Otherworldly Style on the Streets of Shanghai
Born and raised in the Chinese megacity, local creative NAMEVARG brings her singular looks to Shanghai’s backstreets.
Former Gucci creative director Alessandro Michele once described Shanghai as a city with two souls: one ultra-modern, the other historical. For locals, there’s a more brash saying directed at their countrymen in the north that goes, “Beijing is China’s capital, Shanghai is China’s capital capital,” a wink to its unrivaled cool status and irrepressible energy.
Few other places boast such a medley of global architectural styles—traditional, colonial, communist and postmodern—nestling early 20th-century art deco and neoclassical monoliths alongside avant-garde glass structures by household starchitects. These old-meets-new extremes tend to manifest in the lifestyle. After a night spent partying hard in the underground electronic music scene, a serving of classic xiaolongbao (also known as Shanghai soup buns) the next morning will go a long way towards soothing a hangover.
The “Paris of the East” cliché is applied to myriad cities beyond the Berlin demarcation line, from Budapest to Bucharest, Kolkata to Kabul. With its glamorous malls and sprawling, luxury-lined streets, Shanghai’s credentials as a bonafide fashion powerhouse lend it more claim to the title than most. China’s window to the world is not only a hub for European luxury houses, but an incubator of young domestic talent.
Enter NAMEVARG. A stylist and creative director at the forefront of Shanghai’s new wave, her work juxtaposes trends from different eras, reflecting the paradoxical spirit of the city she grew up in and Shanghai’s status as a rising fashion capital. In magazines and in digital editorials, her visual language blends sci-fi futurism and cyberpunk imagery with an otherworldly sensibility, looking to the bustling streets and its merger of past, present and future for new ideas. Below, self-styled photos of NAMEVARG in and around Shanghai, showcasing the unique aesthetic expression her hometown helped crystallize.
Shanghai is a very inclusive city. It provides a haven for all styles, all ideas and all sorts of people. It’s the people that make it impossible for me to ever leave.
Shanghai is ever-changing. It’s a city that is well suited to creatives because this nonstop collision of ideas generates inspiration almost daily.