Shanghai is so glamorous these days. I don’t live there. I don’t wish to live there, but like Singapore… it’s fun to visit… for a weekend. And like Singapore, it’s glam, but the kind that Hong Kong is glam in the way it’s defined as a luxury brands destination multiplied by 100. Whereas Singapore is glam in a bigger-is-better and a there’s-so-much-green-space-and-fresh-air kind of way… which Shanghai is not.
In my last business trip to Shanghai in October I was able to check out this Esprit DIOR cocktail, previewing a special pop-up exhibition of Dior archived dresses and sketches at the MOCA Museum of Contemporary Art in Shanghai thanks to my pal Katrina. Actually it was a really unique week since most of us Hong Kongers were in Shanghai for our respective jobs and it just so happened to coincide with Shanghai Fashion Week, which culminated at the DIOR MOCA Cocktail and later on for the opening of the new 150,000 sq.ft. (4/5?) story tall Lane Crawford at the Shanghai Times Square. Even ZARA at the Shanghai Time Square had a cocktail party… I mean, ZARA? They never do any marketing of any sort. Who knows how much DIOR and Lane Crawford paid for such glam events, however if you’re a fashion brand, and you don’t Go Big or Go Broke in Shanghai, then you’re probably missing out on Shanghai’s consumer renaissance.
Apologies for these really poor photographs. My early flight made me forget two of my blogging cameras and had to rely on my Samsung Galaxy Note 2 to capture the “glam”. Enjoy the photos!
+ ESPRIT DIOR / MOCA Museum of Contemporary Art in Shanghai
I’ve never been to the MOCA in Shanghai, however as part of the museum’s desire “to promote artistic and cultural exchanges between China and the rest of the world”, they were glad to host the House of Dior for three month exhibition to display their archives. The cocktail evening for guests and clients of DIOR was nice, and the sheer amount of dresses (100 in total) and sketches on display was quite special. I was shocked to learn that the exhibition was not free, especially since it’s essentially a marketing exhibition for fashion brand. However the standard rate at 30 Yuan is really not that expensive, and i’m sure it separates only serious patrons vs the masses. Plenty of photographs by iconic stylists and photographers, like Patrick Demarchelier, and beautiful collaborative works of art made for this exhibit by some of China’s top current artists curated by Florence Muller.
Video work by Qiu Zhijie lined the entrance ramp, and several paintings of Mr. Dior by Zhang Huan, Yan Peiming, and Zheng Fanzhi, were situated around the path amongst iconic dresses laid out in thematic sections like, Pink and Red, Versailles, Paris, and Garden (all Raf Simons.) I really enjoyed the presence of an actual beading practitioner from the French atelier. It was beautiful to see these pieces go from sketch, to application, to finished works of art. We had a great time.
VISIT Esprit DIOR . MOCA - People’s Park, 231 Naning West Road, Shanghai 200003, China . 13 SEP 2013 - 20 NOV 2013
+ LANE CRAWFORD SHANGHAI / Times Square in Xin Tian Di
After leaving the Esprit DIOR cocktail, the gang then went on to Time Square Shanghai at Xin Tian Di to meet up with a larger Hong Kong crew who just so happened to be in the city that night or who were collaborating the Lane Crawford Department Store for their grand opening… 7 years after it closed it’s last shop here. And “Grand Opening” was an understatement as our car pulled up to a red carpet which was complete with strobe lights on all sides. For a moment there I thought this was not a usual LC launch like you see in Hong Kong… this was a Lane Crawford Movie Premier!
It was surprising to see just how many from Hong Kong were there that night. People I saw (and i’m sure there were more I didn’t see since I was only there for an hour) included; Alex Daye and Ellis Kreuger, tailors of Moustache manning their themed bar, bag designer Michelle Lai of MISCHA (they carry her bags there), Tangram designer Paola Sinisterra, jewellery and accessories designer Kate Barnett, my blogger pals Denise Lai and Jason Lam (who are actually based in Shanghai now), style editor and blogger Diviah Harilela, online editor Avery Booker, photographer Laurent Segretier, and of course my buddies, Louise, Katrina, and Hammer & Needle’s designer Jason Reason.
On the run up to it, everyone was on the same crazy whatsapp thread trying to find a place to meet up before the event and after. We all ended up meeting around the Moustache bar on a section of the 4th Floor. Place all of us in a Lane Crawford party in Central IFC and we’d take up the whole party, but our group was only about 5% of who was there, since there was a guest list of about 4,000 people. As our buddy, PR Guru, Nick Cakebread of BBDO who ran the DIOR event said, they must have collated every guest list there was in town. Anyone in Shanghai who possibly went to events were all there that night.
In the age of online e-commerce, it’s interesting to see such investment in brick and mortars like Lane Crawford Shanghai plus the newly opened 10 Corso Como there, and re-opened Galeries Lafayette in Beijing. After all we still need shops like this to help educate “style”, “Taste”, “feel”, and “fit”, in the ever growing luxuries market there… something that’s hard to transcend via a computer screen.
SHOP Lane Crawford Shanghai . Time Square, 99 Huai Hai Zhong Road, Shanghai, China . T: 400-1201483 . H: 10am to 10pm M-SUN