Vivienne Tam pulls double duty for spring with ready-to-wear, yoga

At the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Spring 2012 collections, Vivienne Tam unveiled two very different offerings for Spring 2012 that drew upon a single shared word: “zen.”

One of these was her semi-annual ready-to-wear collection, this time mixing inspirations from Asian zen gardens, nature and the 1970’s.  As usual, Tam toed the line between high fashion and commercial.  Her signature mixed assortment always features unique pieces that fuse modern cuts with what she likes to call “China Chic,” the title of her informative coffee table book that is as much about Chinese culture as it is about fashion.  Familiar cutout patterns from past seasons resurfaced as did colorful floral prints and busy patterns.

Tam’s other collection stemmed from her longtime interest in yoga as well as her wish to create sportswear that could be paired with other clothing.  “Back in the early ‘90s when I started practicing yoga, my frustration was that I could not find any athletic apparel in fashionable styles and colors that I could wear to the yoga studio and then to the office,” Tam explained in a statement.

In stepped Chinese sportswear powerhouse label LI-NING; if the name sounds familiar, that is because its founder is the 1984 Olympic gold medalist of the same name.  A collaboration between the Chinese company and the Hong Kong designer was born, with Tam’s yoga line using Chinese hemp fabric from Yunnan.  Detailing from Tam’s ready-to-wear prints can be seen in some of the beautiful pastel clothing, which was modeled by students participating in a series of outdoor yoga exercises led by teachers Rodney Yee and Colleen Saidman Yee.

“My dream is to create a collection that beautifully bonds an active lifestyle with a personal fashion style,” Tam said.

With both her new collections for spring, it’s safe to say that Tam has managed both.

Photos: Vivienne Tam Ready-to-Wear – Spring 2012

Video: Vivienne Tam x LI-NING fashion with yoga exercises led by Rodney Yee