Sometimes I like to throw some of my neighbors into the mix. They may not look terribly fashionable, but they are terribly adorable and have a style perfect for Dongcheng District. They also look far more presentable and approachable than most of my other pajama-clad neighbors. They live nearby the Drum Tower and profess to have absolutely no interest in fashion.
This is pretty great. I am going to make hair a bigger factor in selecting people to photograph. This awesome hairdo will probably not fail in attracting a lot of looks. A rock aficionado and bar owner, this Gulou area entrepreneur’s main assets may be is attitude and his hair stylist.
This attractive pair unites a Midwesterner with a Californian. Western couples are slightly more likely to look similar in dress, while differing in ethnicity. This could reflect greater economic equality of the sexes, greater superficiality mixed with a less practical outlook or just that there is more concern for how the man dresses. In any case, these Americans could definitely pass for hip Continentals or Brits.
I have spent the Spring Festival in Baoding, Hebei, not exactly a hive of Stylites-worthy pedestrians.
This short peacoat grabbed my attention. Camels, beiges, light browns and other earthy neutral tones are not popular choices for outerwear here in Beijing, especially among more stylish youngsters. Such colors are commonly viewed as less than ideal for the Chinese complexion. The usual preference is for colors perceived as offering high contrast: blacks, navies and grays. Most Caucasians also hesitate before picking up a camel colored coat. Still, this particular wearer is looking good. I had no time to chat, but I can just tell that he does something involving rock music.
A film producer, Teddy recently took up smoking a pipe. He bought this one on Gulou Dongdajie. He pulls the pipe off well, which is no easy feat. The scarf is also nice, but do I detect a growing market for for velvet smoking jackets?
I rarely find anyone to photograph on weekdays. Lovely Ghanaians are even rarer. Light grays always seem perfect for the Beijing winters. I love the cut of the coat, but I was in too much of a hurry to get the details on it or the interesting hat and scarf.
Following are some of my predications regarding fashion on the streets of Beijing and other cities in China in 2009. I’m not an expert on women’s fashion, so please forgive the emphasis on males.
1. The gap is closing: Beijing is soon only three months behind London and Tokyo in adopting new styles. Slim tartan shirts, skinny jeans must already be old in those cities. What is next? All of these styles trickle down to second-tier cities in the space of a year.
2. Trouser waists: Higher waists for men’s and women’s trousers, but the fuller leg doesn’t really catch on and tapering remains the mainstream choice.
3. Ankles: The skinny leg with stacking around the ankle becomes the norm for fashionable people in wealthy second-tier cities.
4. Ties: Really skinny ties (1-2.5 inches) become popular for the late adopters but reach a saturation point for hip kids. Other colors beyond the basics become more popular as do the knit ties that have been sweeping Korea and Japan. Among young business men around the world, demand for a happy medium width of around 3 to 3.25 inches is agreed upon and becomes the mainstream. Wide ties of 3.75 to 4 inches remain unfashionable, but are still the most common type of tie in China and abroad. In mainstream Chinese society, ties are still a necessity rather than a joy to wear. Will one of the producers in Shengzhou improve quality to compete with Como, thus driving the Italians further into a corner in terms of their remaining competitive advantages (better color, ability to do small orders, taste, style and design)?
5. More sophistication for 2009, combined with frustration at the lack of quality in simple cuts on the market; more brands rise to trye to meet this demand. Fewer loud labels, lace, and pleather as people go for better quality.
In general, my assessment is that Beijing has made incredible progress in terms of style and is pretty close to being on par with all cities but New York, London, Milan, and Paris. There are so many more possible predictions than this. What do you think?
This fellow is doing many things well. There’s some decent layering action. The heavy reliance on black works to some degree. He’s scoring with the undone terribly skinny black tie. The collar width appears to be in balance with the skinniness of the tie. The leather sport coat is masculine and determined. With that look of confidence, he could have walked right off the cover of any of many local men’s magazines. Shine is matched with sheen and that matches his attitude toward life.
