This cutting edge design studio, weaved around three floors of a lane house on Fumin Lu, is not the cheapest boutique in Shanghai. But we feel this stunning indie store rightly deserves it’s place at the top of our list. Firstly, it is a wonderfully ambient shopping experience – starting on the ground floor, where most products hover around 1,200RMB, you can meander from room to beautifully kept room through winding stairwells and display cubby holes, with every inch laid out with a stylish nod.
Secondly, we love the products, from a gorgeous range of three-quarter length Uma Wang coats (topping out at 19,320RMB), delicate jumpers from Crush Cashmere (2,780RMB), retro sunglasses from Chair Eyes (starting around 1,000RMB), plus stylish bags from Matter Matters and much, much more.
And thirdly, it gets huge points for its enormous support of homegrown fashion designers – not only do they support the brands they stock with marketing and creative feedback, but they have also taken groups of Chinese designers to international fashion weeks such as London. ‘There are other stores who also have Chinese designers, but at Dong Liang, we focus on the ones with the most market potential and the most talented designs, and we are always interested in high-quality, original products,’ says co-owner Tasha Liu. ‘We are like a window for the fashion industry from abroad to look at Chinese designers and Chinese creativity.’ While Liu says that they are keen to keep Dong Liang small scale ‘to give our designers enough presence in our store’, the brand is about to expand to a second Shanghai location ‘just around the corner’, and an online shop is also in the works.
A carefully curated collection, presented in distinctly Shanghai surrounds, Dong Liang Studio is a must-visit for anyone with even a passing interest in Chinese fashion.
By Helen Roxburgh