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This is a city with a real buzz, a buzz of about 20 million people and a city full of things to do, not the least of which to do is shop.

“Shopping in Shanghai” has two extremes, the ultra luxury western shops where you will find the season’s most coveted pieces and the designer handbag without the waiting list. If you opt for this shopping experience be prepared to pay a 30 percent premium for the availability. Plaza 66 houses all these shops, Gucci, Prada, Hermes, and others. The other end of the shopping experience is a bit more difficult to decipher--- it just requires some tenacity and determination. The good news is that taxis are very cheap and since the city is so large and dispersed you will want to take advantage of the cheap taxi! The silk fabrics are plentiful and can be beautifully worked into Chinese inspired designs with a modern sensibility. At Feel, the clothes are made custom and are delivered to your hotel within 24 hours. I selected a beautiful silk damask lotus impression qipao with gold piping, a black and gold silk fur trimmed qipao, a black silk floral print swing jacket, and an acid green silk evening pant with a matching tunic, all of this for less than US $500. To visualize these designs, think back to YSL a few seasons ago when Tom Ford did a Chinese inspired collection. Around the corner from this shop is Sunlight Garment Co., for beautiful silk scarves, many of which are made for the top designers. The prints are beautiful and the beadwork is exceptional for an exceptionally low price, about US $60 for the most elaborate design. Silk pajamas with jade buttons from, Shanghai Lee, are exquisite at US $80. Xavier is filled with unusual Australian designs, my favorites were the large silk scarves with beautiful Chinese inspired motifs and handbags made of pearls and silk. Layefe is filled with unique home furnishings and modern Chinese designed clothing.




The art scene in Shanghai is another place the ancient and the modern converge; this convergence is perfected in the work of Mi Qiu. Mi Qiu is a world renowned artist who has renovated 24 historical sites worldwide, he is able to combine the totality of the Chinese art scene, utilizing an understanding of traditional Chinese art and an understanding of western modernism to produce beautiful modern Chinese art. Mi Qiu has received numerous awards for his work, including the Movado Outstanding Contribution to Art Award and the Grand Prize of Golden Society. He is known as one of China’s ten most avant garde artists and at the same time he is able produce work that protects China’s ancient cultural heritage in the face of rapid urban development.

Shanghai is full of wonderful dining experiences. The Bund, on Shanghai’s waterfront, is known for its outstanding neoclassical architecture from its pre 1949 times. On The Bund there are some of the best restaurants and shops; it is my favorite place to experience the merging of the old and new Shanghai. The Cupola at Three on the Bund is a two-tiered dome atop a 1916 German Bank building, the lower dome seats 8 to 10 people and the upper dome seats only two people. The upper dome is probably the most romantic dining spot in the world and it comes with a private butler, who anticipates your every need before you can even ask. There are two terraces off this room that look out over the city and make you feel like you are part of Shanghai 1930, but better because it is Shanghai 2005 and even more alive and exciting. I had not only a great dining experience, but also a great shopping moment! I stopped by at the store on the ground floor of the building, Three Fashion Store, before going to dinner and found some wonderful must have fashions. While dining the shop tailored my selections and delivered them to The Cupola, at my request they brought a few other items for me to select from: “shopping heaven”! This was my favorite shop; there are designs for both men and women. The design of Three Fashion Store is special; it is in a neoclassical building but with a very modern interior. The dressing rooms are wicker cocoons that close over to look like an egg, and provide you with total privacy in the middle of the store. Three Fashion Store had the most beautiful collection of Vivienne Tam I have ever seen, slacks trimmed with jade, elaborate quilting and silver trimmings on coats. A Vivienne Tam boutique is opening this year in the French Concession in Shanghai; I can only imagine what she will do for her return to the home of her ancestors! M on The Bund, is another fantastic restaurant, it is on the rooftop of the 1920’s Nissin Shipping Building providing 360-degree views of Shanghai. The cuisine is Mediterranean and Middle Eastern influenced. T8 is a good choice for modern Thai and Chinese cuisine; the restaurant occupies an old stone gatehouse in Xintiandi, the French Concession. The Xintiandi is a good spot to shop and eat! For a more traditional Chinese dining experience try My Chinese Uncle and The Jade Buddha Temple. At the Jade Buddha Temple I enjoyed the most beautiful and delicious vegetarian food for both taste and presentation, lunch for four was about US $30.

A special treat was The Miuccia Prada: Art and Creativity Exhibit at The Peace Hotel. The exhibit pays homage to the skirt and takes over several suites in the legendary hotel. The skirt is put into motion in several unique displays and made to feel like a character in a movie set. The skirts are from Prada’s collections dating back to 1988. This is a touring exhibit, after its stop in Shanghai it will travel to other major cities in Europe and the U.S. Anyone who appreciates the movement in clothes or just loves clothes should keep on the lookout for this exhibit. These are just a few highlights of an ever changing city, the change is everyday and so one cannot get enough in just one visit. I stayed at the Four Seasons Hotel in downtown Puxi, just steps fro Nanjing Road, the busiest shopping street in Shanghai. The spa and the beauty salon were two good reasons to stay at this hotel not to mention the very spacious bathrooms and closets. Other spots not to be missed are the Yu Garden, Nan jing Lu and the Shanghai Museum.




layefe HOME
12 North Block, Xintiandi Plaza,
181 Lane, Tai Cang Road,
Lu Wan District
Tel: 63260716

Shanghai Sunlight Garment Co
7 Lane, 210 Taiking Rd
Tel: 021-64457516

M on the Bund
No. 5 The Bund, 7th floor
Tel: (86-21) 6350-9988

Three On The Bund
No. 3 The Bund 7th floor Zhong Shan Dong Yi Road
Tel: 8621 6321 0909

No. 2 & No. 21, Lane 210 Taiking Rd.
Tel: 86-21-5465-4519

Three Fashion Store
Three on the Bund
No. 3 Zhong Shan Dong Yi Road
Tel: 86 21 6321 0101

Four Seasons Hotel
500 Weihai Lu, Jingan District 200041
Tel: 021/6256-8888

House 8, North Block, Xintiandi
181 Taicang Lu
Luwan District




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