Phenomenology is the new black

Notes from our VAGUE correspondent Beijing

The Vermillion Syndrome

Is it just me or is there something sinister going on in the fashion stakes in rowdy old Peking? There is a serious cluster of orange/vermillion lurking just about everywhere – is it the colour of La Saison?

image of vermillion 1

follow that handbag!

Beijingers seize bling like junkies at a methadone clinic – please no exaggeration needed! The fashion code is defiantly 1980s – all well and good, except that one who lived through the tumultuous times and quite frankly one is not interested in groundhog re-run.

image on the street - vermillion 2

stalking the vermillions!

Youth jaunt about in seriously silly T-shirts proclaiming Make Love Not War! Drink Juice! In fact any slogan you can think of  – I suppose it would be like me buying some random T-shirt in Chinese script that looks terribly appealing to me but actually reads: Your Mother looks like a donkey! Chinese women seem to choose Barbie/street-walker style which is most perplexing although they do look strangely elegant and feminine and they have fabulous tiny figures to model these wares.

fashion image Beijing

fashion image on the street Beijing

Mock fashion handbags hit you at every intersection whilst the boys imitate Justin Bieber with aquiline haircuts with various modes of hair colour – the guys are definitely more adventurous with their garb than the ladies.

image of boys Beijing

Boys in Beijing


Back to vermillion!  Even the street-sweepers are in on it!

image of street sweepers Beijing

They are in on it too!

I have had occasion to stalk passers-by to make my point and you will note the fondness for this rainbow hue.  So much so, that I fear it is indeed contagious! Oh yes! I too have been struck by this blight. I now own not one but two pairs of this roguish hue – the platform high heels verging on Lady of the Night format!! Luckily for me being of tiny plates of meat it is shoe heaven and it is only time before I find a shop that does a fine mock-up of Christian Laboutins!! Saints preserve me!

image of clothes in window at Yashow Market

Window display at Yashow Market

Talking of mock-ups one has to visit the infamous emporium:  Yashow Market – 58 Gongti Beilu, Chaoyang District close to The Village, Sanlitan – dangerous territory for anyone wanting the next best thing but for a fraction of the price. You name it they have copied it! Well, one did saunter down into the abyss of handbags and shoes heaven and yes, it indeed does not fail to impress. In fact I had to be suitably restrained from buying the most gorgeous mock orange Hermes Kelly bag for a mere 200 yuan – about 30 AUS – treachery I know!! I actually had to leave the building walk around a bit and practice some deep breathing before venturing back into the vaults for more bargaining.

image of shop window

There is no escape!

I did however, leave with a delightful mock-up of a man’s Dunhill shoulder bag in some sort of leather (camel) with the hysterical lettering reading on the flap Denbodl – nothing funny there except that the logo is a dead ringer for the aforementioned –

image of shop window 2

and so it goes on………

from a distance!! Naughty but nice for the sum total of  20 AUD – a snip!!  Again, one had to leave immediately with goods before more outrageous behaviour ensued.

You can guarantee one may just have to pop back – well,  just in case!!

square in the Village Sanlitan

Relief watching the kids in the square – no sign of any vermillion!!

This entry was posted in Dancing on thin ice | 薄冰起舞 | Bó bīng qî wŭ. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

One Comment

  1. Warren Maynard
    Posted August 17, 2012 at 8:19 am | Permalink

    The orange is make up for so much black maybe. Cute buns. 🙂 Orange pants….hm was going to say something but I have pj pants that are that colour. Yep pretty dangerous buying words in another language. I have spoken to a few Japanese students who find it quite funny to see people wandering around with tattoos saying they are a loaf of bread or boring as bat shit (well maybe not bat shit) but you know what I mean. I think the men look like they are workers from the local state pen. With clothing like this you would have to be the most adventurous people on the planet. haha

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>