Seven years ago my boyfriend made a trip to Hong Kong, and the souvenir he brought me back was a hot pink qipao from Shanghai Tang. I remember the lime green box it came in and how beautifully it smelled when I opened it. The cut and colour were both so bold and different compared to what I typically ran around New York in – I couldn’t wait to show it off. Later he brought up the idea of moving to this Asian city and before you can say “xiao long bao” I had agreed!
I envisioned being able to wear my new fuchsia frock out and often, but once I moved here I realised that was not the case. It turns out that wearing such garments screams ‘tourist’, and that is not the message I wanted to send. I was an expat after all! So how does one wear these pieces without looking like you just disembarked the cruise ship? I popped by Shanghai Tang with fellow fashion blogger and former That Girl, Jasmine Smith, to see if we could clear this query up. Let’s take a look!
Jasmine and I both wanted to try this bamboo print on for size. The bamboo is a nice nod to Asia and when done in a modern cut and luxe fabric, it seems fresh and new… instead of like something you would see in Stanley stalls!
Jasmine tossed on a velvet coat over her dress to add a bit of drama, while I chose to go street style with my skirt pairing it with a tied up tee and blazer. We both felt completely comfortable and ready to take on a fashionable day! The addition of a few fun accessories like these limited edition Shanghai Tang sunnies and my two statement necklaces from Alexander McQueen and Caty Jewellery added edge and allowed the look to feel more current.
One easy way to wear a more traditional cut is to keep it sleek and simple in clean black and white. Classics are classic for a reason!
These basic tones allow the details to really pop like the floral appliqués on this white coat and the stitching on the silk blouse.
Notice how cool Jasmine looks in this leather topped dress and how beautifully it shows off her face and frame. Toss on an interesting necklace and you are set to impress no matter what country you reside in!
Never one to stray too far from her signature leather clad style, Jasmine elevated a figure flattering dress with a simple bomber and jade accessories. Here’s a look that gives a nod to the old but looks very new!
I, on the other hand, am a sucker for colours and prints! As soon as I saw this floral embroidered coat I had to try it on. More is more in my book, so the matching dress was an easy pairing. The smattering of colour around the face draws the eye up and can hide a slew of sins beneath! While the set looks great together, I would love to break it apart and put this coat with a slouchy tank, cuffed boyfriend jeans (here’s a few more tips on how to wear this trend), and some flashy J. Crew heels (the brand lands in IFC and On Lan Street in May).
Sure, Shanghai Tang is a must stop shop for tourists in our town, but locals can sport the look too with ease. The trick is to break apart the pieces and pair them with casual basics and interesting accessories. It’s nice to be able to tip your hat to the traditional styles of the region while still looking fresh and fabulous! Stop by Shanghai Tang to try on these looks from the SS’14 collection and be sure to try your hand at mixing and matching your own creation. As the brand says, it’s time to “Re-orient Yourself”!
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All amazing photos by Inga Beckmann, see more of her work here!