Archive for April, 2012

Anteprima looks ahead to Olympics for inspiration

April 20th, 2012

Nadine Kam photos

London icons pay tribute to the Summer Olympics coming up soon. The jewelry can be worn as necklace or bracelet, and the Big Ben clock can also be worn as an earring.

Anteprima/Wirebag hosted an early morning gathering April 19 at its Ala Moana Center store to introduce some its summer totes and bags that will be available from May 25. Included are bags that mix the brand's signature PVC wire with raffia, with chain details.

Also to come are Summer Olympics jewelry inspired by London icons, such as the red phone booths and Big Ben.

The large Gogento Semi bag is $665, without the floral pin, which can be purchased separately. See flowers below.


Taobao at Shanghai Fashion Week

April 20th, 2012

Taobao, China's version of eBay, considered the largest online shopping mall in China, brought six designers together during the Tao Fashion Show that took place April 12 during Shanghai Fashion Week.

At the 800SHOW venue at 800 Changde Road, the lobby had a display of mascot Tao Dolls as interpreted by several artists that kept guests entertained while waiting to enter the show area.

Designers chosen for the show presented a varied showcase of mens' and womens' wear from Husenji, Verseau Homme, Cher M, 7GE7GE/Sugargirl, Artka and Italian brand Zimmur that covered the spectrum from practical daywear and evening wear, to the avant garde, including mens outerwear inspired by samurai armor, with a dash of "Game of Thrones" thrown in, and black dresses with origami details.

During the finale, designers came out with a few of their models, tossing Tao Dolls into the front rows, where guests were elated to catch them.

Notes from an 'international fashion tracker'

April 19th, 2012

nydnGot a nice mention online as an "international fashion tracker" in New York Daily News, in a story that quotes from my blog coverage of designer Zix Guan and Shanghai Fashion Week:

The story was initially picked up by Agence France Presse (AFP) and distributed to papers and web sites around the world.

My story about Shanghai's place in the fashion universe appears in the paper today, but I'll still be adding a few more pictures and videos over the next few days.

Helen Lee's 'Window' to joy

April 16th, 2012

hlee1Nadine Kam photos
One of Helen Lee's models waits back stage prior to the start of the designer's fashion show April 14 during Shanghai Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2012 at Taipingqiao Park in Xintiandi. This was one of many shows in which the models wore the color of the year orange eye shadow.

Designer Helen Lee said several bad things have happened to her, and friends, over the past couple of years, but out of tragedy came "Window," a bouyant, triumphant collection in which the designer has chosen optimism over defeat.

The designer showed her collection on April 14, Day 4 of Shanghai Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2012.

Her "Window" show was dedicated to a friend whose leg was lost in an accident. They went to church together to pray for her recovery and while there, the designer was inspired by stained glass windows that offered hope and cheer.

During a post-show interview, the designer said, "I know my collection comes from a sad story, but it's meant to be encouraging and heart-warming. You can see from the colors and the textures shown. I want to tell people, whatever you go through, please be optimistic. I personally went through a lot of sad things in the last two years, but my gift to myself and all my friends is to cherish life. I want my designs to have a positive energy."

I am unable to post the video for this show due to slow Wifi connection while in China, but will be able to do so on April 18, so hope you come back for a look.

Video added April 18:

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hleeDesigner Helen Lee with her models after the show.

hlee10Designer Helen Lee, with one of her models, greeted well-wishers after the show.

hlee2Models lined up prior to the show.

hleemodelCozy sweaters were meant to convey joy and warmth.

hlee6Lee's "Window" collection included this sweater dress, with pukas revealing a stained glass-like print dress peeking from beneath.

hlee3Note the models' shoes. Helen is working with a Western brand to introduce her own line of shoes.


hlee8I loved her collection of color-blocked wool coats.


The jewelry and ensemble notes back stage.

hleeshopAfter the show and interviews I was led over to Helen Lee's store-within-a-store at DBHK in the Xintiandi Style mall for a reception.
In the small world category, Hawaii's Richie Miao's ISM shop is right next to Helen's!

China Beauty a showcase for scarf dressing

April 16th, 2012

cb5Nadine Kam photos
A model walks the runway for Wang Yufei's China Beauty line of scarves, at Shanghai Fashion Week's Fall/Winter 2012.

Wang Yufei showed what could be done with flowing silk scarves during the China Beauty presentation that took place April 12 at Shanghai Fashion Week, at 800Show, 800 Changde Road.

While her scarf designs are firmly rooted in the concept of Chinese beauty, Yufei utilizes production details of Japan and Korea, and traveled to Italy, France, Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia in search of  inspiration for integrating Eastern and Western cultures.

While her show comprised a global fusion of scarf dressing, her theatrical finale was Chinese through and through, with all the drama of a Zhang Yimou film. I can't upload video from China due to extremely slow and glitchy Wifi connections, but hope you can check back April 18 for the video.

Video added April 18:

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cb4The appearance of lantern bearers signaled the finale.

Shanghai style

April 14th, 2012

Nadine Kam photos
At the entrance to the shows at Taipingqiao Park, Xintiandi.

Check out Shanghai's fashion tribe. They are fearless about incorporating color.

Someone I know who saw some of these photos in advance said Shanghai style is not as polished as New York style.

