Ah, thank you, publicists. The merest mention of Shanghai Tang takes me back to those grand old days of 1997. And I don't mean when the end of British rule over Hong Kong and the receding into the fashion mirror all those crazy dragon ladies from The Peak who dyed their chinchilla coat hot pink to match their Rolls Royces, though those were good times indeed.
No, I mean 1997 in New York, when the Silicon Alley/dotcom glow was rising over the East River. When store openings for random fashion companies you'd never heard of were somehow hot-ticket social events. When people began opening massive flagship stores on Madison, even on the kind of shitty midtown blocks, and the numbers only made sense if you counted the storefronts as promotional/marketing expense. And then when it turns out the only thing your company sells is chartreuse umbrellas and Mao jackets, the whole thing implodes less than two years later and moves into a little townhouse up the street.
Which is all a way of saying that I, the former fashion/socialite groupie, the Hamptons-going, ex-banker/startup guy from the Upper East Side who settled down and started a family with his privately schooled wife, am exactly who Shanghai Tang should be telling about their new Little Lanterns Collection of baby clothes, gifts, and accessories.
They're exactly the right combination of irreverence and luxury, sassiness and style, that would make the absolutely perfect, insouciant $140-150 gift at every baby shower on Park Avenue. In like 2005. I mean, this stuff would have killed at Cookie, amiright?