Shanghai's best fashion boutiques: Dongliang, Alter, Lolo Love Vintage, and more
To say that China's younger, affluent set are fond of shopping would be a comical understatement. For Shanghainese millennials in particular, dressing up is a grand gesture as it was in the old days, evidenced by meticulously put-together looks seen off-runway at the city's most recent fashion week. Shanghai's retail scene ably rises to meet this demand for high style, with a slew of multilabel boutiques that each push a unique cocktail of cool names; we've assembled our favourites among them below, just for you, dear reader. Happy shopping!
The western world and Singaporeans generally have weird — sometimes borderline offensive — preconceptions about Chinese style. Alter, which also happens to be one of China's top fashion showrooms, explodes these flawed notions with its directional edit of designers. Among racks of Y/Project, MSGM, Charles Jeffrey Loverboy and Marine Serre, one can also find lesser-known labels like Madrid-based Habey Club or Chinese brands Nikita Cai and Rolling Acid (the latter of which is run by an Alter co-founder).
Shop L116, No. 245 Ma Dang Road. Huang Pu district, Shanghai, China
As a major champion of younger, more indie-leaning local talent, Dongliang naturally stocks key players like Angel Chen, Shushu/Tong and Yingpei Studio. These rising names share Dongliang's multi-storey walk-up — complete with mini exhibition/installation spaces — with international peers like Japanese jeweller 14/Quatorze, whose delicate seed-pearl pieces demand an in-person viewing.
184 Fumin Road, Jingan Qu district, Shanghai, China
THE CROW HOUSE BY DONGLIANG
Dongliang's sister boutique is but a stone's throw away from its elder sibling, housed in a rustic '30s residence. Once again, local designers like Uma Wang mingle with names from abroad, but where Dongliang's complementary offerings are frequently under-the-radar, The Crow House's non-Chinese brands skew heavily towards linchpins of the Japanese deconstructionist Movement (hey there, Yohji!); at the time of Shanghai Fashion Week fall/winter 2019, for example, the upper levels of The Crow House witnessed a sizeable and drool-inducing sale of archival Comme des Garçons.
888 Changle Road, Jingan district, Shanghai, China
LOLO LOVE VINTAGE
One literally swooned at the view from Lolo Love Vintage's threshold. With an inventory stretching back to the Victorian era — pieces from which were immaculately restored — this vintage oasis has a nigh-unbeatable selection of purses, children's clothing, and wedding dresses; spotted in the bridal nook were a couple of incredibly-constructed 50s numbers, as well as an increasingly rare ivory, dirndl-esque Gunne Sax gown. Unusually, this writer's wallet coughed up cash not for vintage, but for a frock by contemporary Chinese label Unlogical Poem (its lone rail in the store was a delightful little anachronism). Their Little Nemo in Slumberland-printed SS19 collection proved too good to resist.
2 Yongfu Road, Xuhui district, Shanghai, China