the china syndrome

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The Independent Culture
Chinoiserie is the fashion story of the year - viz Prada's Chinese- silk pieces, flying out of their Bond St store faster than you can say 'Cheongsam'. But don't be swayed by the Oriental diktats of the glossies (currently slaves to embroidered silk): swathes of China red broken up with a slash of black are just as effective - and, let's face it, a tad more original.

Right: gold crochet dress, pounds 185, by Rina de Prato, Thomas Neal Centre, Earlham Street, London WC2 (tel: 0171 240 8812)

Main picture (far right): black asymmetric top, pounds 184, by Justin Oh, from Koh Samui, 65 Monmouth Street, London WC2 (tel: 0171 240 4280), and Pellicano, 63 South Molton Street, London W1 (tel: 0171 629 2205); red high-waisted skirt, pounds 700, by Vivienne Westwood Gold Label, 6 Davies Street, London W1 (enquiries: 0171 629 3757)

Top left: black asymmetric top, pounds 16.99, from Kookai (enquiries: 0171 937 4411); black and gold skirt, pounds 160, by Audrey Ang, from The Cross, 141 Portland Road, W11 (tel: 0171 727 6760); yellow fishnet tights, pounds 3.99, by Jonathan Aston, at major department stores; red platform shoes, pounds 125, by Russell and Bromley (enquiries: 0171 629 6903)

Top right: gold Lurex boob tube, pounds 65, by Rina de Prato, as before; silver floral choker, by Vivienne Westwood (special order: 0171 915 2433)