All photo credits: Shanghai Tang
Back in the 1990’s, I was working in technology public relations for the Government of Singapore. Let me tell you it’s a beautiful country, with heat and humidity that reminds me of Florida and daily rain showers to prove it. I lived off Orchard road, which would be equivalent to living around the corner from Madison Avenue. High-end shops along this main street, one more beautiful than the other but one always stood out – Shanghai Tang. Their clothes were beautiful, exquisite quality, and the staff with a keen eye in helping me picks out colors that complimented me. How happy was I when they finally decided to come to NY in 1997. Currently, the Madison Avenue flagship store has been open since May 2008.
Shanghai Tang is truly the first luxury brand emerging from China. Its design mission is to revitalize Chinese innovation and to interweave it with the dynamism of the 21st Century. From a colorful and nostalgic art deco concept store in Hong Kong, Shanghai Tang has evolved into a modern lifestyle vision of Chinese chic. They have incorporated Chinese symbols of luck, prosperity, health and happiness through vivid color prints of goldfishes, lotus flowers and ingots into their clothing line. With a custom tailoring department you can create a bridal gown that is truly one of a kind.
Mr. Sam Roseman, Shanghai Tang’s Imperial Tailoring Manager, has graciously shared some information about the brand and how couples can bring a bit of the Orient to their wedding day.
What are the ‘hot’ types of gowns women are asking for (either type of material (cotton, silk) style, shape etc.) and are they similar to gowns worn for traditional Chinese weddings?
The Shanghai Tang bridal Qi Pao is a unique mix of antique Shanghainese craftsmanship and traditional Chinese wedding gowns combined with modern European fabrics and innovative new silhouettes. The Shanghai Tang bride truly represents the most luxurious image of Modern China. The respectful blending of old and new results in a contemporary yet classic gown that is steeped in tradition but draws on modern design elements and new textures as well. The silhouette combines the high 3 inch mandarin collar, reminiscent of the Hong Kong jazz singers of the 1960’s, tiny pinched waists, bare backs, soft flowing fishtails, French scalloped edges and light reflecting crystals. Traditional Chinese elements are used to enhance the details with handmade flower buttons, hand-sewn satin piping, silk knot fastenings and carved semi precious stones. White French beaded lace, fine printed silk chiffon, bold floral cut velvets, and hand embroidered silks are all available for the Shanghai Tang bride.
What times of the year do you see a spike in bridal gown orders?
Bridal orders are taken all year. However, we focus on our biannual overseas trunk shows that occur in the London, New York and Singapore boutiques. The Imperial Tailoring manager showcases the new collection and new fabrics to Imperial Tailoring clients during a one-on-one couture style consultation. The consultation involves taking measurements and creating new designs on-the-spot based on the client’s needs.
How long does it take to create a dress?
An Imperial Tailored Qi Pao or gown can take up to 3 months to create, depending on the number of fittings required to ensure the perfect fit. Generally one month is required to complete a garment.
Is there anything else you want readers to know about Shainghai Tang?
At Shanghai Tang we are dedicated to fostering and preserving the dying art of Shanghainese tailoring. We employ 8 traditional tailors whose fathers were an integral part of the Chinese emancipation from Communist uniforms to create what we know today as the Qi Pao or Cheong Sam. Fleeing China and moving to Hong Kong these tailors revolutionized the Chinese wardrobe and reinvented the traditional Chinese clothing by recreating the Qi Pao as a short, form-fitting garment that worshiped the female form. This traditional craft and detailed technique were passed down from fathers to their sons who now employ the same techniques in the creation of Shanghai Tang’s handmade Qi Pao.
If you are in NY, they will be having a trunk show October 15-18 2009, from 10:00am-7:00pm. I would recommend that you contact Ms. Megan Fung, to set up your appointment. Please visit http://www.shanghaitang.com for dates, upcoming events and store locations.
Shanghai Tang Flagship Store – 600 Madison Avenue NYC – 1.212.888.0111