Archive – February 2007

Jefen and Wu Yong to show in Paris [ edit ]

February 15 2007 (01:48:00) US/Pacific ( 2 views )

This blog entry at fashionwindows.com introduces Frankie Xie and Ma Ke, two Chinese designers who will be showing in Paris this February 25:
http://blog.fashionwindows.com/index.php/2007/02/14/paris/

The intersting thing is that I will be in Paris on that day. Hmmmm.

The website for Jefen, Frankie Xie’s label is:

http://www.jefen.com/

They have five shops here Beijing, which I might investigate at some point.

Comments

Hi, i like how ur blog documents fashion in China. Is it possible that u start doing something like the SATORIALIST? Like when u see something interesting(even in a nasty way), u put it on ur blog? Because every major city got its own fashion blog except china. it would be interesting for China to have a voice in the net. have a nice day.
Posted by Ah Sir on 02/20/2007 07:45:01 PM

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Exuberance and Disaster [ edit ]

February 13 2007 (11:37:00) US/Pacific ( 2 views )

Spirits are high. Prospects are good. Investments are sizzling. Surroundings are beauty. One drinks to celebrate.

Spirits are in the dumps. Hope is gone. Life is mortgaged. Concrete and pollution surrounds. One drinks to get through.

There is also a new aristocracy that drinks all day, while concluding deals and discussing eros. Drinking is their profession.

How many one-liners and half-misunderstood ideas did I just fuse?

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Fakes [ edit ]

February 13 2007 (10:49:00) US/Pacific ( 2 views )

More on fakes:

http://ca.today.reuters.com/news/NewsArticle.aspx?type=oddlyEnoughNews&storyID=uri:2007-02-12T155222Z_01_N01271663_RTRIDST_0_LIFESTYLE-LIFE-FASHION-COUNTERFEIT-COL.XML&pageNumber=0&summit=

I can understand buying a fake when there is no other choice: that is often the case here in China. However, I’ve never understood buying things where you can tell the brand immediately, whether it is fake or real. Any product which inspires the question “is it real or a fake?” is off limits to people hoping to be stylish.

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A New Opportunity [ edit ]

February 13 2007 (10:39:00) US/Pacific ( 3 views )

Archive - February 2007 louisvuittoncar
A marriage of two forms of consumption loved in China.

Archive - February 2007

Somebody has gotta do this.

LV pattern:

Condoms

Orange Peels in plush clubs

Cellphones, Blackberries

Laptops

Ipods

Contacts

Calculators

Toilet Seats

Refrigerators

Microwaves

Vacuum Cleaners

Pez Dispensers

Pads

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Chinese Cities – No Break with the Past [ edit ]

February 12 2007 (03:58:00) US/Pacific ( 2 views )

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Tiantong Xiyuan Third District South, Changping District, Beijing – Sze Tsung Leong

Another new interest I have is in architecture and city planning. This famous quote explains why the way Chinese cities now develop is not revolutionary at all:

“One of the most important historical characteristics of cities in China is continuity with the past—an aspect reflected in the urban patterns and layouts that have remained, in their many incarnations over the centuries, relatively unchanging. Despite the common view that present-day Chinese cities constitute a break with the past, they are still consistent with three historical patterns that have defined urban change in China: large-scale destruction and replacement of urban fabrics to inaugurate changes of emperors or dynasties; massive relocations of populations; and highly planned urban configurations enabled by centralized and unchallenged forms of authority. These traditions underly the shape and nature of the contemporary Chinese city.”

“The persistence of these traditions is possible only in a nation and society that has historically been steered by absolute forms of power. Only by acting as vehicles of these forms of power can urban and architectural development undergo processes that are by now commonplace – demolishing, relocating, wiping clean, and starting anew – all on a magnitude that affects not just individuals, but populations. Concentrated authority gave shape to cities such as traditional Beijing. It also wiped them clean, accommodating a new society in the form of luxury apartment complexes, office towers, and shopping centers. Power today may not exist in the singular form of an Emperor or a Chairman, but it is managed and exercised with enough strength to channel the possibilities for urban experience, and to choose which urban traditions to preserve.”

-Sze Tsung Leong, a Photographer of Historical Images, Urban Scenes, etc.

One always thinks they are just ripping things up and replacing the old with the garish new beyond any rhyme or reason, but here we see that it actually is the traditional thing to do.

Comments

very interesting indeed.
Posted by Pescatore on 02/13/2007 03:29:30 AM

I appreciate that, Pescatore
Posted by stylites on 02/13/2007 10:24:27 AM

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Careful [ edit ]

February 07 2007 (03:13:00) US/Pacific ( 2 views )

In January, the Shanghai Administration for Industry and Commerce said that global fashion brands such as Armani, Dior and Zara may be forced to halt sales of some garments in China due to quality and health issues.

