Thursday, 22 November. A re-staging of the Miu Miu Croisière 2019 show in the legendary Hotel Waldorf Astoria on the Bund with additional special creations.
As the revolving doors of the Hotel Regina swing shut, the collection flits from Belle Époque Paris to Shanghai of the ‘30s and ‘40s, translated across time and space from the decadence of the West to the gilded glories of the East.
The luminous cast of characters, led by China’s leading ladies of the silver screen – Chun Xia, Dong Jie, Du Juan, Song Jia, Kara Wai, Wen Qi - with a special appearance by Gwendoline Christie and Juliette Lewis, promenade through the Shanghai Club Building.
Once home to one of the premier gentlemen’s clubs in Shanghai, it now forms part of this historic hotel on the Bund. With the entire foyer transformed into a salon, guests awaiting the story to unfold scatter amongst antique Chinese couches and beds – a playful wink to the staging of the show in a hotel.
The scene is set by art director Tu Nan, recent recipient of the Asian Film Award for his work with legendary director Chen Kaige. “I’m very inspired by the world of the late Qing period,” notes Tu, “transposing a historic way of life into modern day, letting it mingle with the creations of Miu Miu.”
Like birds set free, the women enter the scenario through a giant birdcage, a symbol of the splendours of late dynastic China. “That was China’s baroque period, the language is so stylistically complex,” Tu remarks. A cinematic rendering of the contemporary enmeshed within remnants of an era long gone.
Worlds collide, a whisper floats. Eileen Chang’s stories of love and femininity, her descriptions of life and place in 1940s Shanghai form the hidden backdrop to this display - a continuum of the female gaze, but still in essence Chinese.