18 August 2010


Pauline Juan's Editor's Note -- "Shopping 101" -- for Preview's August 2010 issue was all about shopping in Taipei. How timely! Hubby and I were just there for my bday weekend.

For every one else wondering how's the shopping, hear it from a pro...

"Now I'm the kind of traveler who likes to shop (no surprise there!) and one of the first things on my agenda is to seek out the young designers and the tiangge. Though i do enjoy my time at museums, galleries, and the like, I'm really more curious about pop culture, and, yes, shopping is a part of that. Imagine my disappointment when after combing through the night market (Shilin) and the wholesale market (Wufenpu), I came away with no fabulous finds. That fact, for some reason, rankled my pride. Taipei's street markets were packed with cheap t-shirts and hot pants, and still I asked myself how I could not find anything to buy. There was, after all, a Harper's Bazaar Taiwan -- surely, there was a thriving local designer scene in the country."

But everything changed after she met Claire, who spoke perfect English and was selling clothing made from graphically-patterned African cotton.

"Claire's little store was the only one I enjoyed visiting in Ximending, but meeting her resulted in a visit to Zhongshan, which is a posher area of Taipei and peppered with little designer boutiques, along with the flagships of Gucci and Louis Vuitton on the main shopping avenue. Weaving our way in the streets behind the former US ambassador's residence, we found and fell head-over-heels in love with the clothes of Taiwanese designer Stephen Dou, whose aesthetic was sharp, modern and minimal, tailored yet still feminine. I guess you can tell I finally had my shopping fix. Further down the road, we found a pop-up store of past-seasons designer clothes and shoes slashed 70% off...I can't wait to go back to Taipei."

Days after the Preview issue came out, local designer Rajo Laurel tweeted that he now wants to visit Taipei, thanks to Pauline's article.

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