Shanghai? It should be called Champagnhai with parties like this.
I wouldn’t be out of my mind if I said the only place that comes second in lavish parties behind Paris would be China. Between Shanghai and Beijing, there are enough parties, dinners, galas and fashion
shows to keep one perpetually hung over on top-shelf champagne everyday. I was in Shanghai for just two weekends and happened to fall on a Dior couture show and a huge Gucci gala (and next up was Givenchy and Chloe??). I attended the latter on the last leg of my trip and got my own taste of a next-morning bubbly stupor. There was a cocktail reception, a fall/winter 2012 fashion show and a massive afterparty all held in the most lavish area in the metropolis.
I seriously thought I was going to be late to the show…I missed the cocktail hour when I was convinced to go home and change shoes. My Shanghai friends don’t sugarcoat it when your outfit isn’t looking
top-notch! Shanghai isn’t big but when there’s traffic you’re screwed..I reached the outside with 5 minutes to spare. Outside the gate were a gaggle of people to push through, ostensibly they were fans of a super-big-famous actor who attended the show.
This photo is of the historical Bund building where the pre-cocktail reception and show were held.
The show was basically a rehash of the 2012 show which I saw in Milan in Feb and it recreated the show exactly, down to the dark plush red carpet and gardenias and orchids flower arrangements. But it included men’s wear, and lots more top Chinese models like Fei Fei. Hilary Swank also attended the show. The locally hired stylist was Chinese by the name of Clemon (I think I spelled that right) and the show was livestreamed to Chinese-speaking Asia on a special online channel. I believe this is the first Gucci fashion show ever held in the country.
After the show we all trudged next door to a reclaimed bank for the afterparty. I heard the entire area we were in was opened only recently since it was in control of the government. The party was called “Club Gucci” and it took over three floors of the huge empty space. On the first floor were exhibits of Gucci red-carpet and a concert of about 10 songs by Bryan Ferry.
Bryan. Freaking. Ferry. He was so, so ,so smooth. Avalon baby, Avalon!
The 6th floor was VIP but it’s where everyone congregated since they were allowed to smoke on the terrace. Up here the infamous Michel Gaubert DJ and fashion music producer extraordinaire was at the DJ booth and I ran into Tokyo friend Audrey who DJs now as 1/2 of the Forks (she’s on this Sat at PRISM…don’t miss it!). On the second floor was where the real party got started, especially when my friends Su San and my favorite Shanghainese girl Sonja, joined by Frida Giannini herself where we jammed out to Belgian song masters 2manyDJs. Frida seriously knows how to bust a move on the dance floor!!
That’s it! Go the fuck home!
They literally had to kick everyone out of the place at like 4am by shutting down the music (but they kept serving champagne until the last minute!)
And we stumbled out into the breezy Shanghai night and on to the next club…. I will keep this night’s bubbly hangover ingrained deep into my brain and heart. Until the next one, that is.