One was wild, the other proper, both using texture to give life to form.
I backed it up as I passed Joyce Central, with a standout front window by London’s Gazelli Art House. Finally a Hong Kong boutique that looked cool! The giant, fuzzy bees circling minimal neutrals is what got me. Behind the swarm, a curtain of wooly, knotted ropes opened up to a nicely edited showing of cutting edge, urban designers. Carrying labels like Commes des Garçons, J W Anderson, Marc Jacobs, Yohji Yamamoto and Vivienne Westwood, this was a find.
Close by, hanging wisteria and sherbet-colored pointillism that puffed with interest, heralded a more refined shop at Shanghai Tang.
Each of these boutiques posed as the different worlds between Korean kid and couture-clad that I had expected to find in Hong Kong. The casual avante-garde vibe at Joyce Central was about smartly, tailored pieces, made artistic with a rip or a ruffle or basic asymmetry. Every wall had a personality–cartooned, sponged, sequined, paper-tagged, balled.
Shanghai Tang was refined fabrics, masterful, beaded handwork and embroidery. It is “Modern Chinese Chic” with an international flair. Gorgeous, thick damask showcased a traditional Chinese dress design. A pretty white blouse with peasant sleeves had so many different thread and bead patterns, it was like a stitch sampler of Dutch blue happiness.
This was the vision of Hong Kong that I’d lost for awhile. These gems brought it back to life.
Photos: Dawn Bell Solich