiful."


Head on

Chinese household care goods producers eye big cities, once stronghold of multinational players

Carving out a spot
Back onto center stage 
The Chinese recipe

European Edition


British Royal Wedding

Full coverage of the royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton in London. Best wishes

The final frontier

Xinjiang is a mysterious land of extremes that never falls to fascinate.

Bridging the gap

Tsinghua University attracts a cohort of foreign students wanting to come to China.

25 years after Chernobyl
Luxury car show
Peking Opera revival