Thursday, November 03, 2005

Bangkok to Taipei

The first fashion-related book I probably ever bought was "Body and Soul" by Anita Roddick, the founder of the Body Shop. I guess I won't meet her, but Miss Roddick will be visiting Taiwan's Presidential Office tomorrow for a get-together with Vice President Annette Lu.
Talking of visits, I did a quickie tour of Bangkok's shopping malls last week. At the bottom of the heap is the huge MBK, a tall mall at the cheap end of the scale, with T-shirts, shoes, but also computers, furniture, watches, DVDs and tasty dried mangoes for the masses. Also near Siam Skytrain station are the unfinished Siam Center - which includes local brand Greyhound - and the Siam Discovery Center. That mall I found interesting not because of its Armani Exchange boutique, but because of the design stores near its top floor. Bought a tiny blue ceramic elephant flowerpot for the wife at the EGG boutique.
More Thai designs in higher price brackets are to be found at the Emporium, a mall further east along throbbing Sukhumvit Road. The top of the line shopping mall in Bangkok of course is the Gaysorn Plaza: marble floors and international names like Louis Vuitton and Gucci. While I was looking round for Thai-flavored design, the beautiful people were attending the launch of the Mercedes CLS downstairs.
All in all, Bangkok has everything for the fashion shopper: tourists can start with the busy Chatuchak market and the ubiquitous Jim Thompson store, mix with the people at the MBK, and to all the way to the top at Gaysorn, though the prices there probably won't differ too much from other world cities.
Back in Taipei, I of course landed in the middle of the continuing anniversary sales. Their point of gravity has now moved from Nanjing West Road out east to Taipei 101 and the Mitsukoshi stores.
The first relatively cold front of the mild Taiwan weather has passed, and shops are now emphasizing their wintery side, with sweaters and fur. Today's United Daily News has discovered a Russian theme in this winter's fashions. Even the bags from Fendi, Gianfranco Ferre and Moschino have either fur ends or Russian colors, the paper says.
Bags still capture the hearts of Taiwanese woman: when baseball player Wang Chien-min returned home for a holiday from the Yankees, the papers focused on his earring, and on his wife's 60,000 New Taiwan dollar Monogram Multicolore Louis Vuitton bag.
The Liberty Times went for the luxury bags. The one that's been catching my eye as well is that dark-blue, furry Louis Vuitton with the hardly-discernible monogram in black. The price: 145,000 NT dollars, or more than 4,000 US dollars. The paper also presents a bunch of snakeskin models from Stuart Weitzman, Pura Lopez and Clara Kasavina, all three of them less than common names in Taiwan.
The weekend is coming and that means more fashion and mall scouting after my Bangkok hiatus. And no, Gioia Pan and Louis Vuitton are still not ready with their stores next to the Grand Formosa Regent. Will they make it before Christmas? We'll see.


Blogger famedprincess said...

Senor, me thinks you may be reading the late newspapers. The military/neo-Romantic look was introuduced to the High Streets of London 3 months ago. And, once it hits the High Streets, you know that it's past it's sell-by-date. Unless, of course, you can pull it off as stylishly as I.

4:20 AM  

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