From the fast elevators of the Ritz-Carlton Pudong , to the elevated tea lounge of the Park Hyatt ,on the sensual Bar Rouge terrace, and busy shopping malls, Shanghai’s who is who is dressed in Chanel, Celine, Hermes Prada and Miu Miu.
Long or short pearl necklaces in different styles and shapes, large and heavy colorful shopping bags from the most luxurious brands, high heel shoes and bow ties, hype eyewear and 1930 vintage furs on silk Quipaos paired with Balenciaga boots, it is quite a scene!. The Chinese crowd loves to be in style!
And because from New York City, it does not make sense to rush into the Armani, Gucci and Cartier stores unless you want to tour for their stunning interior designs, I have preferred to experience the DIY at the various and notorious markets of the city. Not that I don’t have anything to wear but let’s face it, to have the opportunity to tailor made a whole new wardrobe and accessories that will fit exactly my curves and style sounds tremendously appealing to me.
The only problem is that I do not speak Mandarin yet and the bargain business , I know in advance, will be a tough battle . Will over pay? What can I do? It’s of course a learning process so here are a few tips for you:
1) Fortunately all shop owners speak English as most of the customers are not necessarily Chinese.
2) The best method is to take an example of your clothes and get the tailor to copy it, that way you make sure the style is right. I took a formal Zegna suit .
3) You are getting something copied definitely have them remeasure you anyway and tell them to copy style/details of the piece you brought , not the fit. The fabric and the old piece are certainly not the same , so they will hang on your body differently and you will need different measurement. also the owner may consult you on how to improve altering the copy from your original to fit even better ( ex raising the seam of your pants) . Go for it, it’s an opportunity.
3) Leave a contact and a phone number , even if they don’t ask. Tell them to call you if any problems. That way you don’t wait till your next trip to find out they could’n t finish your dress time.
I have enjoyed a whole new wardrobe, from shoes to suits, to shirts, purses, pearls , cashmere coats and of course goes without saying, a brand new suitcase to take everything back home!
The ,Markets and Suppliers:
Shanghai South Bun Fabric Market:
For excellent copies of Chanel suits . All colors and combinations in almost identical fabrics of the brand. Pearls Lace and ribbons are or may be added. If you wish to bring some back home to relatives and friends , the prices are extremely affordable , almost a 10% of an authentic Chanel but make sure to have a good eye as they have no sizes tags. Not a good idea to request a return or reimbursement.
Bright colored silks of all kind. Satins, Moiree etc. The pajamas though in my opinion overrated but worth the fun of choosing your own colors textures and matching robes.
The Quipaos are gorgeous the problem is that Chinese women do not have very accentuated curves and if you are a little overweight you must make sure to find the very good taylor that will transform the cut into more of a Westernized look to fit your shape.
The greatest deals of all is to tailor a cashmere coat. A wide variety of plain, shetland and pied de poule, marine style are available to be experimented in loco.
Stall 212 Rita – specialty blouses, Cashmere coats shirts.Huge choice of materials and extremely friendly.
Stall 248 Carrie- specialty: Leather and Suede
Hong Qiao New World Pearl Market
Hong Qiao New World Pearl Market offers far more than just the pearls. It is an enormous shopping venue which is spread out over three floors and offers shoppers a large range of items.
You can find knock-off bags, scarves, Chinese junk and treasures on the first floor, and wares on the second floor. Very hard to pick the pearl of your dreams as they all look similar and most sell at the same average price. I got two rows of white and pink pearls. Into the bargain the matching earrings into a pretty black velvet box. Prices very affordable.
Add: 3721 Hongmei Road, Huangpu,
Ostich shoes , ballarinas and matching purses in all colors. A pure delight!
Some other shoes will carry two brand tags at the same time.my advice is not to get them at any price.
Annie Wang Green Lotus Jewelry #2-030-#g-31 Second Flor Chang Ning District
Tailor Made : Wu Hua Yan ShengenMei Tel 13501861170 stall # 101,F NB 168 dONGmen Road
Qipu Road Clothing Market
There are various of products sold here, both for domestic market and international market, such as clothing, apparels, children’s clothes, underwear, skirts, shoes, jeans, T-shirts, bags, and other related products. You have the chance to grab the latest fashion at extremely low prices in this market. copies of Ralph Lauren, Burburry among hundreds are available.
Add: 168 & 183 Qipu Lu, near Henan Bei Lu, Zhabei district
Tel: 021-5102 0001
Hours: Daily 6:30am to 6:00pm