Following the much-vaunted launch of Dong Liang Studio
last year, Beijing has deigned to share another of its best-loved indie concept stores with us. After the success of both Beijing-based and online shops, 24-year-old Triple-Major founder Ritchie Chan quietly opened the Shanghai outpost of his multi-purpose creative studio last month, and the in-crowd is already flocking to Shaoxing Lu.
The smallish space is as hip and self-aware as the goods it houses. A giant doodle of a hand wielding a paintbrush adorns the whitewashed interior, while the character 墨 (‘mo’, meaning ink) is emblazoned on the shop front. ‘Each store’s design is based on a key aspect of Chinese culture,’ explains Chan. ‘So with Shaoxing Lu’s literary heritage, calligraphy was the obvious choice.’ (The Beijing branch was inspired by a traditional TCM pharmacy).
Wares comprise a mix of indie menswear, womenswear and accessories alongside shelves of obscure or out-of-print design literature which makes up the ‘publishing’ limb of Triple-Major’s tripartite ‘independent fashion, design and publishing’ concept (sample title: Four Geometry Sets by Ignacio Uriarte). Across from the books, Chan plans to dedicate a wall to regular art exhibitions.
The stable of more than 20 different brands includes Triple-Major’s zany in-house label, which sells in edgy Tokyo and Milan boutiques, plus a host of offbeat designers garnered from as far afield as Scandinavia, Australia and the US. Thus you’ll find offbeat Euro labels such as Danish designer Henrik Vibskof, Germany’s Ann Tian and Brit streetwear brand Lazy Oaf rubbing shoulders with obscure homegrown fashion collectives such as Digest Design Workshop, who specialise in digitally printed clobber and oversized origami bird bags.
In such a treasure trove, we’re hard-pressed to single out individual items, but honourable mention must go to the funky mens’ footwear (900-3,000RMB) – much of which features fun details such as toe-caps painted with gaping monster jaws, or whale tails sprouting from heels – and the small but well-edited selection of eyewear by the likes of Retrosuperfuture and Bless (from 900RMB). Also beguiling are Hong Kong designer UUendy Lau’s critter-inspired leather accessories, where pugs, llamas and wolves appear as reversible clutches ( 1,580RMB), stretched into wristbands and dangling off necklaces (320RMB).
Clothes-wise, the standouts are the store’s own preppy, monogrammed, button-down shirts, glorious colour-blocked knitwear by Henrik Vibskof (double-breasted cardigan, 2,980RMB) and Digest Design Workshop’s range of digitally printed jersey dresses (980RMB) and deconstructed outerwear – a monochrome check coat (1,560RMB) with a detachable collar-cum-handwarmer has us drooling.
While the majority of the goods aren’t cheap, cash-strapped shoppers needn’t despair: cheaper, yet still stylish, items are available such as pairs of surrealist socks (59RMB) by the Socks Family, or Fashionary’s pre-printed templates for designing outfits (179RMB).