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The shopper: Jacky Tsai for Shanghai Tang

 

With Art Basel kicking off this week, now is the time for creative collaborations.

Shanghai Tang gets things rolling with its 20th anniversary celebrations this month in a cool alliance with Chinese artist Jacky Tsai, which is the first in a series of many that will continue throughout the year.

Much like the brand, Tsai is all about East and West — he was born in Shanghai and moved to London, where he studied at Central Saint Martins. While he rose to fame by creating Alexander McQueen's iconic floral skull image, his career has seen him explore and combine Eastern craftsmanship with a contemporary Western pop art aesthetic.

Tsai has created a series of six original artworks for the brand, but those who are looking for a more affordable form of retail therapy should check out the accompanying capsule collection which launches on May 15.

Each artwork has inspired an original print which will cover a range of products including clothing, homeware and accessories. The prints may be inspired by traditional crafts such as lacquer carving, silk embroidery and hand-painted porcelain but the final result makes for a contemporary and fun collection.

Highlights include the Floral Dragon series featuring the mythical Chinese creature reincarnated through a series of edgy floral motifs, which then covers items such as humidors (HK$38,800) and lacquer boxes (HK$4,980). Floral Play references Chinese floral prints made contemporary through bright pops of colour and fresh additions such as butterflies and tree branches.

More traditional series include Ginger Flower — named after the brand's bestselling scent — which features birds and flowers that often feature in Chinese embroideries. These are transposed onto a range of clothing including a traditional qipao (HK$8,800) or classic pencil skirt (HK$5,800).

Homeware collectors should check out Lotus Play (HK$980 to HK$16,800), which features plates, jars and other porcelain items covered in a blue-and-white watercolour scene depicting lotus flowers and leaves floating on a river while acrobats play nearby.

 

Shanghai Tang is at 1 Duddell Street, Central, Hong Kong. shanghaitang.com

 

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