PRC, BRB

by zoé b

So my New York trip didn’t quite pan out, mainly due to dental emergencies (three surgeries in four weeks) and scheduling issues with work. But I really did pack in the exact manner I detailed and I had I gone, I would’ve traveled with said baggage. Unfortunately other baggage was heavier. Le sigh.

Never mind, I am Shanghai-bound tomorrow so let’s excuse my previous domestic travel mishap, shall we? Packing strategy for this trip: none.

Back-track for a sec here. Let’s approach this the way we approach everyday enrobement at our best: channeling.

Channelling (v.): the appropriation of a visual idea, usually from pop culture or—if we are to be very erudite and arcane, a literary or historic character, ex. Eleanor of Aquitaine, Daphne of Arcadia if we’re feeling demure—translated into one’s own dressing habits. Blah blah blah you get the idea right? Ok let me put it this way: you want do to flapper. You’re feeling blasé. Throw on some pearls, a loose fitting dress, and kitten heels in which you can’t properly drive and you can run all over people like Daisy Buchanan. But don’t do that; it’s a terrible look and doesn’t age well. I imagine Daisy ended up wrinkly and saggy as if she had been floating in a pool too long, which is justice in the end. Too bad they didn’t have La Mer in the 1920s, D.

But back to packing for our 10-day China adventure: These days we don’t have porters to carry our hat boxes and steamer trunks, and Hong Kong is done being British. Ergo, we must pack economically as per the times. In this case, I’m thinking sporty-tourist chic: Stella McCartney for Adidas mixed with Helmut Lang and Alexander Wang T tops, a large Gryson bag for major expeditions and my little Marc by Marc sling for night. Prada sneakers I picked up in Milan 10 years ago when they were a major thing, never really caught on in the US, but Fashion is afoot in Shanghai.

I’ve also stashed away a knit Rag and Bone pencil skirt that can do day or night outings, and a great strapless black Vince jumpsuit which I plan on belting with a vintage YSL rope number courtesy of my very fashionable mother, to whom I owe all my fashion and traveling savoire-faire, and a pair of jeweled Choos which have seen much, much better days. Please stay tuned for November when I elaborate on both these subjects.

But in the end, this really isn’t a fashion trip. I’m going to look weird no matter what I wear, because I’m a blue-eyed redhead and probably taller than most Shanghai residents. I don’t speak the language and I don’t read the characters. I have no idea what I’m getting into other than some notes I have on medieval China under the Yuan (I wrote a thesis on Mongol art my senior year in college) and an episode I saw of No Reservations. Only one of those things is probably still relevant, but from what I know of Shanghai—a city in constant flux at the epicenter of global exchange—neither may be.

So here I go, LAX bound in the morning, arriving in the PRC the following evening. Back in 10 days.

To Be Continued…

xx Z

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