Monday, May 18, 2009

Fun Times at the Fabric Market

One of the things that all the expats take advantage of out here is the fabric market. I've been travelling to that area of the town on the weekends to take care of the last items I'm having made.

We've had several items made including, cashmere coats for me, leather coats for both of us, and even the suit Jim wore to gala. Like most things in China, you haggle/bargain for the price as everything is negotiable, but sometimes you do want to pay a little more to have a nicer quality.

So this weekend, I went to pick up our "Chinese items." I had the name of a specific tailor on recommendation from a friend (and a copy of Jim's measurements). Below is the tailor's shop, his name is: Jim (his English name anyways). All the shops pretty much look like the one below. The other funny thing is that the fabric market is one of the few places in Shanghai where there is no smoking... I wonder why? Could it be because of all of the fabric??

Next is the Changshan (more commonly called an emperor's jacket) that I had made for Jim. Not entirely sure where he'll where it, but its a fun piece. (I editted the pictures with PhotoShop so the pieces would stand out.) The silk brocade looks red in the picture, but it's really more of a maroon. When I tried adjusting the tone of the color in the picture it made the gold look funny. The gold embroidery is dragons and an old horse-pulled Chinese caravan. Dragons convey power and represent masculinity in China and the caravan represents an elite status.

Finally, there is the qipao I had made for myself. It's a silk brocade with vertical stripes in black, chocolate, caramel, champagne and slate blue. The silk has gold dragonflies (again a symbol of power, but much more feminine) embroidered on it. I will probably wear this here to our school's graduation or end of year party. I'm hoping I'll have the oppurtunity to wear it sometime this summer. The dress doesn't look that nice in the picture, but fits nicely.

Want to know more on the Chinese garments? See: &

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