Trends that in the West are retro, alluding to a certain era in our shared experience or that of our parents, are often completely new to China. “Camel is back” or “we’re stuck in the ’80s again” doesn’t really have the same resonance. Last time camel was popular, China might not have yet had fashion magazines (most are post-2000). So when girls all over Beijing start wearing cap toes, bi-tonals, tasseled loafers, and generally aspiring to be feminine dandies, it seems fresh. Sure, they are following a global trend that is already somewhat played out in the West, but in China it feels new because it is not retro and does not carry the same associations.
The modernized spectator was omnipresent.
The pairings were often quite feminine.
Or they could be a tad boyish.
But thing certain was that they were everywhere.
Of course there were tougher versions as well.
The more modernist shoe perfect for displaying socks.
Or toe cleavage.
Cuter, more traditional feeling shoes that were real vintage abounded, too.
Combinations fit with the general style.
Pleating, tassels, and buckles in unexpected combinations were another feature.
The tassel was perhaps most pleasing.
And girls could even pick them up at the Zoo Market.