The first time packing for China, did you wonder what to bring with you? Anticipating the stares and sometimes unwanted attention, many laowai arriving to China for the first time might have a suitcase full of more conservative fair.
Happily, such worries are unfounded. Shanghai is a special kind of city. Of course Shanghai is Chinese, but it's so much more than that. Shanghai is hard to describe because it is such a wonderful amalgam of faces, languages and cultures from all over the world.
Naturally, the worlds colliding here in Shanghai have produced some of the world's most unique and beautiful fashions of any place in the world. And nobody is afraid to experiment. A short walk down just about any street in Shanghai can make that obvious. Bold color choices, multiple patterns in one outfit, and whatever fabric you feel like are all adorned with reckless abandon.
Sure, sometimes fashion choices you see in Shanghai are kitsch, but in a way that's fully fantastic. Whether you're a Shanghai local or a transplant from elsewhere, the freedom to wear what you want and will is one of the bits that makes Shanghai great. And in turn, the fashion freedom fostered by this great city inspires all sorts of designers to greatness.
So, in tribute to one of our most fashionably favorite cities in the world, we've rounded up China's top fifteen designers, brands and labels on the racks these days. (We're presenting them in no particular order, as it's hard to choose a favorite when you have so many good options.)