The world just keeps getting smaller as I'm turning ye olde blog posts into real life in-the-flesh encounters. Elaine, the owner of The Olive Shoppe, the former vintage eBay store once based in California, has been bouncing around the world, from Beijing to Bangkok and now to Shanghai for an indefinite period of time. Their website Olive Shoppe is still going, filled with Elaine's quirky eye for vintage but it is her taste in new designers picked up on her travels that has created her pop-up shop that is currently going on in Shanghai (812 Julu Road) until the 31st May. The Olive Shoppe also has a guest pop-up rail in Dong Liang Studio, just around the corner (184 Fumin Lu) just around the corner, extending her physical shop reach. Elaine's nomad ways means that her labels are geographically sprawling – Two Weeks and Proef Tights from the UK, Daniel Palillo from Finland, Fleamadonna from Korea, Chromat from USA and Reality Studio from Germany. They're all names that are hard to find in their very own source countries but have found a home in a furniture store near the somewhat hip-n-burgeoning Fumin Road area in Shanghai as well as on their Taobao shop (more about the wonders of Taobao later…).
My biggest discovery from Olive Shoppe was the London-based Kerhao Yin, a name who I vaguely knew but hadn't seen his collections up close. It's all too little too late alas as this half Taiwanese, half Burmese CSM graduate has now stopped his own label and has taken a job at Marni. Still, we can reminisce a bit over his S/S 12 collection which is a mash-up of unexpected textures and basketball attire and is one of the most interesting examples of warping sportswear that I've seen in a long time. The deliberate light/heavy contradiction is seen in the use of tulle contrasted with heavy quilted wadding or green cut-out felt sports initials. Here's hoping Kerhao brings his aesthetic sensibilities over to Marni.
Seeing as Kerhao is no more and this is the one opportunity I'd be buying a piece of his work, I faltered and ridiculously bought a London-based designer's work all the way in Shanghai. Doh. To rub salt in to wounds, these new pistachio slingback shoes by Alex & Rose are also by a British label based in London. Double Doh. I'm going to maintain that I'd never see either of these items in London so I haven't really broken my "If I can get it in London, it's not worth buying.." rule of travel shopping. The Kerhao mesh jacket reads Sports Day, a day which I loved slacking off from for almost all of my primary and secondary school life. Can you tell I'm really excited for the Olympics *voice dripping with heavy sarcasm* ?