We all know about the ones considered the biggest fashion weeks, as they catch both the media and social media sphere twice a year.
New York, London, Milan and Paris rule, with some of the most sought after, renewed brands showcasing their latest collections in these very different cities, all united under the bright and dreamy hat of Fashion.
But what about all the other fashion weeks?
What about these cities which might not be as common as a destination for fashion showcases but which also happen to offer some of the freshest, most inspiring options nowadays?
Take Shanghai, for example, with its hip and forward fashion week.
Much smaller than its competitors both in Europe and the States, Shanghai Fashion Week is home of some pretty amazing brands and designers, who choose it as their launching platform to gain visibility both in the Asian and global market.
We visited the city of Shanghai during its fashion week – which incorporates both womenswear and menswear showcases during a very intense, very eventful week – in order to find out more about these prodigies coming from the Far East and their inspiration.
But before we start speaking of their fashion, let’s talk a little bit about the city itself, shall we?
First of all, Shanghai shouldn’t be mistaken for any other metropolis.
In fact, due to its history as a commercial city – possibly the very first commercial capital of the whole Mainland China – Shanghai has become the first destination for global companies – fashion and more – to set ground in Asia, a growing yet still pretty unknown market for most.
Thankful for this influences coming from far away, Shanghai holds tight to its tradition, creating this incredible hub of endless contrasts, where East meets and greets West at its own terms.
Here below, our highlights of the city of Shanghai, which shall help future visitors to enjoy it at its best, but also discover something they might not see on the guides…
The Great Contrast Between Tradition and Modernity
If your first visit to Shanghai equals your first visit to the Far East, get ready for a bit of a culture shock. In fact, differently from most big cities and metropolis of the Western World – where you might be able to find pretty much the same things, see similar sceneries and live a similar life to the one you’re used to – stuff here is still very different, therefor unique.
Starting from the landscapes punctuated of sky scrapers and extremely modern building, raised right beside the traditional areas of the city, to the traditions of this fascinating country raising above them, Shanghai will shock you. In a very positive way. The ultimate tip is: just go with it. Embrace the differences, enjoy the discovery and you’ll feel enriched to the deepest.
Possibly one of the prettiest areas of the whole of Shanghai, the Bund is supposed to be at the very centre of the city, despite the struggle to figure out its actual structure. Shanghai is very, very big and spread out to the point of making you dizzy if you think too much about it.
The Bund is a great place where to find nice bars, restaurants and clubs, but also where to appreciate some of the best examples of traditional architecture, because of the old buildings which fill it entirely.
Speaking again of great contrasts, The Bund,one of the oldest parts of the city, also offers the best view on the most modern one. From the Promenade right on the river side of The Bund, you’ll see Puding in all its futuristic magnificence.
The heart of Shanghai’s business and definitely the most modern area in the city, Pudong’s skyline offers a direct ticket to the future.
Endless sky scrapers, the futuristic feel of the renewed Pearl Tower and the highest sky scraper in Asia are among the most eye catching things you won’t be able to miss while there.
We all know it: Chinese people are pretty great as fashion – as proved by some of the showcases we took part to, which we’ll speak about very soon – but they also love to shop.
That might be the reason why Shanghai offers so many possibilities of a good shop, from the best bargains, to traditional objects, to high fashion.
Lane Crawford – originally from Hong Kong, now expanded to Shanghai, Chengdu and Beijing also – is probably one of the most sought after destinations for luxury shopping in the city. Located right beside Shanghai Times Square, in a very central location, its beautiful widows and creative merchandise will capture you, making a walk around the rails of the store very enjoyable, even if your aim is to just browse.
The Endless Restaurants and Bars
When in Shanghai, you better be hungry!
But even if you aren’t, make sure you don’t miss out trying some traditional foods and snacks. Dim sums, for example, have a special place in the heart of Shanghainese people. Made with flour paste and filled with everything from meat to shrimps to truffles, they have a tiny bit of soup inside which differentiates them from most other dim sums available in the country.
If you are a noodle person, find yourself a noodle bar and just take a guess on one of the many options presented to you. You’ll very hardly go wrong, as many of these tiny restaurants located everywhere around town have very old traditions in noodle-making, transmitted from generation to generation and secretly kept within the family.
Of course – especially when dinner time hits – it’s worth discovering some of the many stellar restaurants in the city. To help you, check out the top 100 (yes, apparently the top 5 is not a thing anymore, nor is top 10) restaurants guide of the city.
Among them are The Nest – a gorgeous oyster bar in The Bund, whose roof top offers a great view of Pudong – and Shintori – for the ultimate Japanese lovers, this beautifully designed restaurant offers a all-sensorial experience.
And if at any time you feel a bit overwhelmed with all the modernity surrounding you, make your way to the Jingan Tample.
A beautifully kept traditional Cinese temple, it will capture you and remind you of how fascinating Chinese history is, and how it’s worth getting to know a bit more about it, especially when you have the chance to experience it first hand.
If you wish to visit The Bund, find more info here.
Visit Lane Crawford Official Site here.
Find out more aboutย The Nest Official here.
Discover how to find Shintori here.
And here‘s that famous top 100 list for you, enjoy!