Monday, 17 May 2010

Shanghai - Day 5 - Lujiabang Road

Tailors bursting at the Seams

semi-overcast 25 °C
Nanpu Bridge, Shanghai
Nanpu Bridge
We continue our shopping spree today. Today our target is Lujiabang Road (陆家浜路). This is the famous Shanghai tailor shops area (aka fabric market). Although there's a Lujiabang Road Station, but the closest metro station to get off is Nanpu Bridge Station because the Lujiabang Road station locates at the wrong or further end.

As soon as you get out of the Nanpu Bridge stn at exit 3, the imposing namesake bridge spread in front of you. You need to take less than 5 mins to get to the area once you get on Lujiabang Rd after the police station.

Qipu Road that we visited yesterday are fashion wholesalers district where they sell ready-made clothing. Lujiabang Road are fabric shops district for tailored clothes. And Etta was here to make an office power suit.

Lujianag Road Fabric Market, Shanghai
the large sign of Chinese word "Bu" for "fabric"
There're more tailor shops here than you can poke a measuring stick at. You're spoilt and bewildered by the sheer number of tailors available here. Many tailors specialised in making leather jackets, qipaos, business suits, etc. Even this narrowing would leave you with a large number to choose from. Since we have no recommendations, and we just assumed they are all equally reasonably competent tailors, we just walked in whatever shops that took our fancy. I guess the only thing that would further narrowing the search would be picking out the actual fabric you want, and Etta found hers in the second shop we visited.

I was there with her in the capacity of an interpreter, but soon made redundant as the girl who measured Etta, Jojo, was able to converse with Etta in English quite adequately. My role turned into a fashion consultant (meaning I'm telling her what she wants/needs to hear). Most of these Chinese tailors have basic grasp of English words like 'loose', 'slim', etc. Try to avoid fancier terms like 'baggy', or 'flair' that are simple to you, but may not be understood always. Instead, use 'loose' and 'bigger at the bottoms'. Hand gestures that augment your basic words are more than doubly affective and clear any misunderstanding.

Etta ordered two suits to be made (with pants, not skirts) and the total damage came to 1000 Yuans (aprox 200 SGD/AUD). According to Etta, the suits would cost around 200 SGD each, and the alteration would cost a further 50 bucks in Singapore.

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