Prepared to go acquiring, some men at the opening party of Lane Crawford are looking cool.
They could feel confident that Lane Crawford selected the best pieces from each of the labels on offer. Rick Owens, Burberry Prorsum, Viktor and Rolf, Yves Saint Laurent Rive Gauche, Neil Barrett, and Alexander Mcqueen are in Beijing for the first time. The new Dior Homme shop opposite confirms that Beijing is no longer a men’s fashion backwater.
Here are Beijing’s best shoes. Check N.D.C Made by Hand brogues (4,100). Lane Crawford is China’s only distributor of these and the Spanish Preventi (around 2,500). Church’s (5,800-6,800), bench-made in the UK, are among the earth’s best shoes, though boring Zegnas are still the top sellers at Lane Crawford. Uh, not to mention the John Lobbs (14,000+).
The tie, shirt, and scarf selection was acceptable, but for lovelier choices, check Allen in Oriental Plaza. More pocket squares would be nice. Standouts were Burberry Prorsum slim ties (1,895) and Viktor and Rolf star print ties (1,000). Choices in attractive corporate-friendly ties lagged; brands missing include Hilditch and Key, Charvet, and Massimo Bizzochi. The Italy-made store brand shirts (1,400) suffice, but Turnbull and Asser or Borrelli would outclass. Skip Vivienne Westwood scarves – the orb is old – but indulge in an over-dyed Raf Simons “split ends” scarf (3300).
Officewear is Dunhill, Zegna, Pal Zileri, and Armani, familiar brands that will sate nearby ibankers and private equity thugs, and generate steady cash flow. The well-edited collections save trips to their boutiques, but truly exclusive brands like Barbera, Isaia, or Belvest might be nice. Choose Pal Zileri for its superior construction – a one button, peak lapel, s120 navy pinstriped suit (18,300) needs you. Non-sale prices include alterations. Skip the Paul Smith suits, but try out his beige, velvet-collared, crombie (13,700).
For divine experiences, blending high fashion with great tailoring, go for the silk/wool Alexander Mcqueen suit (26,700), which makes shimmering look good and will doubtless adorn a popstar, and the black Burberry Prorsum wool/cashmere coat with braided epaulettes (27,350) that seemed custom-made for me. Or you could get personalized replicas custom-made by a tailor here in Beijing.