Yellow is the new black: autumn fashion in China
Last season's catwalk saw fluorescent yellows take centre stage. Autumn, however, seems much more mellow. A tour of shopping malls across China would reveal an entire spectrum of yellow clothing options, from blonde to beige, buttery gold to creamy straw. And I’m not just talking accessories. From bags to blazers, watches to winter coats, and don’t get me started on the dresses. It is days like these that I wish I were brunette, so that I could combine flowing chocolate curls with bright sunshine yellows. Instead, I have chosen muted mustard as my colour.
The First Rule of Retail in China is this: never buy from the mall.
The mall is a place of research. One does not simply purchase the perfect pair of shoes from that lovely little boutique in the mall. No, the First Rule is very strict. So, in respect of this, I spent my first day exploring Chinese tailoring and evaluating potential combinations. The first day of research also provided a colour scheme for this season's wardrobe.
If I were in England right now, I would probably be wearing thick woollens in traditional autumnal colours - brown, orange and gold - to complement my pale skin and fair hair. However, I now live in a much warmer country. This year, I have abandoned my well-loved autumn colours and am experimenting with a dramatic new colour. Yellow is the new black.
So, if we do not shop in the mall, where do we shop? In China, my first stop is the marketplace.
The Second Rule of Retail in China is this: never accept the first price.
I have discovered that bartering is considered good manners in China, without it there is no foundation upon which to build a buyer-seller relationship. It is simply not polite. The marketplace is the perfect place to practise bartering and bargaining, just like in England. So three hours and three dresses later, I wanted to find the perfect blazer, bag and shoes to complement them.
The Third Rule of Retail in China, and possibly the most important, is: you will not compromise.
Compromise in the retail game is defeat. Cold, hard defeat. Words cannot describe the feeling of pure joy when you finally find that perfect bag. After losing so many battles, the war is finally won, and this season’s wardrobe is complete!