Foreign companies are always under closer scrutiny. At worst, the government might be acting in this way to protect market share of domestic competitors. At best, one of the few areas the media is allowed complete freedom is in exposing the wrongs of foreign companies.

Comments

Of course the People’s Republic of Ingroup/Outgroup encourages criticism of all those big bad MNCs who are forcing their inefficient underpaying uncreative local businesses to actually have to compete. How appalling. Ha ha only serious
Posted by Pescatore on 02/08/2007 03:55:51 AM

Hehe…apparently Mango was lying about fabric content – picking up some local techniques it would seem. But to be fair they have done tests in the west that found many fabric content labels do overstate cashmere content or threat count.
Posted by stylites on 02/08/2007 04:01:27 AM

Which luxury Chinese brands are the authorities trying to protect from foreign competition?? I don’t think protectionism is at the heart of the issue here…xenophobic bureaucrats just like to flex their muscles when they can because they can…
Posted by Lincoln Annecam on 02/08/2007 04:08:00 AM

While your statement about xenophic bureaucrats is on target and that is probably the reason here, there are several small Chinese luxury brands and chainstores that they are trying to nurture. Off the top of my head, there is Jefen and if you can scroll down to see the report on Cabbeen, which has 300 boutiques throughout the country. In any case, there have numerous articles saying that China wants to move from just producing to designing apparel with its own brands.
Posted by stylites on 02/08/2007 05:50:30 AM

Chinese luxury brands, with an emphasis on ‘Chinese’, which means they don’t compete with established international juggernauts like Armani and co, and probably won’t for decades if they ever do. And of course China wants to move up the value chain (since when has wealth creation/accumulation ceased being a national aspiration?) but if xenophobic bureaucrats, in their warped minds, think that giving foreign brands a hard time is a means to that end, I think you’d agree that they’ve sadly deluded themselves.
Posted by Lincoln Annecam on 02/09/2007 07:42:14 AM

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If you work from home and want a discount… [ edit ]

February 07 2007 (02:39:00) US/Pacific ( 2 views )

Archive - February 2007 businessbib

The new “business bib” is for conference calls from home where your boss can only see the upper half of your body. Our bespoke version is priced at 65% of the cost of our standard suits. I wouldn’t call this suit “versatile”. For more information: http://www.luxist.com/2006/09/17/the-business-bib/

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We bring Milan, Paris, and New York to Beijing [ edit ]

February 07 2007 (02:34:00) US/Pacific ( 4 views )

I’ve been delaying this for some time due to a heavy workload. Below are some interesting looks from the Fall ’07 collections that we would like to recreate for you:

Lacoste

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I like the jacket and Frenchness of the outfit.

John Varvatos

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I enoy the full trousers and the slim scarf. This would be perfect in the heavy English wools that are our specialty. By the way, you should see the scarf Yuanyuan is knitting me from Italian yarn. Just a reminder: Beijing’s best custom hand-knit scarves.

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Gucci

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The model looks a bit questionable, but I love the skinny checked suit, even though it is double-breasted and you should never walk around with a double-breasted suit unbuttoned. It’s interesting to note that not a single client has ordered a double-breasted suit. Medium and light grays have been “in” for a couple winters. They are so much soothing and fresh-feeling than black. Or I should say: black is appropriate at evening while light gray is a truly versatile color. I have noticed that many young men in China view this shade of gray as suitable only for older people, but I think black is already played out for the young. Light gray seems to make an older man’s face fade a bit, especially if his hair is also gray.
Archive - February 2007 00080m

These updated Tyrolean jackets are nice, especially in the colors chosen by Frida Giannini, now designing menswear at Gucci.. With the oversexed days of Tom Ford in the past, we can see this label emerging as a constant reinventor of Mediterranean style. This winter took us on vacation in the Alps – a skiing trip for a Roman dandy.

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It’s sad that this label is so over-hyped and mainstream because the style options it is starting to present are fresh alternatives for the sartorially inclined gentleman. These are stylish revisions of classics that could actually be worn every day (thank goodness she didn’t seek to revisit lederhosen).

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Ignore the bag. I must find a medium weight tweed in this color.

Valentino

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This seems like nothing special: a slim, peaked-lapel, one-button suit. We have created suits in this style to great effect. Everyone probably knows that this is the cutting-edge shape for a suit currently. And yet…and yet…something about the color and the texture of the fabric makes this very desirable. Valentino’s color palette made heavy use of this shade of gray.

Light to medium grays could be both good and bad for Beijing. Good because they show dirt and dust less than either white and khaki or black and navy. Bad because you might blend in too much with the air – not enough contrast. Hmmm, dressing to match the pollution – would this signal a final resignation to live contentedly in this moonscape?

Rag and Bone

I would like to draw your attention to some coats showed by this US label:

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These casual wool jackets would be perfect in the Chinese and English tweeds that we offer.

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Zara, Review [ edit ]

February 06 2007 (06:49:00) US/Pacific ( 3 views )

Archive - February 2007

Let me do a swift analysis:

Overall, the big surprise is the extent to which products and prices are the same here as they are in the West. Yes, foreigners, Beijing finally has a chain store where you get stylish clothing without nonsense words scrawled across or beads and lace – and it will actually fit.

1. Price: Basically the same as New York, though there could be slight differences that I cannot discern because of a different mix of products (Zara is always changing that).

2. Selection: Again, a pleasant surprise for the most part. There is quite a range for both men’s and women’s clothing. I was expecting the selection to be poor, as it often is in the mainland branches of luxury chains, but that is not the case at Zara. It does too different from New York.

3. Best Value for a Foreigner: Shoes, shoes, shoes. They have big sizes! 44 AND 45 for men. 39 and 40 for women are no problem in most styles. You can pick up a pair of stylish men’s trainers for 400 or so. There’s good value in a city of such poor selection when it comes to quality and style. For less than 700 RMB you could have a pair of suede peep toe wedge pumps or the cutest patent ballet flats – very “of-the-moment”. Other styles of ballet flats are under 400.

4. Quality: My initial reaction is that the quality is similar to the West. Some of the cotton fabrics are a bit unpleasant and there are far too many 100% synthetic pants, which for 500+ RMB seem a bit much overpriced. However, there aren’t many sources for modern slim-fit trousers in town (unless if you want some tailor-made in quality English wool cashmere blends – Contact me!).

5. Style:

Men: Beijing’s first one-stop source for fashionable clothing for work and going out. Dior Homme style blazer/safari jackets were in abundance in at least five different colors. Zara is the best place for pointy captoes with, regrettably, PVC soles. These are made in Spain and priced at from 850-1000 RMB. Do not go for a suit here. Zara may offer the only slim-fitting suit in Beijing off the rack at an acceptable price, but we can give you a much better one in English fabric in the same style for this price range.

Women: Somewhat bland, but that is just what we need in sequined, rhinestoned, lace-infected Beijing. This is a great source of party outfits and work clothes for young ladies working in foreign multinationals. The Beijing office girl finally has the chance to vie with the style of her female boss without a monumental financial sacrifice.

With your youth and good looks, you’ll look way better than her when she strides across the office in her newly purchased Christian Louboutin.

The young female expat can finally abandon Yaxiu and the outlets opposite the zoo. The price is a bit more, but the style and absence of logos and sequins are worth it!

Foreign Girls: your womanly form can finally be properly fitted. Sizes 6 and above are available.

Archive - February 2007 InditexCEO220

Mr. Pablo Isla, CEO of Inditex Group, parent of Zara.

Comments

Fun and fashion in Beijing. You are a bright spot. Wish you wrote more!
Posted by Kim on 02/06/2007 09:06:35 AM

Dear Kim, I really appreciate your kind words. Please keep reading my blog and encourage your friends to do so as well. Any suggestions for content or contributions would also be much appreciated. Best, Nels
Posted by stylites on 02/06/2007 10:09:16 AM

Amancio Ortega is the owner of Inditex
Posted by pelocha on 03/05/2007 11:51:03 PM

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Cabbeen Takes Manhattan [ edit ]

February 05 2007 (03:43:00) US/Pacific ( 4 views )

Chinese label on show in New York

(Article is from The Guardian, photos are from google.cn)

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Jess Cartner-Morley in New York Monday February 5, 2007The image of Chinese fashion, still in the west associated with cheongsam dresses and Mao jackets, has been brought up to date by a catwalk show in New York. The show by Cabbeen [NF:卡宾], a hugely successful menswear label in China, which now plans to go global, marked the first time a designer from mainland China had taken part in New York fashion week.

The image of Chinese fashion, still in the west associated with cheongsam dresses and Mao jackets, has been brought up to date by a catwalk show in New York. The show by Cabbeen a hugely successful menswear label in China, which now plans to go global, marked the first time a designer from mainland China had taken part in New York fashion week.The collection, by the 35-year-old designer Cabbeen, featured faded jeans, “vintage” look T-shirts, customised blazers and designer trainers – all key elements of popular contemporary men’s casual wear in New York, Milan and London as well as in Cabbeen’s native Guangzhou.

China is already a powerhouse of production in the fashion industry, the base for more than half the world’s textiles manufacturing. Increasingly it makes clothes for European and American labels, and has a fast-growing interest in fashion.

When Chinese Vogue launched 18 months ago the first issue demanded a second print run within a fortnight, and all copies still sold out. The appetite of the growing Chinese middle class for luxury goods already has western labels such as Giorgio Armani and Louis Vuitton competing for Shanghai’s prime retail locations. China is increasingly restless with its role as the manufacturing arm of other countries’ fashion brands.

Cabbeen, launched in 1989, now has 300 stores on the mainland, and is favoured by fashion-conscious young Chinese celebrities. The style is international and expensively casual.

At his show the designer himself appeared in black jeans and with artfully dishevelled hair and diamond earring studs. On the catwalk faded jeans were worn with rock’n’roll T-shirts and pinstriped blazers, a look already much favoured by boy band members and successful off-duty young .

Cabbeen maintains a distinct identity using Chinese elements; there is a mandarin-collar velvet blazer but worn with white jeans and trainers; traditional pink cherry-blossom embroidery, but juxtaposed onto a suit jacket.

“The Chinese are often viewed as somewhat stiff and conservative,” says Cabbeen, “and so I am always trying to relax that.”

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Here is the designer himself. And his slow, but interesting, website:

http://www.cabbeen.com/english/eindex/eindex.asp

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Beijing Zara Analysis: One [ edit ]

February 02 2007 (08:15:00) US/Pacific ( 2 views )

Coming soon…Detailed analysis of price, selection, best items to purchase, quality, style, etc. for the new Zara.

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ZARA [ edit ]

February 02 2007 (07:50:00) US/Pacific ( 2 views )

It is simply the highest fashion chainstore and it has now arrived in Beijing.

http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/bizchina/2007-02/02/content_799411.htm

Zara is for the person who wants exclusivity, but can’t afford it. In some respects you do really get it. Of the major chains, it is the only one that recycles its fashions so often and has a design to shelf timespan of two weeks, supposedly. If you find something you like, snap it up, because it will be replaced with something different.

It’s interesting that, despite having production here in China, you do not see very many zara overproduced items or fakes. Zara stands out in this regard since Ralph Lauren, Banana Republic, Gap, and Abercrombie are everywhere. The highest fashion items at Zara are made in Europe, often Spain, Portugal, or Romania.

If you want suits at this price that are more “exclusive” (tailored for you) and have the same fashion-forward look but made of far better, English fabric and with top-notch construction, contact me.

Archive - February 2007

The party was a bit of a bore. It seems alcoholic of me to say this, but a good party does need more than enough alcohol. Here there was a tiny trickle of wine that was almost as good as Great Wall, though it came in a foreign-label bottle.

They made up for everything with the gift: a cute slim red tie with white polka-dots that claims to be 100% silk and made in Italy. I am wearing mine now and the one that Yuanyuan received (they said she would get a scarf) could be yours.

Thanks go to Oglivy for arranging for a party which had pluses and minuses. Perhaps if they had supplied more alcohol, people would have bought more at the store, which opened right after the party.

The store opened afterwards.

Archive - February 2007

I met Mr. Dong Lu in the store. He has started a stylish custom tailoring business here in Beijing. I really liked his outfit – most of it custom made. The cashmere coat is based on a Gucci one from Fall ’03, but the lining makes it better than anything from Gucci.

Archive - February 2007

More on Dong Lu in the future. These pictures don’t really capture how exceptional he seems.

Here is his website:

www.beyondtailors.com

His business, started late last year, centers on shirts at the moment. He’s taken up the noble causing of convincing Chinese men to wear custom-made rather than big brand name. His approach: tailoring with style makes so much more sense for men than buying designer stuff off the rack.

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Aristocracy of Cuties [ edit ]

February 02 2007 (07:08:00) US/Pacific ( 3 views )

Archive - February 2007

To give you a taste of our jet-set lifestyle, here is a pic of Yuanyuan from last weekend while she was staying at the Tabarcka Inn in Marakesh. She was there for the North African High Fashion Crocheting Forum’s Annual Seminar on Hot Pink Cashmere Thread.

By the way, we do hand-knit custom scarves too.

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Velvet Jacket for Girls [ edit ]

February 01 2007 (06:42:00) US/Pacific ( 2 views )

Here Yuanyuan is wearing her newly completed midnight blue velvet jacket.
Archive - February 2007

With stylish one button closure, notch lapels, and a cut that tapers at the waist and hits at the hips, this versatile piece can be worn with jeans to the club or in an ensemble like this for an office party.

Ladies: Don’t worry about shoulder pads, boxiness or any other unstylish nuissances that might have harmed your past efforts at having clothing custom made.

(Photo: Colin MacLennan)

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