On the 2nd day of our Ningxia Buying Mission we were up early again for breakfast and a 7:30am departure for our one hour bus journey to Lingwu for the opening ceremony of The Third Ningxia Lingwu International Cashmere Expo and China (Lingwu) International Fashion Design Contest.

We arrived into Lingwu on a beautiful and sunny Saturday to a gala Red Carpet entry with a long line of spectators cheering, clapping and shaking hands.  See below photos from the reception:

Red carpet welcome reception -Lingwu, China

Student welcome with noise makers and flowers

Students shaking hands with guests

Worker reception – welcoming new business

At the end of the Red Carpet there was a traditional Chinese marching band welcoming the guests, see below photo:

Chinese Marching Band

In front if the seating was a live Dragon performance, see photo below:

Chinese Dragon Performance

Below is a photo from the stage with delegates and guests who gave a brief introduction of the region and industry.  Below that is another photo of the many rows of guest seating.

Stage – Delegates and Guests

Lingwu, China Expo Guests

After 20 minutes of speeches in the heat, the delegates celebrated the opening of the show.  Fireworks, smoke clouds, and pigeons were sent into the sky, see below photo:

Opening Lingwu Expo

After the opening ceremony we were given a coupon which entitled the guests to a free gift (beautiful cashmere/wool scarf from Philosofie)  which we collected back at the entry of the show.  Then we loaded back on the bus and went to the  hall for the opening ceremony and fashion show of the China (Lingwu) International Cashmere Design Contest 2010.

The show was beautifully orchestrated, and I enjoyed the experience thoroughly.  It was like a miniature project runway, where 24 students and independent designers submitted their cashmere designs for a runway presentation.  The designers worked with select cashmere suppliers on all the finished products.

China (Lingwu) International Cashmere Design Contest 2010

This is where and when I recognized I needed a professional camera as my point and shoot did not do the show justice.  My apologies in advance for the poor quality of these images.  If you would like to sponsor me with a proper camera let me know?  In exchange I can give you a name mention and advertising on the blog which gets thousands of hits.  Now back to the fashion show and the great execution of the show, the contestants, the materials, the stage, and more.

Designer: ZHANG Le, Theme:  Double Poppy

Designer: YIN Hongmei, Theme: Cashmere Awakening

Designer: ZHU Shengwei, Theme: From Tradition to Novelty

The only men’s collection by Designer: TIAN Hongbo,  Theme: The Way of Presentation

Designer: LUO Hui, Theme: Square & Round

Designer: WANG Wencao, Theme: Urban Code

Designer: ZHANG Yuwen, Theme: Habit & Life

Designer: ZHAO Weiwei, Theme: Capriccio

Designer: CHENG Yingfen, Theme: All in One

Designer: NIU Zhengyu, Theme: Cashmere- Blue

Designer: ZHU Yilin, Theme: Urban Neon

Designer: BAI Xue, Theme: Jackstraw in Cornfield

Designer: ZU Hui, Theme: Distant Nobility

After the fashion show there was a performance from a traditional flute player and an acrobatic saxophonist.

What will they think of NEXT?

Amazingly good

After the performances is was back to the fashion show awards and announcement of the runners-up and winner.

Runners up and the first prize winner

After the fashion show we went for a fabulous lunch that was put on by the hosts.  After lunch we went to visit a Cashmere industrial park, you will have to wait til Part III for that post.

All in all in was a great opening ceremony and even better fashion show.  I was delighted to have the opportunity to experience both.  I look forward to seeing future shows.  If you have any direct interests, please send me a message otherwise you can leave your comments below.

Cheers with much success from Northwest China…

At the end of the Red Carpet there was a traditional Chinese marching band welcoming the guests, see below photo: