I was lucky enough over the holidays to visit the amazing city that is Shanghai. I’m not sure what I honestly expected fashion wise but whatever it was my expections were surpassed. With only a little bit of time for retail therapy, I found the most amazing street in the Jing An district called ‘Xinle Lu’. A tree lined street untouched by the tourist scene and adorned with the most unique, one off boutiques. One, more quaint and unique than the last. With items in fabrics that I had never even heard of (bamboo and soya), I found one amazing shop where the knits are hand-sewn by a co-op of Shanghainese grandmothers. I was in heaven, browsing the furs, boots, second hand street stalls and jewellery stores. The designs, cuts, colours and especially the accessories and shoes made my heart beat faster than clothes really should do!
The only problem (and it was quite a big one if you will pardon the pun) was that I felt a bit like a character out of Gullivers Travels (and I was the giant person) as I discovered upon trying on that items were either too short at the waist or on the arm. Aka I was too big for their small clothes! It seems to the Chinese, us ‘westerners’ are giant people and clothing sizes (and the funny reactions I got from shop assistants!!) told me just that on 3 heartbreaking occasions during my thrawl!
In terms of street style, I found the Chinese to be surprisingly ‘French’ in their approach to fashion, with elegant and simple styles everywhere you looked. They seem to be passionate about fur with everything from shoes to coats adorned in the stuff. I wish I had more time to explore the markets and on researching found that there are many open air markets with one of the most authentic on Shimen Road. Perhaps it was a case of different city, different shopping experience but whatever the reason, I loved my shopping experience in Shangahi (despite the fact I came home vowing to go on a diet!) and it has made me add an important item to my list of new years resolutions. That is to look for the unusual and spend my money wisely on items that really really create that feeling of individuality to my wardrobe and look. Let’s see how it goes….
Happy New Year everyone!