Shanghai has experienced an exceptionally cold winter this year, and the sun, which is much stronger in these southern latitudes, was a welcome treat for everyone. Being so soon after Chinese New Year, Shanghai – a megacity with an estimated 20-30 million inhabitants – was still pleasantly calm and relaxed, almost contemplative in mood. Many people had not yet returned from their annual vacation when they traditionally visit their families.
Luckily our dealers and suppliers were on hand, some at new, larger locations, others in their familiar surroundings:
“Spin“, our supplier of young, modern, Japanese-style porcelains had moved out of the inner city of Shanghai, and now have a large area available for exhibiting their wares in an almost theatrical setting.
“Platane“, our source for Chinese-inspired interior design, remained at their old address. As the name implies, “Platane” is situated beneath plane trees in a beautiful Artdeco corner building. The quiet streets of the historic district “French Concession” are shaded on both sides by the maple-shaped leaves. These “French trees” – as the Chinese call them – were all brought by ship from France to China. However there was one change in staff, Carrie, who had always looked after us, had passed the baton on to Annie.
An important port of call on every visit to Shanghai is the pearl lady, Kay. Kay comes from a family of pearl growers and has built up an independent business in jewellery production. She had just returned from Hong Kong’s major International Jewellery Fair and reported on the latest trends and fashions. We then sat down together and dove into a world of shimmering mother-of-pearl and lustre and were inspired by the shapes, colours and sizes of her pearls. In the end, as always, there is a new collection of decorative jewellery for the neck, ears and wrists.
Last but not least, a meeting with our tailor was on the agenda. This is becoming increasingly difficult to accomplish, as Tailor Peng is indeed a true professional with plenty of experience and a large customer base, but – like so many others – he can no longer afford the ever-increasing rents and sees himself forced to move further out of the city.
Tailor Peng is now working on our behalf on a new range of T-shirt blouses made of jersey and Chinese silk.
So once again we have gathered many beautiful things which we are very happy about.
Let yourself be surprised.