contemporary & directional china street fashion

Spring Denim

Is denim trending right now or is it just that twilight between winter and spring time when one grabs whatever  remains from their spring 2013 Wrobe  and throws it on only to happy to strut the streets without a heavy down jacket? The Jury is still out…

Yet I always had a soft spot for denimheads, especially 80’s DB muscleman Marble wash jackets like Xiah is wearing with gusto… Or a cool Oxford blue shirt with real aged wash (the one that takes time to make from brand new rinse denim to worn out naturally).

The word is Denim, head to toes or nothing..

bring it on my dear Beijingers..

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A sporty Touch

Spring brings energy and with it the sense that anything can be achieved. Style wise, our Beijing city fellows are adding a touch of “je ne sais quoi sportif” Be it outdoor shoes , track pants or full one track suit look, Active is back. KT_Sporty_couple_LR KT_OUTDOOR_BOOTS_MEN_LR

The HUB, Edition 2

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I thought I would just recap some of the highlights of The HUB, edition two.  Orders surged as multi-brand channels gained traction in Greater China with initiatives like the Multi-label Alliance and the Greenhouse. This time, The HUB attracted a wider range and higher quality of buyers with budgets to buy as well as major distributors and other key figures in the fashion industry from China, Hong Kong, Southeast Asia and beyond. Visitor numbers were similar to The HUB of August 28-30, but these attendees were a more relevant and business-focused group, according to accounts of exhibitors. The exhibitors themselves remained a well-curated assembly from across North America, Europe, and Asia including contemporary fashion, heritage brands, cutting-edge designers, denim and street wear.

Here are some quotes from various attendees:

The HUB brought many designer brands from around the world and Nuandao buyers got a chance to interact with a lot of brands that wanted to enter the China market. We want to thank The HUB for giving these new brands a great platform. Nuandao will be working with several brands from The HUB toward establishing a deeper level of cooperation.”

Peipei, Buyer, Nuandao.com

"The Hub Two was a great show for Two Deck and our portfolio of brands - I believe this show is exactly what the APAC region needs - and I look forward to watching it grow and prosper into ‘the’ leading fashion event in APAC business calendar."

- Mike Todd, Director, Twodeck

The HUB is a great place to see up-and-coming brands and meet the talent that will drive the Asian market for the next 20 years. The future of multi-brand retail in China starts at shows like these.”

Kenneth Li, Managing Group President, Waitex

"Great to see a local initiative supporting independent multi-brand retailers in Asia."

Jillian Xin, Yetang.com

"We only decided to exhibit at The HUB quite late in the day. The brand is having great success in Japan so thought we would test the water in Hong Kong for other parts of Asia. The fact that we got a great order from a top store in Hong Kong and now have serious conversations with companies for Korea, China and Australia distribution far exceeded our expectations."

Anthony Thorne, Hancock VA

"Asian designers are not always taken seriously enough at fashion events in the West, and local events aren’t selective enough about which brands they show and lack the credibility to attract international buyers."

  • Victor Zhu, V-Major
I did some business and got good leads. The most surprising was an order from a UK retailer.”
  • Jamil Juma, Juma Studio  

Friday snaps

Just a quick spin looking for more spring looks lead me to this nice couple. The blond hair and styling is on trend with the must have baseball jacket for him and the oversized military boyfriend shirt for her. Dong Da Qiao is a interesting area were fashion conscious young adults are harder to find but at least you do not get the tele-lens paparazzis prowling around like in Tai koo li. KT_dong_da_qiaoKT_Chaoyang_hospitalKT_chaoyang_hospital_2

Between Winter and Spring

It’s a difficult fashion decision:  shall I wear something warm that saw me through the harsh winter or shall I brave the sunny yet still cold Beijing weather? Eric goes for full on short and Hoodie looks unfazed by the bitter cold wind, Jeff opts for layering which gives a good compromise between too cold and too warm. Our jumper Tiger Kenzo’esque Friend goes no jacketo braving the elements in style….

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Stylish at The HUB

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The HUB last week brought fashion industry types from all across Greater China and beyond to exhibit, visit and buy.  



Down from Beijing, Elisabeth Koch of the eponymous millinery had help from Cindy Ma, designer and multi-brand store owner at her display in the Greenhouse.

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Another designer in the Greenhouse, Mao Xinzhi was born in Gansu, but operates the studio of her brand Frank Beat out of Shanghai.

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She has a tattoo that wraps around her thigh.  Her English name is Cingel, which she created based on her Chinese name Xinzhi.  One might not expect cool kids like Cingel to come out of such remote locations as Gansu, but it is not terribly surprising.  In Beijing, the Northeast - Gansu and Ningxia especially - are known for producing rock musicians.

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Her friend Li Ling is behind the brand Unmentioned, which was always showing in the Greenhouse.

