09/12/2012 10:44 EDT | Updated 11/12/2012 05:12 EST

Geometric jade print, metallic silver, gold on denim evoke Chinese cosmology for Vivienne Tam

NEW YORK, N.Y. - Vivienne Tam took on the Five Elements of Chinese cosmology in an East-meets-West spring collection of three-colour geometric applique and hexagonal cut work that moved with her models Wednesday at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week.

Touches of black patent shined like metallic silver and gold printed on cotton denim for tops and wide-leg cropped pants. A trench was also done in the bright silver.

A geometric design of white, jade green and black stole the show, in loose cropped pants, a short organza column dress and another looser and waisted dress with black straps and matching cutouts at the chest.

The yang? Reverse pleats at the hip in a long column dress. Nobody but the very thin, and hipless, can wear those.

Hexagonal cuts in black overlay was worn with a poplin sheath of white, black and grey. A more calming use of black hexagons came in lace in a long dress.

The elements, metal, wood, water, fire and earth, each have their own category of shape, colour, texture and power. Tam explains in her notes it was those combinations — fire triangle with metal circle, or water wave with wood column, that she wanted to express.

"Wear a cool water dress to calm the mind, or a fire dress to enhance energy," Tam, who was born in China, raised in Hong Kong and works in New York, said in her notes.

Some of her pieces have made their way into the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

On Wednesday, she also debuted a jewelry line in partnership with TSL Jewelry, also inspired by the Five Elements. There were black gold circle earrings, a long jade necklace that hung at the centre and pieces in black gold and silver hexagons.


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