The Chinese got style…and culture!
My journey back to China my birthplace started March 25th. This is a mission to learn more of the Chinese culture and seek inspiration for the Spring Summer 2009 collection. My trip takes me Qingdao a beautiful coastal city on the eastern edge of China. Qingdao city has been a German colony in the 19th century.
What really surprised me was how beautiful the city is. The buildings are absolutely perfect! All buildings in the city are German inspired and is well planned. While each building is designed differently with a sense of organic growth, there is a feel of a higher order. As if each building was built with relation to each out and a higher concept. You can see clearly see the amount of attention the designers paid to the architectural design from the air. Just a glance from and you’ll see the perfectly aligned and organized buildings. Colors are amazing and details magnificent. Scenic ocean mountains interlace the shoreline buildings and office towers. The view is perfect from any part of the city.
What also surprised me were that the Chinese got style. The trendsetting youths were well dressed and everything fits perfect and well pieced together. Maybe their style is a novelty and that’s why it looks good but either way I’m impressed. The style is western influenced. You can see the results of China opening to the world.
My trip takes me to Taidong the shopping centre of this rich city. As you can see there is a long strip with walking distance as wide as a four lane road. No cars are allow which makes for a very pleasure shopping experience. The street is at least one mile long with most high end Chinese brands. The shops are clean and very western.
Within the modern and high end shops of Taidong there is a hidden entrance to a clothes and fabric center which seems to have been hidden from the modernization of the centre. As you enter you will see many vendors hanging as much goods as they can. Cloths and poorly made clothes cruelly scattered all around in their tiny space. And if you dare to venture your way up the narrow stairs several floors to the top, you will find the fabric area. Each merchant stack as much as they can in their tiny five square metre area. And apparently they can stack quite a bit. Merchants squeeze tightly beside each other with no sunlight, it may seem worse than a prison. But everyone is in a pleasant mode and is having a good time as with the city as a whole.
This is the secret area where I found some amazing traditional designed silk and satin fabrics with the most gorgeous Asian patterns. You can see black and grey patterns with a splash of colour, vibrantly colour art prints, and the more muted tone on tone traditional patterns. On the wall you will be able to see some of the beautifully and delicately designed traditional Chinese art fabric. Time and modernization cannot outdate good design. This is exactly what I was seeking on this journey.