Olympic Qualifier Series - “Special Show by Donghua” in Shanghai


What kind of “chemistry” will there be when urban sports encounters sustainable fashion? On May 17, 7:00 pm, on the theme day of “Path of Passion” of Olympic Qualifier Series Shanghai-Urban Sports Festival, an innovative fashion show “Unfettered Fashion Show” combining fashion, environmental protection and sports was spectacularly presented on the banks of Huangpu River. With colorful lights, diverse costumes, energetic sports, etc., this chic, sports-style, and technology-rich “fantasy fashion show” is one of the festival’s four blockbuster live shows, which has drawn design inspiration from the “whimsical ideas” of teachers and students of Donghua University in planning and organization. Mr. Liu Chenggong, Secretary of the Party Committee of Donghua University, was present at the event.

Creative fashion show on the Huangpu River)

Huangpu Riverfront transformed into a “Fantasy Showground” illuminated by the “whimsical design ideas” of Donghua University

(Warm-up with sports-inspired programs)

From the scooter with used parts, to the travel around China with “skateboarding + hiking”, from the inheritance of “the passion for breakdancing” between father and son, to the dazzling results achieved by the “rock-climbing couple” as rock-climbing instructors! ...... The whole fashion show, comprised of “City Pioneers”, “Nature”, “Passing on the Flame”, and “Harmony between Nature and Humankind”, vividly tells four touching sports stories of “passion and persistence” through personal short films, original clothing design shows and warm-up displays of sports programs. In the 40-minute live show, student models from the Fashion Performance Major of Donghua University and international students from the International Cultural Exchange School put on costumes with elements such as scooter parts, protective gears and rock-climbing points, and brought backpacks made with skateboards and other accessories onto the stage, and the audience were there to experience the charm of cross-border fusion of the Olympics and creative design from a zero distance.

(Live scene of “Unfettered Fashion Show”)

The fashion show displayed a total of more than 70 sets of gorgeous original costumes, skillfully integrating the elements of the four events of the Olympic Qualifier Series, which not only demonstrated the sporting spirit, but also embodied the concept of environmental protection and a sense of technology. “I designed an ‘inflatable’ costume, which looks fluffy; it is inspired by a new type of environmentally friendly architectural structure - inflatable membrane structure, and the elements of recreational sports, to convey a green life concept.” Hao Yunhan, student at Shanghai International College of Fashion and Innovation, Donghua University, said. Zeng Dongni, student at the College of Fashion and Design at Donghua University, was also full of excitement and joy when seeing her own design of clothing on such a high-profile stage, “I drew on the modular design concept of space suits in my design, while incorporating colorful rock-climbing point elements as embellishments, and the clothing can be disassembled and combined freely between different modules, so that even if the clothing is of varied styles, it can also can adapt to different life scenes, changes in climate temperature, with an overall sense of science fiction and sports aesthetics.”

(Student designers from Donghua University in interviews with the host)

This “fantasy fashion show” is a co-work between Donghua University and the Urban Sports Festival. Donghua University enjoys a high reputation in the fields of textiles, materials and design, and in recent years, it has been contributing its wisdom and strength to the construction of Shanghai into a design capital and fashion capital through its engagement in new materials, sustainable design and other new tracks. To serve the Olympic Qualifier Series well, Donghua University, a local Shanghai university, has been leveraging its disciplinary strengths, and spent nine months in preparation, with more than 20 project planning communication and coordination meetings, more than 10 drafts of script revisions, 12 hours of back-to-back rehearsals, and more than 100 interdepartmental faculty-student performance teams, deliberating over every costume, every make-up, and every action design, presenting finally the most wonderful performance to the athletes and audiences all over the world.

  “The Olympic Qualifier Series is not only about the sport itself, but also stands for a lifestyle and attitude. We have brought together the concepts of green and thrifty Olympics as well as young people’s favorite fashion elements, and tailored this audio-visual feast with a perfect fusion of fashion, environmental protection, and sports to show Shanghai’s city spirit in all aspects and dimensions.” Ye Changhai, scriptwriter of the fashion show and deputy dean of the College of Humanities at Donghua University, said.

(Group photo of the crew)

Climbing instructors become the “main characters”, and girl from Donghua secures the “entrance ticket” in advance

(Zhang Hui instructing the climbing team in training)

(Zhang Hui (third from the left) at the fashion show)

  “Look, isn’t that our rock-climbing coach, Mr. Zhang Hui?!” In the fourth part of the fashion drama “Harmony between Nature and Humankind”, Mr. Zhang Hui, the coach of Donghua University Rock Climbing Team, his wife, Li Chunhua, the world rock climbing champion, and his daughter, a “little rock climber”, act as the main characters, and tell the story of climbing upward forever in the video clip. As the head coach of Donghua University’s rock-climbing team, Zhang Hui has not only cultivated more than 40 champions in national college climbing competitions, but has also been promoting the sport of rock climbing and trained more than 5,000 rock climbers. In his opinion, “sportsmanship is not only the sweat and cheers for victory in the arena, but also a kind of unremitting struggle to transcend oneself and pursue excellence. In sports, even if you are not a star player, you can have your own story!”

(Deng Lijuan participating in the Climbing World Cup in Chamonix, France)

(The First World University Rock Climbing Championships at Donghua University)

Rock climbing is a wonderful embodiment of DHU’s campus culture. As the training place of the National Climbing Team and Shanghai Climbing Team, DHU was once the organizer of the first World University Climbing Championships. On April 17 this year, 100 days after the countdown to the opening of the Olympic Games Paris, all the members of the National Climbing Team to compete in the event arrived at DHU to start the one-month pre-qualification training for the qualifier series. In the current Olympic Qualifier Series, the national climbing team has secured 3 valuable places in advance, with one for Deng Lijuan, an undergraduate student of Donghua University who entered DHU in 2021.

Deng Lijuan has scooped four gold medals in the women’s speed event at the 2022 and 2023 IFSC Climbing World Cup, as well as a gold medal in the women’s speed relay and a silver medal in the individual speed event at the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou. For the upcoming Paris Olympics, Deng Lijuan is full of confidence: “Standing on the highest podium of the Olympic Games, this is the dream of every athlete. Currently, I’m actively preparing for the Olympic Games. I’ll calm down and work hard against the world record, and leave no regrets to youth!”

(Donghua women’s soccer team with the only national championship trophy in the 2020 Shanghai soccer season)

(Long-distance running relay of Donghua University’s sports meet)

(Daily training at Donghua University’s swimming club)

While cultivating sports elites, Donghua University also pays special attention to the development of physical education around the idea of “sports for all”. The university put forward and practiced this concept earlier than other universities in China, kept expanding the platform of sports for all through class teaching, club activities and after-school competitions based on sports events, and made “every playground, every gymnasium and every sports ground” into a platform of sports for each physical education class, each extracurricular sports activity, and each sports competition in which students participate, thus serving as a class for sportsmen.

At present, DHU has established 42 university-level sports teams, 37 student sports clubs, 17 faculty sports associations, and has achieved excellent results in soccer, pole vault, handball, shooting and rock climbing, etc. It has been ranked as the top 20 of the “Sports Competition List of Universities and Colleges in China”, and has won the official certification of “Healthy Campus” by the International University Sports Federation (IUSF) among the batch of candidates. Through the construction of the sports class, campus sports in DHU has gradually become the backbone for all-member, all-round and all-directional education, the main access to a healthy personality and for promoting the concept of health, and the main platform to enrich the campus culture and the spirit of the University.