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After one day of The HUB, there was a party at Kapok to celebrate its eighth anniversary with the launch of a new line of shirts that are made right in HK.  This multi-brand store has really found a way to succeed in this very tough market with the highest rents in the world.

These two devotees of the brand are a doctor and a musician.

BOYS In Fashion

After a long smog phase, the sun and clean air blessed Beijing for a week end, and with it a spring feeling, leaving behind the dredges of the winter. What a better occasion to show off early spring attires. HBA Boy KT_BNC_PEng-cheng-Hao

中城与中产—卡萨布兰卡酒店、Elysée酒店与Library 酒店

把这三间酒店放在一起,一是因为是同一个管理集团,二是因为都位于曼哈顿中城,相距不远但各有特色。

如果觉得太热闹会聒噪,太时尚有点稚气。喜欢静谧的环境,又想享受地道的纽约生活方式,推荐来这三家酒店,都是位于曼哈顿中城极佳的地段;都全天供应茶点、水果与咖啡;每天下午五点还供应各种奶酪、红白葡萄酒与香槟。不仅对入住客人,对客人的客人也同样免费。坐落的来客基本都是中年人,听口音是美国、英国和法国的居多。有些在聚会,有些是待客,大家都各得其所。没有耀眼奢华的的服饰、类似好莱坞电影里年轻人的口音和动不动就兴奋的情绪,能逃避开这一切,在纽约其实也是种难得的幸福。其中卡萨布兰卡酒店每周四晚上5点开始有现场钢琴演奏,弹者自称已经在此弹奏15年之久,钢琴家与客人自然的“拉家常”,轻松的慢时光可以用来多尝几种葡萄酒和奶酪。卡萨布兰卡这个名字,自然是从经典电影中得到的灵感, 酒店的创立者有一个穷困潦倒移民美国,白手起家的励志故事。通常是这样企业家会更有魄力,为了一部钟情的电影,在纽约最繁华的街道上,建起这样一座怀旧酒店。Elysée酒店因为招待过浪漫的名人无数而闻名,坐落的大楼于30年代左右建成,是颇具代表性的纽约艺术装饰风格老建筑。至于Library酒店,中文直译就是图书馆了,它的特点是煞费苦心的把图书馆建到了每个房间里和休息区。首先每个楼层是不同的分类,如科学、艺术、文学等。进到每个房间便是不同的科目,如恐龙、儿童文学、欧洲艺术。在预定酒店的时候可以先选择喜欢的分类,房间是入住的时候进行再分配。Library楼顶上的酒吧不仅是客人消遣的地方, 也因为传承的文化和独特的风景,成为地道纽约人聚会的选择之一。客人群体偏成熟,如果想避开浮躁的喧嚣,就躲在这里。

卡萨布兰卡酒店位置:147 West 43rd Steet

当下预定价格:http://www.casablancahotel.com/

Elysée酒店位置:60 East 54th Street

当下预定价格:http://www.elyseehotel.com/

Library酒店位置:299 Madison Avenue

当下预定价格:http://www.libraryhotel.com/

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Library 酒店

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Williamsburg - 纽约酒店琐记

题记:   我希望我第一次来纽约的时候看过这片文章,就不必憨傻的花400美金一个晚上住在崭新美式装潢的Trump SOHO, 再另付40美金早餐和平均每天10美金的各种小费。

1、破产姐妹住不起的Williamsburg—King & Grove

火的不得了的电视剧《破产姐妹》的故事发生地距曼哈顿多远?地铁10分钟,出了地铁到KING&GROVE酒店,最多再走10分钟。这里有什么?当地的大啤酒工厂几乎就在酒店对面,他们有公共开放时间,就是散客进去可以低价开怀痛饮的时间,纽约的水质是全国出名的好,现在深呼吸一下,联想夏天步入这个本地工厂畅饮冰凉啤酒的感觉…当然你要和一大群人挤着。再走几步有另一家工厂厂房改造的古董+二手+全新的仓储店,进去了轻松就要花掉2小时,这里的东西不是按照尺码分,而是颜色,一个个圆形的展架,密密麻麻的排布,一个展架是一个色系,人在里面蹭着走,展架顶上陈列着适合搭配这个色系的鞋子。这里要自己扎进去慢慢淘才行,没人服务你那么多,他们要节约成本,收好东西,卖低价格,所以淘一件双面真丝的中国旗袍风小礼服裙也只用35美金。顺手还可以给家人朋友带礼物,本地工作室做的手工蜡烛,小首饰等单设一区。酒店的一层大堂外面有游泳池,隔壁大楼上整面墙的涂鸦是最原始的装饰,绝不浮夸。顶层有小酒廊,因为氛围好,位置也方便,来客不一定是住客,尤其夏天,这里就变成了年轻人约会休息的聚集地,当地名流碧昂斯等也会偶尔出现在这里的顶层酒吧,想看碧昂斯的屁股到底有多翘,值不值得她上了百万美金的保险,来这里。想看看曼哈顿的全景到底有多美,值不值得无法定居在岛上的人咒骂,来这里。没来之前想到Williamburg,总是条件反射的想吃杯子蛋糕,(cupcake)看过之后才了解,电视剧果然不可信,破产姐妹住不起曼哈顿,其实也住不起这里。

