Thursday, December 9, 2010

Beijing 我们爱你

Oh blogging how I love thee. And have missed thee whilst in Beijing (I promise I will cease with the 'Shakespearian' ((Is that how it is spelt? I just did a super-parentheses, a bracket within a bracket! (((Clearly, the highschool geek of yore still resides strongly within me. Note the super-super bracket I am in now! Wait, how do I end this sentence? With how many closing brackets? I feel like I'm in that third dream layer in Inception...)))))).
Apologies, due to the great firewall of China, I have not had access to my blog and thusly (I will forever maintain that this is, in fact, a word) am so giddy with excitement that I can blog that I am going a bit loopy. Although I did download a VPN when I was there (a type of proxy server that allowed me to access blocked sites via the U.S., THUSLY circumventing the firewall, in principle) it was uneven at best and wasn't very reliable. But now I'm home; bring forth the random spiel and mediocre blogging, yes!

Whilst studying putonghua in Beijing, I was actually pretty rubbish at documenting the streetstyle. I arrived with high hopes for myself, and was quickly distracted by the AWESOMENESS THAT IS BEIJING. Ah, to be a student again, where every meal felt like I was in a United Colors of Benetton ad/ the UN with people from all over the world, where one can afford to eat out for every meal, where you can get all-you-can-drink nights out for 10RMB. Thank God I had a bike or I would have quickly morphed into a bit of a heffer (or as my boyfriend says, more junk in the trunk. Not quite sure if we are street enough to use that phrase!)

Beijing is very large, dusty and flat. Bicycles are everywhere and pretty much a necessity for students. I stayed in Wudaokou, the student area in northwest Beijing where most of the universities are located. Very few of the locals speak English, which is excellent when one is a student studying Chinese. Although many feel Shanghai is a more beautiful city, it is believed that the local Beijing are much friendlier people. I can certainly vouch for the latter. But enough chin-wagging, check out the few photos of streetstyle that I actually took. Generally I think it is a sartorial challenge to dress chic in winter vs dressing in summer.

I saw this girl in the 798 art district in Beijing. Love the 50s style black and white saddle shoes paired with the leopard print coat. That's one thing I loved about Beijing, the art district. Full of eclectic boutiques, art galleries and cafes, it was one of my favorite destinations, and lends Beijing an artsy vibe that Hong Kong is sorely lacking.

Note the above stylish version of a new fashion term that I recently learned: the canadian tuxedo. Denim jacket with denim trousers. I'm sure you all have fallen victim to this styling at least once in your childhood! I am, after all, a child of the eighties. Cue this song.

I admit the above photo is slightly stawkerish, but I really do love bit of animal print! Although the leopard print on both scarf AND bag is a bit too jersey shore, less Cavalli for me. However, Jane Doe (Jing Di? Is there a Chinese equivalent?) just about pulls it off. The jury is still out on the two-tone hair, despite the fact that it is quite in now. And check out that amazing canadian tux her 'companion' is rocking! Bon Jovi circa 1991 eat your heart out!

It's difficult to pull off multiple stripey items but she does it nicely. I especially like the jacket.

I've recently taken quite a shining to light brown side bags and on the hunt for the perfect vintage brown saddle bag. I saw some at the Panjiayuan market in Beijing, a famous 'flea' market that opens 5am on the weekends. However, it's reputation as a genuine source of antiques is somewhat shakey. My teacher told me its mostly fake. See below picture and decide for yourself - I regret not purchasing any of the brown bags I saw that day, mistakenly telling myself I would have time to return. Sigh.

This girl was spotted at the Summer Palace, a behemoth of a sightseeing spot with a lake, temples and walkways, where reportedly the emperor and his entourage used to summer. As the chinese would say, hen ke ai! Slightly dressy for sightseeing, but there's no judgement on this blog. Unless canadian tuxes are involved. I just love saying that. Canadian tuxes. Chortle.
Excuse me as I put my girly fashion hat on and say: CAPES! Love them! Am tempted to buy one in red and pay homage to my Little Red Riding Hood halloween costume of '93. Ah, that was a good year. Predicted to be the next big thing in fashionland.

This was spotted at xiang shan, the fragrant hills. Love the pink boots.

Just realised how much leopard print is in this post. I must note that Beijing is not full of people in leopard print, I just happen to gravitate towards it, stylistically. In my defense, leopard print is in this season. Imagine a leopard print canadian tuxedo - something I imagine would only ever look good on this man.

With that parting image, I must bid adieu.
Nat x