Beijing is not a city particularly known for its fashion or its style, at least, not yet, but sometimes one stumbles across both.
Hidden behind a door with only its street number, the stylish boutique Wuhao calls itself a “curated shop”. Situated in a gorgeous siheyuan–formerly occupied by Wanrong, the Last Empress, before she was married to Puyi–Wuhao features original art, clothing and jewelry from Chinese and foreign designers in a playful and interesting setting.
If you think that ‘Made in China’ only means cheap, factory produced goods, Wuhao aims to change your mind. The store emphasizes traditional Chinese techniques and processes with contemporary Chinese and international aesthetics.
Wuhao changes its themes and wares seasonally. The theme for this season was water, so when we first walked through the anonymous door, the entrance way featured an art piece composed of fish made of ice. Other outdoor art works included a faucet dripping water, turning into ice in the cold, and an oddly disturbing mannequin posing outside.
I was curious about what exactly being a “curated shop” meant. Apparently, the owners work with the designers and craftspeople to create specific pieces for the shop . For instance, a wooden bench that was designed and crafted using traditional Chinese woodworking techniques was worked and reworked with both input from the designer and the owners. Since the designer was only able to find one craftsman, the bench took three months to make.
Away from the cold and inside the courtyard rooms, jewelry and original designs abound.
This was one of my favourite pieces, the Batman Dress!
As an added bonus, since qB happened to attend during the opening for the winter collection (we love being a plus-one, and want to be yours), there were madeleines and hot chocolate. It was positively Proustian.
With no publicity other than word-of-mouth buzz, Wuhao is a delightful Beijing secret. I can’t wait to see what spring will bring.
WUHAO • CURATED-SHOP • BEIJING
No. 35 Mao’er Hutong, Dongcheng District
By appointment only, although in January 2011, the shop will be open daily from 2-5pm.
Telephone: 189 1135 5035
Email: contact AT wuhaoonline.com