King & Grove酒店位置:160 North 12th Street,Brooklyn

当下预定价格:http://www.kingandgrove.com/

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2、“本土化”到“酷化”— Wyeth酒店

进到这里大堂,还没来得及看建筑与装饰,先被接待处旁边一个年轻人看管的POP UP图书馆吸引,什么意思,简而言之就是借用宝地,做一个临时的图书馆,过一段时间或者找到下一个合适的地方就搬家。组织者用这个方式降低成本,店家用这个方式保持新鲜感,还是很天才的概念。之所以最初发现了Wyeth,就是因为他们策划的活动多样且有趣,在社交网络上传播的很广。比如这个图书馆的项目,是卖一个小小的手绘本子,25美金,无论来自世界各地的任何人买了,回去把本子画满也好,贴满也好,大概亲满了都无所谓,再寄回给他们,他们会编辑目录和条码,一一上架在他们的图书馆,寄回来的成品本子不是卖的,他们会带着这个图书馆再去各个好玩儿的地方,给同样有趣的人看,甚至和一些国立图书馆合作,让你的作品在不同的图书馆、博物馆展出,其中布鲁克林艺术图书馆会永久收藏这些作品。空白的本子线上线下都可以购买,浏览他们的网站www.sketchbookproject.com了解更多。类似这样有趣的POP UP店经常有,艺术展,手工艺术家现场制作表演也常有,酒店选用的产品全部“本地化”,从客房用品到餐厅的食品供应。这也是最近纽约流行起来的一个概念,支持本地经济和产业,国人一说本土就想到“土”,在这里,“本土化”已被“酷化”。鼓励更多有想法的人创业,相互支持,同时减少物流造成的污染。当然是因为他们已经度过了追求品牌和奢侈品的阶段是前提。如果来纽约不是公务缠身的话,williamsburg是当下有趣体验的居住首选。

Wyeth酒店地址:80 Wythe Ave. at N. 11th Williamsburg, Brooklyn

当下预定价格:http://wythehotel.com/

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The HUB - Next Week

Can Hong Kong Compete with Paris, Milan and New York?

The HUB believes so.  There will be a good number of rather fashion-forward designers showing there this year including S.Nine, Bracher Emdem, Haizhen Wang, Juma Studio, and my friend Zhang Chi, to name a few.  The trade fair is next week from Feb. 25 to 27.  Zhang Chi will also host an exclusive dinner at the Upper House; Susanna Soo’s label, S.Nine, will stage a catwalk show at The Upper House sure to feature a gaggle of Hong Kong’s “It” girls in the front row; Matthew Williamson is jetting out in early March to put on a unique retrospective of his most seminal creations at the British Consulate arranged by The HUB.  Peter and Richard, the founders of The HUB, believe they are ensuring that Hong Kong will become the center of fashion for Asia.

Fashionistas, designers, buyers, retail giants, and around 100 hot fashion labels from around the world will converge on Hong Kong between February 25 and 27 for three days of buying product, attending retail seminars, making big licensing deals, seeing fashion shows, and partying. The HUB, Asia’s leading branded trade fair, happening for the second time, ups the ante by introducing the sort of glamorous fashion events usually associated with New York, Paris and Milan. Says The Hub co-founder Peter Caplowe: “We are not getting ahead of ourselves and realise how far we have to go to match the world’s great fashion weeks but it was always our intention to make The Hub Asia’s most important fashion event and, with Novomania of Shanghai cancelled, Tokyo Fashion Week in continued decline and the less said about the HKTDC’s woeful Hong Kong Fashion Week the better, there is an opening and we are on track to deliver.”

The commitment of The HUB to exciting new designers is underscored by the unveiling of the Greenhouse, a new section that aims to help young talent grow. Famed for his extravagant shows and parties in Beijing, Zhang Chi frontlines. About joining The HUB for the first time, he says “The HUB is a chance for me to gain exposure and get to know buyers from across Asia and beyond. I see being at the Greenhouse as a step in getting the same buzz outside of China that I get inside. It’s great that young designers like myself can have this platform.”

Other young Mainland designers include V-Major, Frank Beat by Mao Xinzhi, and Unmentioned by Li Ling, but participants come from far beyond China. Print masters Juma Studio, London Fashion Week standout Haizhen Wang, local Hong Kong designer Susanna Soo showcases her new RTW collection, New Zealand Jewelry maker Violet Darkling, Swedish eyewear makers Dienastie, and Bracher Emdem – London-based creators of accessories and bags sported by the likes of Beyonce and Rihanna – are just some of the names from all across the world.

