Celebrities, Wealthy Beijingers Flock To Designer Zhang Binqiao’s Boutique At 15 Guanghua Road
Jing Daily has previously looked at the growing interest (or “re-interest”) in traditional Chinese clothing in China, noting that clubs based around dressing in ancient Han Dynasty style (Hanfu) have popped up in a few cities and home-grown fashion brands like NE-TIGER have sought to fuse western and Chinese design in their recent collections.
This week, METRO looks at a small company in Beijing that eschews the marginalization of the former and the glitz of the latter, creating tradition- and culture-infused designs that have attracted the attention of celebrities, business figures and the media in the Chinese capital.
At first glance, Zhang Binqiao’s No1006 Phoenix Gate Boutique looks nothing special, but appearances can be deceptive, as her handcrafted, intricate embroidered silk qipaos and jackets are highly in demand by the city’s rich and famous. Singers and CCTV hostesses such as Zhou Tao can’t seem to get enough of them.
Using high-quality silks and intricate embroidery, Zhang combines her creative spark with classic Chinese imagery – lotuses, cranes, bamboo – in her tang zhuang and qipao designs, all of which are one-offs. “Each piece takes on a life of its own, so it’s impossible to make the same thing twice.”
Many of her pieces incorporate a technique of smoking, not dying the color onto the silk, giving them rich, earthy hues. Prices non-negotiable, but Zhang said that for loyal customers she can work something out.
When asked why she chose to have a shop on Guanghua Road and not in a more glitzy location, Zhang told METRO that she used to have a boutique in Jianwai SOHO, but it closed.
“Now, I prefer the feeling of this place. I can decorate how I like, with my paintings,” she said. “It’s more free, more intimate. Here you can chat, drink tea and coffee, and take your time and just talk as friends.”