First Look: Chinese 'Slow Luxury' Brand Shang Xia Channels Ming Dynasty for Spring

    The Hermès-backed label unveils a spring/summer collection with both traditional Chinese elements and modern minimalism.
    Jing Daily
    Jing DailyAuthor
      Published   in Fashion

    Shang Xia's S/S 2015 Opera collection for women. (Courtesy Photo)

    A Jing favorite since its launch in 2010, Shanghai-based Shang Xia has gradually developed a growing fan base of shoppers attracted to its blend of traditional Chinese craftsmanship and modern collections and silhouettes. The Hermès-backed brand currently has three flagships, in Shanghai, Beijing, and Paris, and despite hiccups along the way and slow overall growth, the brand continues to stay true to its “slow luxury” roots. As Shang Xia CEO Jiang Qiong’er told Jing Daily in 2011,

    We don’t set out to make a certain amount of money, because if you put priority on Shang Xia making a profit in a 10-year timeline, then after a few years you start to hurry and panic to do it. But if you put it in a 100-year or a 200-year timeline, you’ve got enough time to ensure really healthy development.

    Recently, Shang Xia released its newest collection for S/S 2015, with inspiration drawn from the grottoes of Dunhuang and traditional ink landscape paintings. With silhouettes reminiscent of Ming Dynasty women’s robes, kun opera costumes, and ancient monks’ robes, the collection—which makes heavy use of light, natural fabrics—has spring written all over it. The women’s collections (Opera and Clouds) take this whimsical inspiration to unique places, with light tones and vivid colors intermingling in crisp, clean lines. The men’s collections, inspired by ink paintings, on the other hand, are earthy and more monochrome, inspired by the textures of hills and streams in traditional Chinese paintings. In addition to the clothing line, Shang Xia’s S/S 2015 collection includes the brand’s signature home goods, among them the “Twilight” series of wooden cases, crafted in in Zitan, ebony or cherry wood, and inlaid with carved bamboo. Accessories include the “Bridge” collection of bamboo and porcelain bracelets and personal accessories—a striking mix of warm woods and elegant white porcelain.

    Shang Xia's menswear pieces for S/S 2015 are inspired by traditional Han dress. (Courtesy Photo)

    Shang Xia's S/S 2015 carved bamboo bracelets. (Courtesy Photo)

    Shang Xia's Twilight boxes for S/S 2015. (Courtesy Photo)

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