Yep, quite a distance from Beijing. Not much time to update now. I was expecting people to be more conservatively dressed. There are a lot of brightly colored scarves with dyed hair revealed in front. The men wear suprisingly tight jeans.
In a city with innumerable lovely girls, 95% of whom compromise their natural beauty with over-reliance on lace, glitter, and chains, it’s spirit-lifting to see style that highlights the grace of the wearer while at the same time being a little unique. I even forgive the somewhat blatant red LV bag – at least this model is not so often faked as of yet.
Please check my column and street style photos in the February issue of That’s Beijing! It is hot off the press!
Updates have been less frequent in the last couple of weeks because I have been very busy with my day job, and because the frigid weather reduces the number of stylish people.
Over the next three weeks updates will likely be still more sporadic. I will be traveling through the Middle East over and may have limited access to the internet during visits to remote historic sites, probably while staying in hostels lacking wireless. When I have the chance, I will post photos I have taken recently.
Hits on Stylites have spiked recently and I recommend that all new viewers enjoy the archives. Street photos are arranged by area in the categories to the right. The best photos are to be found in “Nanluoguxiang” and “Xidan” though “Dongsi” also has some good ones.
Zhai Yanxin’s work incorporates custom tailoring and design. I have always said that this was a natural course for high-end fashion to take here in China. Why buy an Armani dress when a thousand other people have the same one (and aside from the final stitches done in Italy, the Armani was probably made in China anyway)? For the same price or lower, a stylish Chinese lady can have a completely unique piece tailored for her by Mr. Zhai, for example. More from Xinhua here and take a look at the designer’s blog.
These two young college girls were at Tango to sing karaoke.
Coach says China will be its #3 market after the US and Japan. This quote from Coach seems to sum up the attitude that most foreign luxury brands have toward China and the rest of the less-developed world: “In non-Japan Asia, consumers are at a different stage in the lifecyle of their experience with luxury goods. Luxury for them is much more about status. It’s a badge.”
In the West, is luxury an expression of personal style, a connection with traditions, or an celebration of beauty and quality?
Valentino Fashion Group S.p.A will be opening its first free standing Valentino boutique in Beijing this week. In the Peninsula Palace shopping arcade, this flagship boutique will carry the menswear and ladies wear collections as well as bags, shoes, sunglasses and watches. Despite a rather thin presence on the ground in China, the brand Valentino is already quite well-known and has been a frequent victim of trademark infringement. There are many clothing brands based in China that include the word “Valentino” in their name.
I’m on a company trip at moment, so I haven’t really been able to update the site. Please do start checking back as there will be new photos soon.
Huang Yue designs original and inspiring haute couture for local celebs and bigshots. Check out his shop opposite 3.3, next time you are in Sanlitun. Even if you don’t fancy his work, you will enjoy talking to him if he is around. He is such sweet fellow and always makes time to listen and say a nice word or two. Quirky as well, he also has some unique ideas on fashion in China. More on his shop later.
I love the jacket he is wearing, which is, naturally, one of his designs. Too bad the photo isn’t better. Made from a tweedy silk/wool blend in an extremely loose weave, the blazer is completely un-constructed with no lining. You could call it a sweater-sport coat.
Paco Ou just opened Bustout, the largest and most cutting edge street wear emporium in Beijing. My review of the shop will appear in the February That’s Beijing, so I don’t want to say too much here. Keep your eye out. He wants the store, among the most spacious retail spaces I’ve seen here, to be a platform on which education of local youth on the origins of hip-hop culture can occur. Apparently, middle class kids in baggy jeans and over-sized headphones don’t really understand the culture behind the look and the music. According to Paco, the hip hop artists that do achieve mainstream success in China do not play genuine hip hop, from the perspective of the music itself and the feeling that goes into it. I agree with him on this. I’ll give a lot more detail on Bustout within the next couple weeks.
He must have been expecting to be flash photographed. I often wish I could comment on the attitude, voice, or vibe of a certain person I photograph. Stylites is not a platform for my thoughts and criticisms though. With so much Burberry print covering China – in collars, fake scarves, ties, and window curtains – this ranks as a use of the plaid that I like. The young entrepreneur’s plaid stands out from the crowd of epuelatted coats that define this winter.
The January Trouser Press, featured in That’s Beijing, has my suggestions for Asian men on how to dress. Two key pieces are:
- colors that provide high contrast with skin, keeping away from most yellows, beiges, or cream, and most browns
- avoiding bulky clothing and most off-the-rack items intended for export to Western markets
Daniel Sui is a designer for Kappa in China and he appeared on Stylites before. The IHT had an interesting story on the public offering of Dongxiang, which owns the exclusive license for the Kappa brand in China. As the existence of Daniel’s job proves, this Italian sportswear brand is not only produced and sold in China, but also designed here. The article speaks of over 20% annual growth of the Chinese sportswear market.
The funny thing is that I have the exact same herringbone trench coat and I was wearing it that same day. Daniel also wore it for his photo shoot with 1626 (1626 also did a shoot and interview with me that should be appearing over the next couple of weeks):
The coat is intended for export to Japan and is by some obscure brand. The cut is really slim and the styling is quite nice. I think the coat looks good and that’s why I bought it despite some misgivings. The price of around USD 50 also didn’t dissuade me. Unfortunately, truths like “you always get what you pay for” do seem eternal. This coat has the same key defect … Read More »
I meet so many female acting students, it was nice to finally encounter a male one. He has a sort of rugged urban style with a very modern jacket that seems even faintly athletic.