On Tuesday, my friend, the clothing designer Lu Zhang, offered me and a few others a private peek at the contents of her new store in the former French Concession, Shanghai’s prosperous expat-hub and fashion boutique cradle. Lu, a longtime vintage-clothes enthusiast, recently upped sticks from a career as a high-flying financial executive at Merrill Lynch to launch her own fashion label and chic clothing boutique—a brave decision that would have surely raised eyebrows, not least of all from her former colleagues and quite traditional family members. However, despite only opening in August, ”Miss Lu” has already garnered considerable business, and according to Lu, plans for a second outlet are in the offing.
In addition to her pluckiness, one of things I most admire about Lu is that despite having lived in Paris, New York, and London, she has an unswerving loyalty to her Asian roots, paying particular observation to traditional Chinese superstitions, signs, and symbols. Indeed, as her modern and minimalist creations—a vibrant fusion of classic and contemporary styles—were paraded in front of us, Lu solemnly explained how prior to the opening of her shop she had spent considerable time with a feng shui consultant to ensure the flow of energy was both harmonious and constant. Evil spirits had been banished long ago, we were informed!
It was great fun, and after our little tour, Lu (below) invited me and a few friends back to her beautiful lane house apartment for dinner, where she served up some of her delicious homemade dumplings. Yum!
Photos: Courtesy of George Wyndham