Why the Gas Mask?

Beijing Designer Zhang Chi's Logo is the Gas Mask

Beyond using them in all of his designs, Zhang Chi sometimes wears real gas masks.  He thought it would be pushing it a bit too far - too demanding of attention - if he wore one to a party, but he does sometimes when he walks around the street.  Of course that’s the whole point.  You need a gas mask when walking around the streets of Beijing.  Zhang Chi is about as Beijing as they come, from the way he talks to his craze for automobiles.  Lamborghini has sponsored his fashion shows, Land Rover gives him a free lime green vehicle to scoot around town in, and Lexus just sponsored his trip to New York Fashion Week.  Love of cards aside, he knows very well that his hometown may be the most dystopian major capital.  From the constant and overpowering smog to the ever-widening wealth disparity, Zhang Chi acknowledges the dark side of China’s Imperial City in his work.

The prints for most of his sweatshirts and tees center around a gas mask.  It is always surrounded by a lush array of flowers, dollar signs, gold ingots, and a huge range of other ornamentation, each representing some aspect of society in contemporary Beijing.  Despite all of the flaws he sees around him, Zhang Chi remains a great partisan of the city and is happy that his work reflects it both in its themes and in its construction, which all occurs in factories on the outskirts of the city.  The spirit of the city is, in his words, niubi, which could be translated as “fucking awesome”.  This spirit suffuses his work, which acknowledges to be over-the-top, just like his fashion shows.  The avenue of are long and wide and the city goes on forever.  It is also the former seat of the emperors and the current seat of the most powerful, wealthy government officials in the world.  There is a sort of humorous, in-your-face attitude that is niubi and also very Zhang Chi.  Well, plenty of foreigners have probably tried to describe niubi on their blogs before.  I doubt my attempt ranks very high.  His wife Chichi even wears a mask in her facebook photo.

 

 

Zhang Chi’s Studio

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For me, Zhang Chi is intensely interesting.  He has thrown bigger fashion shows than any I have been to.  These are massive, imperial-scale events with over a thousand people at major art galleries like UCCA and D-Park in Beijing.  His personality is extremely outgoing and he has shown an ability to attract sponsors like no other.  Martell has been supporting him for over five years and car companies like Land Rover and Lexus flock to sponsor him.  He is the most outstanding example of the way corporations and the media get behind Chinese designers long before they have actually become commercially viable.  I am not sure that he really is making money yet, but he is already a big name here in Beijing.  It’s a very massive, awesome Beijing way of doing things.
 
Less on the business side, his designs really reflect the city.  In an age when we move toward everything local in spirit and construction in The West, Zhang Chi is something of a pioneer in his own country.  While most designers here in China tend to express their own personality, react to avant-garde trends from around the world, work in other ways toward entering the global cutting edge, or re-think versions of the traditions - much like Shang Xia.  Zhang Chi is total Beijing, he is part of the localization zeitgeist in a way totally different from people in Brooklyn.
His design reflect the dystopia he finds around him.  The consciously over-embellished designs on his shirts and other items all revolve around the gas-mask, his emblem but involve pressing themes like materialism, water pollution and the wealth gap - but all in that showy, proud way that is just so Beijing.
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Even a fabric brand like Dormeuil sponsors Zhang Chi.

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And of course, the Martell is always around.

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Zhang Chi had these chairs custom-made out of old radiators.

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Here is his desk.

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Valentine’s Day Gifts

 

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Get your man a  pocket square for this Valentine’s Day.  We have fun min-animal prints in silk at Senli and Frye.  Even for men that don’t normally wear suit and tie, this can be that last detail that really makes an outfit come to life.

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Of course you can never go wrong with a tie.  Come by to see our selection.

Hot Pink Cremant de Loire Rosé

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Popping open a bottle of Cremant always suggests some level of assurance with oneself. Outside of France, it’s almost exclusively for insiders, those who know one méthode from another. The point of the bubbles is pure pleasure rather than displaying the brandname of a member of some global luxury corporation. That said, a magnum of Hot Pink Cremant de Loire Rosé from Domaine de Salvert will garner admiring glances. This flowery wine rests on the base of classics Chenin and Grolleau Gris, but also relies on the Cabernet Franc grape, which is extracted after a short maceration of the skins to produce a delicate rosy shade.  I think we will be ordering a few cases for our baby shower and this is a no-brainer for Valentine’s Day.

 

The Man Behind the Gas Mask

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Beijing’s most famous young fashion designer, Zhang Chi, is going to be one of the star attractions at The HUB, which runs from February 25 to 27.

I’ve known Zhang Chi for years from the time of this photo here.   Check some pics of his overwhelming shows.

Check out his website also.

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