Tuesday, April 03, 2007

(Part 1 of the Shanghai series)

In case you have been wondering where Mother Lily got those horrid cheongsams for her never-ending Mano Po films, wonder no more. She obviously raided Shanghai Tang's 1960s collection, haha.

Seriously though, while having some difficulty deciding which resto to eat in at the Xintiandi complex
[one of my friend Mike-mike's most fave places in the world, by the way; but that's another story :-D], we stumbled upon this Shanghai Tang store.

In the 1920's and 30's Shanghai was called the "Paris of the East". So, "Shanghai Tang", the clothing store, aims to evoke that elegance and charm of fashionable Shanghai in the 1930's, by mixing traditional Chinese designs with modernity. Sort of like "East meets West", i guess..

Well, enough of the blurb. The merchandise is exquisite, with lots of color and intricate design, yet definitely wearable without looking like someone from the 30s. The men's line is obviously more basic / less frilly, but what i particularly liked was the way they put in small details (i.e. fine stripes, knotted buttons, etc.) on typical plain short-sleeved and long-sleeved shirts, so you end up with looking classic, yet with a rather hip edge.

Alas, these things are expensive. I don't know about you, but paying something like RMB945.00 for a short-sleeved shirt, or RMB995.00 for a long-sleeved shirt, or heck, even RMB485.00 for a colored T-shirt with this funny Chinaman design. . . .hmm, maybe when someone brings in a Shanghai Tang franchise to Manila, and copycat designs start sprouting up for PHP150.00/shirt.

Well, the courteous and excellent English-speaking staff did give me a calling card listing their different locations. So it wasn't a totally wasted shopping exercise :-D

(Shanghai Tang has stores in Hong Kong, Singapore and New York. Check out www.shanghaitang.com for their collections)

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