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The first chapter of Shanghai Tang’s new story

The first chapter of Shanghai Tang's new story

Shanghai Tang presents the first chapter of its new story through the 2018 S/S collection.

Ownership and direction of the iconic brand, founded by the late Sir David Tang in 1994, was acquired by Alessandro Bastagli, Shanghai Tang’s new Executive Chairman, and private equity fund Cassia Investments. A marriage of Chinese tradition and the finest Italian craftsmanship, Shanghai Tang is now manufactured in Italy to ensure the highest quality of products and excellence of techniques and materials.

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Massimiliano Giornetti, renowned creative director with a global recognition, is the ‘Project Supervisor’ of an international Chinese, Italian and French team to reinvent the first chapter of Shanghai Tang’s new story.

Shanghai Tang Spring-Summer 2018 collection reflects the new stylistic concept undertaken by the brand. It is a triumph of colours, fabrics, cut,  and lines, which shows the attention to details and quality that Made in Italy is renowned for.

Retail in Asia joined the preview of the collection held in the Entertainment Suite of The Mandarin Oriental in Hong Kong to experience the new Shanghai Tang. It found the top management welcoming guests and proud of a collection aimed to mark a new era and the global launch of the brand.

A tale of traditional Chinese elements merged by a contemporary spirit and a cosmopolitan, international creative vision. With an undertone of novelty, these elements are auspiciously united by the “Shou”, Chinese symbol for longevity, which features on buckles of belts and bags and appears in both jewelry and prints.

The new Shanghai Tang captures a vision of art, mood and street culture through a unique stylistic language that portrays an ineffable sense of what it means to be ‘contemporary’.

Silk is the symbolic element of the Chinese millennial culture and plays an emblematic role in the collection. Deployed in innumerable variations, the material becomes the bridge between Italy and China whose two souls are now harmonized in the brand.

The cultural and semantic Chinese imprinting is revisited in the new qipao that is turned into the modern “little black dress” with a playful mix & match of fabrics. The metamorphosis involves motifs of bold butterflies inspired by antique embroideries and is embodied by imperial peonies.

“Shanghai Tang does not only appeal to Chinese customers – I believe the mandarin collar, and qipaos with a new design, would attract customers worldwide,” Alessandro Bastagli told South China Morning Post , adding that he was a fan of the brand and had more than 15 suits from Shanghai Tang, including the one he wore during the launch of the S/S18 collection.

Alessandro Bastagli
Alessandro Bastagli shows the product line created to celebrate the year of the dog. Source : SCMP

The Chinese cultural symbols distinctive of Shanghai Tang find new sophisticated relationships with the Western world, expressed in a more effervescent, global, cosmopolitan language, all with a decidedly more contemporary aesthetic.

The advertising campaign of the collection features a late nineteenth-century villa on the cliffs of Sorrento, combining Anglophilia with Greco-Roman classicism, blended in turn with an exotic garden of tropical plants, the 60’s décor and design evoke the cult movie “In the Mood for Love”.

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The delicate mysterious and fluid relationships between the three young figures —iconic He Cong, Estelle Chen, and model Will Samways — unwinds along dreamy escape, through vivid and brilliant colors, against the backdrop of seascapes infused with light and lost in a distant haze.

The styling of this collection was curated by Lucia Liu, who embraced the elements of dialogue and cultural fusion of Shanghai Tang.

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