Sunday, December 18, 2005

From Madame Figaro to Zara

So I bought the December issue of Taiwan's Madame Figaro, mostly because the delectable Shu Qi was on its cover. I was expecting a full-fledged interview with the star, but instead I found only a couple of pictures of her posing in Louis Vuitton clothes in Spain, and a very short, less than one page, article about her.
In the fashion department, the magazine was equally disappointing. There was a lot about fashionable hotels all over the world - very nice, but not what I was looking for - and things about food.
Luckily, there was some fashion after all: a profile of the Etro family. Their colorful designs are on sale at Taipei 101, and my wife thinks they are the new Missoni. The "People Are Talking About" feature introduces lots of small news items, such as the opening of Taiwan design house Shiatzy's store on Shanghai's fashionable Bund. There are also loads of images of coats, and reports about Fendi, 60 years Celine, and the Taiwan visit of Kenzo's chief designer, stories also featured in other fashion magazines this month. All in all, this month's edition of Madame Figaro is a bit too much style and not enough fashion for me. But then, I guess it's a trend. Have you noticed how model Sun Cheng-hua's Sunday night show is also showing more and more home interiors, restaurants and the like, rather than featuring clothes, bags and designers?
For those of you who have ever shopped in Europe's main streets, Zara will not be a new name. The Spanish chain store has achieved quite a positive reputation with its quickly renewed collections and breezy shops. There is no Zara in Taiwan yet, but somebody's trying. While strolling on Chunghsiao East Road section 4 yesterday, I was handed a flyer about a sale of Zara items by a "discount outlet" called Tote. The place looked like a hole in the wall waiting for a new owner. Let's hope the real Zara has plans to establish a real store in Taipei.


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