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Yicrafts And Friends: Cultural Style Week Celebrates East Asian Culture, Music, and Fashion!



YiCrafts & Friends took place on Thursday 25 May 2023, leaving attendees awestruck and inspired by the rich tapestry of East Asian culture on display.

The event in-partnership with Cultural Fashion & Arts and Yiran Duran of YiCrafts was a resounding success. Guests were immersed in a world of vibrant crafts, mesmerising music, and a stunning educational fashion, showcasing the hidden diversity of some of China’s indigenous ethnic minorities.



The highlight of the evening was the fashion shows narrated by YiCrafts founder Yiran Duan. The audience were transported back to the origins of fashion and heritage of the Miao, Bai, Lahu, Baiku Yao, Bouye, Dong, Lianshan Yi and Dali Yi ethnic groups.


Photography by Chima Okafor

The twelve unique looks split into two stunning fashion segments feature meticulously crafted embroidery accessories with some items taking years to complete. Each outfit was a testament to the unparalleled craftsmanship passed down through generations. Attendees were captivated by the beauty and elegance of these garments, which showcased the depth and artistry of Southwest China's ethnic communities.



The live entertainment proved to be equally enchanting, with performances that transported guests through time and showcased the rich diversity of China's ethnic minorities. The art of dance took center stage with HongQiuye Wei and Zhao Rong's captivating performance of the Gold Pheasant, a Miao folklore tradition. Their graceful movements and vibrant costumes brought to life the important role birds, particularly pheasants, play in Miao culture.



But the magic didn't end there. Yijia Tu, an acclaimed singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, enchanted the crowd with her soul-stirring compositions. Her musical journey, influenced by her cultural identity, captivated hearts and minds.




London-based dancers Yu Chien Cheng and Ting-Ning Wen performed alongside Yijia for her second song and dazzled the audience with their contemporary interpretations inspired by Bai Indigo costumes. Their seamless blend of tradition and modernity left spectators spellbound.



Photography by Chima Okafor

For the second part of the cultural fashion showcase, models took center stage, adorned with intricate hand embroideries and textiles of the Bouye, Dong, and Lianshan Yi ethnic groups. The audience were left spellbound by a special showcase of stunning wedding outfits from the Dali Yi and Bai ethnic groups.


Photography by Chima Okafor


No cultural celebration is complete without delectable traditional delights, and Pollychan Bakehouse and Jin Jin delivered on that front.



Attendees had the opportunity to indulge in delicious East-Asian-style pastries and refreshments, curated by these Asian-run, UK-based food stalls. The tantalizing flavours transported taste buds to distant lands, further enriching the overall experience.



Cultural Style Week provided an extraordinary opportunity for guests to immerse themselves in the richness of Southeast Asian cultures and actively participate in preserving their legacies. The event served as a testament to the power of cultural diversity and the beauty that emerges when traditions are celebrated and shared.


One attendee commented: "Little did I know I would be sitting in a room with so many people wearing their own traditional/cultural fashions. As an Australian/ Alsatian (France) girl in London I find I am unable to express my multiculturalism as I get put into a box of expection. But this was inspiring to be amongst all these people showing off who they are. Yiran's show ( Yicrafts and Friends) was spectacular. There was one moment one of the models came out, and I just started weeping from beauty. So let's keep it coming and showcase as many cultures as possible"

Diane of 'Costumes by Diane'



A special message from the founder of YiCrafts, Yiran Duran commented this after the event: “My words can’t describe how emotional and thankful I am for this beautiful evening. I never thought that so many people would be interested in Chinese ethnic minorities’ cultural fashion, and textiles and come to see a show I put on.” 


Join us next year for our 3rd annual Cultural Style Week. Stay tuned for updates and get ready to be captivated once again.


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