Is it supposed to be? I think every city has its own style. Their dressing also suits the shorter Asian frame, and speaking as a short Asian, I learned very early that bold color does a long way in compensating for being unable to pull off the long, lean look.

The overcast, smoggy sky also has a muting effect. On a smoggy day, you can't even see buildings in the distance. Color is a remedy for any sense of gloom that comes with a rainy day.

The site is a lake that was partially drained, at a cost of $200,000 RMB (divide by 6 for U.S. dollars, I can't do math right now)  for the construction of a Bryant Park-like tent over scaffolding on the water. A partial view of the tent can be seen towad the right. How come things like this can happen quickly in every place but Hawaii?


There is security everywhere, whether police, military or traffic monitors to keep motorists in line. Drivers are in a rush here, but not as crazy as in Hong Kong or Rome. What makes it hazardous is looking out for the multitude of bicycles, mopeds, motorcycles and cart drivers who don't obey traffic lights and go anywhere. Sometimes in a one-way street, I forget to look the other way and was brushed by a moped rider yesterday.






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Bug-eyed over Poesia at Shanghai Fashion Week

April 14th, 2012

Nadine Kam photos

Insect prints ruled the Poesia runway of Fall/Winter 2012 coats and dresses, at Shanghai Fashion Week.

Poesia (“Poetry”) designer Chris Chang showed an array of colorful ensembles inspired by the costumes of Mongolia and Yunnan ethnic tribes, and insects, on Day 1 of Shanghai Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2012, April 11.

The equally flamboyant Parsons-educated designer is known for her bouyant, joyful spirit, and she's just as likely to find inspiration in children's dolls, cartoon characters and birds, as well as her own Peruvian ancestry, as a way of bringing a sense of pageantry, fun, humor and glamour to what she perceives as an otherwise mundane world.

For this collection, she said in a post-show interview, "I've always had a fascination with insects, their patterns, the mystery of the little animals. Everything about insects I love."

Chang worked as general manager of Prada Taiwan for eight years after graduating from Parsons, and her collection matched that brand's luxury vibe., with crisp flared dresses and fearless mixing and matching of patterns and materials, including a vest of mirrors worn over a fly-print dress with a metallic sheen reminiscent of insects' iridescence.

In her colorful dress and pigtails, she looks like she might be the Betsey Johnson of Asia, though her aesthetic is closer to Prada than the American designer.

Other dresses were done up in bee yellow-and-black, and flowing caftans bore scarab or butterfly prints.

It was charming and entertaining and made me want to rush out to her boutique in Pudong, though I'm not sure I have the time on this trip.

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poesia4Spiky jackets reflect the protective exoskeleton of insects.

poesia4Insect prints and materials often had a sheen like the iridescense of beetles and other insects. The reflective vest shown comprises mirror pieces.

poesia6Poesia designer Chris Chang answers reporters' questions after the show.

poesia5The masks/headwear some of the models wore were representative of insect eyes and antenna.

poesia butterflyPoesia butterfly dress.

Zix Guan's killer instinct

April 13th, 2012

Nadine Kam photos
Designer Zix Guan, right, with her model Yulia M.

Zix Guan staged a fashion show that appeared to be part vampire family-meets-"The Matrix" during Shanghai Fashion Week on opening day, April 11.

Meeting her for interviews after the show, I was afraid that she, like so many in Shanghai, didn't speak English, but lucky for me she does, so could answer all my questions about her inspiration and background. She said her theme was "Killers," inspired by Angelina Jolie, and her films, including "Wanted," "Mr. and Mrs. Smith" and "Salt."

Typecast as a dangerous woman, me thinks, but Zix would call her powerful. "Maybe she will wear my clothes someday," she said.

Of all people, Angelina Jolie would be one who could pull off Zix's more dramatic designs, inspired by her thinking, "Women in this country need to have power. In China, a lot of girls, women just live for their family, their love, their children; they never live for themselves.

"Women need power, but they still need to be sexy. This collection uses leather to make a woman feel powerful, with lace to make women more sexy."

zixboysZix Guan answers media questions, backed by her vampire clan, Cullen-like models.

Her collection featured a lot of raised, angled and pagoda shoulder details that appeared like armor.

"I think shoulder details can make a woman look more powerful," said the designer, who said she believes she had a sense of her own power as young as 4.

She said her father would punish her to make her apologize for purported bad behavior, but she said, "I didn't want to. I was thinking, 'You hurt me. Maybe you need to say I'm sorry to me."

She noted that because the root of her surname is "Gu," meaning "bamboo," they may both have been somewhat hard-headed and tenacious. Don't worry, they settled their differences long ago, so now her father helps her with her business.

A temporary tattoo design on her back featured bamboo, along with the words "Cold as fire, hot as ice."

Video added April 18, 2012:

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The designer began formal design schooling only three years ago after she said she tried to learn all she could through reading and self-study. This was her second show at Shanghai Fashion Week and she was curious to know whether I had seen her past work. When I said no, she said, "Oh, please don't look at it."

Of course that made me go back and look at it, and let's just say she's come a long way. But that's a good thing for any designer, to recognize one's journey.

(I am unable to post video while I'm in China due to slow connections, but please come back April 18 to see a video of Zix Guan's show.)

The designer is adept at dressing both men and women.



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