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The lovely hostesses of the ceremony awards and their odd 'foil hats'

The lovely hostesses of the ceremony « Chansons Time » and their odd ‘foil hats’

For all my efforts to track down the most stylish and most interesting looks in Beijing, I sometimes lose track of the hard-core reality of fashion in China. It was brutally brought back to mind last week. I was invited to a special event by the Wuhan Alliance Française and found myself mixing with the local glitterati for a night.

The tutued ballerinas that marked the opening of the evening.

The tutued ballerinas that marked the opening of the evening.

I thought I was to give a conference about fashion but in fact I was asked to present an « award » to the biggest spenders at a luxury mall after an endless ‘fashion’ catwalk of gowns sold by local stores (2:30 hours… sheer torture). The event was mercifully interspersed by the luminous and formidably talented french singer Laura Cahen currently on tour in China.

Laura Cahen singing in Wuhan

Laura Cahen singing in Wuhan –  Laura mixes her strong voice with witty lyrics in a retro-style beat. I loved meeting her, more on Laura later.

I was told breathlessly by my two ‘assistants’ that this was ‘the biggest annual event’ in Wuhan. The ceremony took place in one of the city’s most luxurious shopping centre. A massive affair with as per every mall of that sort in China shops from Hermès to Dior, YSL, Vuitton, Bottega Venetta, Givenchy, Cartier, VC&A…

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Wuhan is the capital of the Hubei province. Considered to be the « Chicago of China » but with over 4 times its population at over 10 million people, it boasts a very famous university as well as a very solid economy which means that rich people in Wuhan are super-rich indeed.

Selfie-time by the "french movies" wall.

Selfie-time by Lambert Wilson’s smile.

Wuhan

It was a bit disconcerting at first when I realised that I was to be brought on stage to congratulate on their outfits four VIP ladies I had never seen before, so I decided to mingle and promptly found myself projected in a time capsule.

1984

One that landed in 1984. Possibly in Arkansas.

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I usually don’t report on the ‘bad side’ of fashion in China but style this evening was so consistent, that I felt it is necessary to be reminded of mainland true fashion taste.

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The lady on the left is the über-stylish Creative Director from one of China’s largest and most powerful fashion group, she was rocking a lace pantsuit by Valentino, while her neighbour was sporting an incomprensibly complicated dress of polyester and sequins.

double

Lace and chiffon, feathers and satin, more and more details piled up one on top of another.

The hostesses looked sweet in the afternoon at rehearsal. By the evening they all had this baffling 'foil hats' on their heads, like some abandoned sandwiches wrappers.

The hostesses looked lovely in the afternoon at rehearsal. By the evening they all had these baffling ‘foil hats’ on their heads, looking alarmedly like some abandoned sandwiches wrappers.

The lovely MC in her "Song of Song" dress, not her usuall get-up.

The lovely MC in her « Song of Song » dress, not her usual get-up (jeans shorts and Doc Martens).

One of the two truly cool ladies that night, this one in Chictopia, an emerging chinese label.

One of the two truly cool ladies that night in Chictopia, a hot emerging Chinese designer label.

A winner from the "Fashion Award" I had to present.

A winner from the « Fashion Award » I had to present in her « Italian countryside kitchen tiles » print dress.

Belle du Jour, Lady in red.

a rare Belle du Jour in red.

barbie

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The dessert buffet which was served with non-alcoholic colored drinks.

One of the most stylish lady. I loved her fresh look and she is beautiful. "Belle du Jour"

One of the most beautiful and stylish lady. I loved her fresh look « Belle du Jour »

Lace central

Lace central

Laura is on tour in China and had to 'pretend' her suitcase was lost to explain her lack of 'gowns' to the Chinese organisers. They promptly found her suitable replacements. Here she is modelling one of them.

Laura is on tour in China and had to ‘pretend’ her suitcase was lost to explain her lack of ‘gowns’ to the Chinese organisers. They promptly found her suitable replacements in CO11. Here she is modelling one of them much to the amusement of her band. For all of us that evening was for lack of better words surreal.

CO11

One of the few outfits presented that was actually ‘wearable’ presented by one of the sponsor CO11.

Another winner from the "Wuhan Fashion Awards"

Another winner from the « Wuhan Fashion Awards »

We’ve got a long way to go Baby!

b.

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