“Once in his life, every man is entitled to fall madly in love with a gorgeous redhead,”
said Lucille Ball.
This music student is not obsessed with fashion trends or such a prosaic notion as good taste.
This is the sort of image that started me on Stylites – in contrast to all the images from fashion parties that I think many of you must find as tiring as I do. I have always sought an element of the unexpected, crazy, or outlandish. People constantly ask me if Beijing style is authentic or original. Do Beijing people have their own voice? They ask me if it is improving or if I think people here are well-dressed. If they don’t have their own style, is Stylites not a waste of time?
This is the Beijing I love: welcoming, diverse, cutely bohemian, vibrant, international in its own quirky way, and, of course, smoking. Sure, you might say they are poseurs, but then, I am looking for poseurs. Maybe they are a bit pretentious – but people have been leveling the same accusation at me since I was fifteen – but I would say that they just like to keep their world a little magical. I am drinking ginger ale out of a champagne flute at the moment. Even those who constantly lose themselves in escapist fantasies need to stay sober once in a while.
These two young ladies aren’t haughty or cold, but really quite welcoming in a way. Are they authentic or are they just mimicking the way that hipstresses like them dress in other parts of the world?
Quite the tights.
Cola first appeared on Stylites four years ago – in fact he was one of the earliest people to appear on this blog. At that time he was working in a little shop in 3.3 that sold some rather interesting menswear. Now, he is one of the owners of the first Initial Fashion boutique that just opened on Nanluoguxiang.
I commented that it was a surprising location for a fashion brand like Initial given the somewhat down-market or touristy nature of much of the other retail on this famous lane. Cola responded that they wanted to be in a place redolent of Beijing’s traditional culture in keeping with the design of this specific shop. The theme of the next Beijing shop, which will be at Joy City mall in Xidan, will reflect that location. Aside from the Beijing outlet, the brand has five shops in Shanghai, each with a different theme.
Photographed two years ago on Stylites, Cecaa’s brand, Mon Cheri, has recently grown into something more major. He was at the Initial Fashion opening party. The first shop of this Hong Kong brand in Beijing is on tourist-overrun Nanluoguxiang, a somewhat unexpected location for such a hip shop.
Here is PR executive Tina at Wuhao, which may have the very most attractive setting of any concept shop in the world.
Tourists from other parts of China are finding a souvenir that is helpful in Beijing’s cold winter. This Shanghaier just bought her hat the day before.
This old lady has lived at Nanluoguxiang #12 for 60 years since arriving in her twenties. She thinks things have been going down hill rapidly on the street over the last two to three years. She doesn’t like the crowds. “The number of people is great, but the amount they spend is not,” she says. People born after 1980 are not favorites either. They are rude when asking for directions, omitting “excuse me”, and always walk around the street eating. None of this happened at the time of Mao.
China Auto Pictorial had me find a few stylish people around Nanluoguxiang and take pictures of them with this Ferarri Enzo. Check out their August issue!
Unsurprisingly, I not only do not own a car, but also actively oppose the auto culture which so perverted the landscape of the United States and is now making life in Beijing more and more unbearable. My thoughts are similar to the editor who assisted me on this. Of course the issue is more complicated than just saying “I oppose cars”. I also thought it would be proper to acknowledge here China’s status as the world’s newest and potentially greatest Automobile Kingdom.
This hipster above is one who did not actually appear in the magazine. Below are the ones who did.
I encountered this lovely young cartoonist on Nanluoguxiang. She is actually a local Beijinger.
This fellow is a freelance photographer for Modern Weekly and other publications.