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Of Silk and Skyscrapers: Fashion in Shanghai

submitted on 14 January 2024 by fashionlistings.org

A Stroll down Nanjing Road

Ladies and gentlemen, let us take a journey to the land of the rising sun, where the mythical dragons dance among the clouds and the streets are bathed in neon lights. The city of a thousand contradictions, where the ancient and the modern coexist in a frenetic waltz, where the wealthy elite rubs shoulders with the common man, and where the aroma of street food fills the air. We are, of course, talking about none other than the magnificent Shanghai!

Ah, Shanghai, a city that has seen its fair share of highs and lows, revolutions and rebirths, and yet, through it all, has managed to carve out a unique place in the world of fashion. So, come hither, and let us traverse Nanjing Road, the very beating heart of this metropolis, a place where the pulse of fashion can be felt like a coursing river as we meander through its many shops and boutiques.

As we walk along this historic street, it is impossible not to notice the city's fashion history etched into every brick and every cobblestone. The old and the new, the East and the West, all blending effortlessly to create a fashion melting pot that is both dizzying and delightful.

Qipao: Shanghai's Timeless Treasure

The Qipao, a traditional Chinese dress that has come to symbolize Shanghai's rich fashion history, is a sight to behold. It is a garment that has transcended time and trends, elegantly adapting to the ever-changing tastes of its devoted followers. The Qipao, with its tight-fitting cut and high collar, is a symbol of sensuality, sophistication, and pride in one's heritage.

Many a store along Nanjing Road boasts a vast array of these exquisite garments, each one a testament to the craftsmanship and skill of the artisans who create them. In delicate silk, vibrant colors, and intricate patterns, the Qipao is a tangible reminder of the city's past and a constant inspiration for its fashion-forward citizens.

The Modern Shanghai Wardrobe

As we continue our journey along Nanjing Road, the old and the new seamlessly blend together as we bear witness to the modern Shanghai wardrobe. The city's youth, ever eager to express their individuality and push the boundaries of convention, have embraced an eclectic mix of styles that are as varied as the people who wear them.

You'll find chic office workers sporting sharp tailored suits with a touch of traditional Chinese embroidery, or the fearless hipsters donning oversized glasses and a carefully curated mix of international brands. There's the avant-garde, the quirky, the polished, and the utterly outrageous.

The city's youth, ever eager to express their individuality and push the boundaries of convention, have embraced an eclectic mix of styles that are as varied as the people who wear them.


  • International Influence: Shanghai's fashion scene is a veritable smorgasbord of global styles, with international brands clamoring for a piece of the action. Luxury labels such as Chanel, Louis Vuitton, and Prada have set up shop in the city's glitzy malls, while fast fashion giants like H&M and Zara cater to the needs of the masses.
  • Street Style: The city's rich street style culture is a sight to behold, with the sidewalks of Nanjing Road serving as an ever-evolving runway. From oversized coats and edgy streetwear to experimental silhouettes and bold accessories, the fashion-conscious denizens of Shanghai are not afraid to take risks and make a statement.
  • Designer Darlings: The rise of homegrown talent has been a boon for Shanghai's fashion landscape. Designers such as Uma Wang, Masha Ma, and Angel Chen have gained international acclaim, helping to solidify the city's reputation as a fashion capital.

Classic Shanghai Style Tips

For those looking to infuse their wardrobe with a touch of Shanghai's unique fashion sensibilities, consider the following tips:



  1. Embrace the Qipao: Whether it's a traditional silk number or a modern reinterpretation, the Qipao is a timeless piece that can add a touch of Eastern elegance to any outfit.
  2. Mix and Match: Combine the old with the new, the Eastern with the Western, and don't be afraid to make bold, unexpected choices. The secret to Shanghai's fashion success lies in its ability to meld seemingly disparate elements into a harmonious whole.
  3. Accessorize: Shanghai's thriving market scene offers a treasure trove of unique accessories, from jade jewelry and silk scarves to quirky bags and statement shoes. A well-chosen accessory can elevate even the simplest of outfits.


As our stroll down Nanjing Road comes to an end, it is clear that Shanghai's fashion scene is a living, breathing entity that continues to evolve and adapt, much like the city itself. In this bustling metropolis, the ancient and the modern coexist in perfect harmony, creating a fashion playground that is as thrilling as it is inspiring.

 







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