Balenciaga meets Brocade Country, China

I've been very inspired by Balenciaga's Fall 2007 collection (watch) of hyper-kinetic, fiery and tribal gang melting pot of Africana, Oceania + the America's folk textiles. The hot color palette of neon threads complemented by rich opaque grays (not to mention, Asian influences) kind of reminded me of something I just found in Shanghai:

I just purchased this really rad wrap skirt in Shanghai. Let me just say that much of the fashion I observed in Shanghai was either from upscale gaudy fashion houses, cheap knock-off stores or touristy side-walk vendors. However, my friend, a landscape designer and a great reference for cool, off the radar places told me to visit this store called: Brocade Country at the intersection of Julu Road and Xiangyang Road (616巨鹿路近襄阳路). Tel: 8621-62792677

REVIEW: It was pure visual eye candy for me! The textiles, table cloths, shoes and indigenous dresses were beyond beautiful. The small, humble, hole in the wall boutique belongs two very chic sister's of the Miao Zu ethnic minority of the Guizhou province. {{Here's the story}} Both of the sisters are designers. However, the elder Liu sister, Xialan, speaks English and seemed to be the creator behind it all. They were so sweet and we talked for a long time about Chinese design and their amazing craft work. As the story goes: their mom still lives back in Guizhou and helps send them all the embroidery work from their village in Gai Din County (sometimes the cloths are nearly 100 years old). With no former training, the sister's re-work and sew the pieces into more contemporary and paired down creations....retaining the essence of the original textile (eg: My skirt was tailored and cut to knee-length). I must say, that was the most innovative work I've seen in a long time and I was just so happy to support the designers..and all the Miao people they so honorably represent. Spread the word.

(I now wish I bought their really handsome and chic sandals too)


Carlene said...

OMG, what a great post!

Heather Moore said...

I really like your blog a lot! Very pleased to have found it. I hope you don't mind, but I've pulled one of your China pics and posted it on my blog (Skinny laMinx) while pointing other reader to 2 or 3 things.