A fashion show featuring oriental aesthetics design hosted by Yuyuan at the World Design Cities Conference on Saturday night.
Shanghai's landmark Yuyuan Garden Malls will become a pilot zone for oriental aesthetics design with a major expansion to meet the city's ambition of becoming a "Global Capital of Design."
The malls in the city's old town will undergo the biggest expansion in its more than 460-year history by connecting the nearby lane-style neighborhood with the Bund Financial Center.
The design concept of the "oriental aesthetics of living" will be involved in both the massive protection of historical buildings and planning of additional commercial blocks, Ni Qiang, president of Yuyuan Incd told the World Design Cities Conference (WDCC) over the weekend.
Compared with the Western fashion design, the oriental aesthetics focus on the design elements involved in the traditional Chinese cultures, folk arts, heritage skills, time-honored products, historical buildings and urban planning.
"The extended Greater Yuyuan Garden Malls will become a global fashion and culture showground themed on the 'oriental aesthetics of living,' blending east and west as well as old and new," Ni told an event of the WDCC themed on "Design creates Happiness."
After the extension, the malls will have a total construction area of one million square meters, tenfold of the current commercial facilities.
It will become a demonstration of Shanghai's urban renewal campaign, to preserve the city's old residential neighborhoods and convert them into stores for time-honored and international brands, fashion designer studios, international fashion schools and innovative workshops as well as exhibition and cultural exchange spaces.
A model showcases oriental aesthetics design.
Yuyuan area in Shanghai's old town is the birthplace of the city's folk and haipai, or Shanghai-style cultures. It originated from a prosperous market of the City God Temple.
A number of Shanghai's time-honored brands, such as the gold and jewelry brands Laomiao and First Asia, Shanghai Watch and Seagull Watch as well as Lu Bo Lang Restaurant were opened and developed in the malls.
Many listed "intangible cultural heritages" like the annual lantern fair, Xiaojiaochang (literally meaning "small drill ground") woodblock prints and Shanghai cuisine cooking skills are also protected and promoted there.
"They've formed the special quality of the oriental aesthetics of living and laid the foundation for Yuyuan to become a design industrial hub," Ni said.
He unveiled two inaugural projects for the malls to become a demonstration zone for oriental aesthetics design – the Chinese New Year Lantern Fair in 2023 and a grand gala on China's intangible cultural heritages.
The lantern fair at the newly revamped Yuyuan malls will highlight the cultural elements from the 4th-century BC Chinese classic text "Shanhaijing" (Classic of Mountains and Seas), which is about fascinating mythical creatures.
Xu Xiaoliang, president of Shanghai International Fashion Federation and co-CEO of Fosun International, officially announced the expansion plan for the Yuyuan Garden Malls at the WDCC.
These mythical creatures will be displayed on the traditional lanterns of Yuyuan, which is a national listed heritage skill. The fair aims to attract more young customers with games and cosplay events about traditional Chinese cultures.
The first Oriental Artisan Star Gala will invite most of the nation's top heritage skills inheritors to the malls. The masters will host seminars, forums, exhibitions and auctions. A traditional bazaar will be organized on the iconic Zigzag Bridge to attract family visitors.
Meanwhile, Shanghai's annual customization fashion week will be held at the malls in November, gathering many of the nation's young haute couture designers and brands. The event aims to be on par with the world's top fashion events in Milan and Paris.
"The future design hub of the 'Oriental aesthetics of living' at Yuyuan will become a leading recreational place for families and a strong boost to the city's future development and soft power," said Xu Xiaoliang, president of Shanghai International Fashion Federation and co-CEO of Fosun International.
During the expansion of the Yuyuan malls, about 120,000 square meters of old residential buildings in the Fuyou Road community will be preserved. They include Shi Chun Tang at 137 Wutong Road, the former family residence of the Ming cadre Pan Yunduan (1526-1601), the owner of the Yuyuan Garden, which was later converted into a Catholic church and library. The Ming-dynasty building includes many Western ornaments on its window and door frames.
The Yuyuan Garden Malls will connect the nearby lane-style neighborhood with the Bund Financial Center.
Editor: Wang Yanlin