That said, I am growing sick of the shiny black super skinny tie. I would urge him to pick up a knit tie, though his outift might be too shiny for it. Let me advise him that we live in an era that favors nubbiness and knit ties are pretty much at the peak of their hipness in the US and in Japan and South Korea.
If extreme popularity reveals what is already over the hill in terms of the cool factor, the skinny knit tie is over. Look at production rather than the streets. Every factory is doing huge orders of poly and silk 2 inch solid ties for Next, Topman, and every other mainstream brand under the sun. There are actually very few factories that have invested in the relatively inexpensive machines that make knit ties. Just based on the numbers of orders, knit sock ties remain an exclusive item in the field of trendy ties. Also, the production cost of the cheapest knit ties is more than doubled that of the cheapest woven ties.
A graphic designer from Xian, she was in the hours-long queue for the famed cheese custard of Nanluoguxiang.
This eclectic and modern ensemble is worn by a visual merchandising director at Lane Crawford. I wonder if the pants can be removed in several different ways. I like the cropped peacoat and the boots give the whole look a decidely militaristic feel.
Sabrina was at the Korean market in Wangjing picking up a variety of kimchi, nuts and sauces. Although she insists that there is nothing remotely Korean about her (except for a boyfriend who is a home-made kimchi master) , rumours are she often bumps into koreans who speak their mother tongue to her.
In this particular photo taken against a background of festive countryside style bedding covers, she is surreal in her “muted” blue coat with lovely pleated waistline details. Above all, her look was completed with a smile sweeter than “tteok“.
Stylites is not all about giving beauty yet another platform to show its wares and invoke our envy. This fellow has something far more valuable anyway: His name is instantly recognizable. Li Ning has the exact same name as the athlete and brand Li Ning. The more famous Li Ning is probably known to Western audiences mainly for his lighting of the olympic torch at the opening ceremony last year on August eight.
Though I’ve at times tried to model my life off Julian Sorel’s, I must say that I find red and black to be a distinctly Walmart-like combination – on women at least. It is done too much and implies a charisma and drama that the wearer rarely possesses. It’s particularly offensive in work clothing where it appears far too often. Black leather jackets are also far too rough (although, in this case, more excusable on a woman). If she had just been pretty and not had the nice smile, she may not have made it here. Someone, despite the reservations about the color combo, I like this look. Like many girls walking down Nanluoguxiang, she was trailed by at least one doting man with a camera.
I often envy the Chinese their right to christen themselves according to their own taste. Hendrix named himself after his favorite guitarist. I’ve always hoped to meet a Nero or Elagabalus. Anyone who gave himself the name Elagabalus would be a perfect friend for me.
While the overall combination is slightly busy, the snappy tan cap toes are lovely in a city interested in fashion but famed for loafers adorned with a metal alligator. One just never sees them on young men here in Beijing, though they have been the rage for a while in Tokyo and Seoul.
This would have been a perfect outift for Christmas, though it worked for a bit after new year too. She guides tours in Thailand.
One with a little red bag and the other with a big blue one, Marion Venus and Tim Bowen are nothing if not an attractive couple. Each has a distinctive style, but the two blend well. This certainly counts as dressy Sunday attire in Beijing – perfect for promenading down those walkable streets of the capital.
No. 223 is founder and Editor-in-Chief of Too Magazine, China’s answer to hyper cool art fashion magazines like ID and Wallpaper. Something of a collector’s item, Too Magazine only came out once. Now No. 223 has opened funky menswear boutique Dandy Dandy in 3.3. He also releases photography books.
What an ordinary but nice Beijing doorway! The waist-length blue coat is especially nice. Despite appearances, she is, however, a hard-edged Public Relations consultant working for an American corporate behemoth.
Several years back, some guys, probably in London and Milan, decided casual white shoes match everything. Maybe I am wrong and white shoes have been popular all along. It does seem they have been growing rapidly in popularity here in China. While not a bad trend, white shoes don’t seem ideal for Beijing, where all stylish men wear them. The overall outfit successfully mixes items that seemed too distinctive to be mixed. He is wearing a double-breasted fashiony peacoat over what appears to be a double-breasted waistcoat.
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