China means work to me. Work work work. Jet-lagg. And one glorious day of shopping!
After endless days of working in cold production units, searching for fabrics in vast markets and fretting over details in sewing rooms, the last day of my Easter journeys are always ending in the same way. I set out – alone – to the French quarter of the Metropol to find the streets of Xing le Lou and Xang le Lou. For a small-town, designer girl from Norway, these places are simply heaven! They offer a vast array of small, often tiny, stores that all sell b-market designer clothing, (dare-i-say-it) copies and beautiful, unique designs from Japan or Korea.
One thing to notice though is that not only should you bargain, you are expected to! At least that is what my Chinese girlfriend, Marcha told me back in the days. She went on to inform me that these stores also normally operates two different prices: one for Chinese people, and one for western looking people. Marcha taught me how to bargain as a Chinese…
As a result many of my most valued designer items are from my trips there. The coat and the dress are examples of such findings. The coat is from an obscure Chinese brand, but the cocoon shape and wool-blanket-feel made me fall head over heals for it. I wear it with or without a belt for different effects. The dress is from the Italian brand Etro. Far to my expensive for my wallet normally, but finding it there made it possible. It has been a favourite ever since.
I think I made my point clear: be sure to visit these streets if you ever make it to Shanghai!