While it is technically spring weather in the UK, Beijing is welcoming its 30℃. Before the infamous summer gets too hot，let’s enjoy the cosy breeze with a cool outfit while we can.
We are in Vienna this week!
On a spring afternoon, we started wandering around in the city. It’s not the biggest or the most dramatic, but it’s artistic, neat and full of inspirations. I’m not showing you the grandness of historical sites, but want you to close your eyes and feel with me – the breeze gently touching your hair, the happiness on the faces of children, the semi-transparentness of the botanical world, the tender silhouette of the violins, it’s all about the simple details that inspires an inquisitive mind.
Time to hit pause and think for a second – what inspires you?
What is it that you constantly want to do when you have time but have not done so because you are always so busy? Do it now.
I prefer not to say something and be disappointed right after like I’ve jinxed it, so I waited long enough before waving my fists in the air: yes Spring is in the air and we can FINALLY say goodbye to the chilly rainy gloomy days.
Thank you. It has been fun! (- or not…). See you in another three months.(- if we are lucky
A grand finale featuring our beloved Xiaowen Zhu in her classic tweed style. Behold…
…dedicated to my much-adored designer Sihan Lei and her stunning jewellery from Lion Studio.
I met Sihan Lei at a freezing cold evening of London’s April. She is a designer I’ve long admired.
Before coming to the UK, she has spent her undergraduate years studying and designing traditional Chinese jewellery. But she decided to embrace a moderner touch to her design since she came to London.
“I first moved to London from Birmingham with very limited resources – I just wanted to give it a go,” Sihan confessed to me. It was nothing dramatic or complicated – she knew what she wanted and logically made a step-by-step plan to achieve that.
“I always know that I want to do jewellery design. Previous experience has granted me with the design philosophy and technique needed, but I also know that I don’t know much of the local market.” A designer with a pragmatic mindset, she googled all the companies who could possibly gave her that exposure and phoned them up one by one, till finally someone was very impressed by her experience in marketing a western fashion brand into China market and offered her a job.
That’s the beginning of her new life in London. She is making it, step by step.
With her marketing sense being sharpened, she started to get on with the actual design of her new line – looking at her own experience for inspirations, which has also motivated so many around her. “I know so many people who are fighting for their dreams, and I’m proud to be one of them. I want my design to deliver a sense of modern tenacity.”
I also wondered if her previous work on traditional Chinese jewellery had any influence on her current work. “Definitely, but it was unintentional. At the LFW earlier, someone spotted my design and just blurted out ‘you must be Chinese’,” she started to laugh. “I was puzzled at his sharp instinct but he explained that the structuring of my design – the use of the round shape is coherent to traditional Chinese philosophy. Interestingly, as a foreigner, he has distinctive angle of assessing our culture.”
In her design, circles are modified as cogs and triangles are used in different ways, both as attempts to convey the sense of tenacity.
Meanwhile, she can’t hide the romanticism deep down in her heart, best represented with the adorable eye-shaped brooches.
It’s like a dream coming true…
An unforgettable detail from our conversation was when she told me that she tried to phone up Harrods to introduce her design. “I was so nervous – it was Harrods! I was way too confident! But to give it another thought, what’s the downside of trying?”
I think it’s that exact mentality which has pushed herself to move this far. I admire her so much for that. She now has secured orders from Europe, the US and China.
Looking into the future, Sihan has already started to plan her second season. Insomuch as she could disclose, “it will be really different from the first season!”
Let the revolution begin.
It might be something cliché that people say from time to time, but the best part of it is – it’s true.
Having been living here for two years and a half, London has grown to be an inseparable part of my life. I’ve studied here, I’ve made some best friends here, I’ve seen the most controversial and the most tolerant – I’ve seen me be a better me.
It’s the melting pot – European style, maintaining a decent touch of everything in the smallest details.
No matter how depressing the days of gloomy atmosphere in London could be, it could always find a way to re-energise you and cheer you up! And sometimes it’s as easy as an egg hunt!
Here we are at Covent Garden, ready to forget that we are in our mid-twenties with the burden of making a living and figuring out a future, and just to have fun!
Yes, if you are tired of London, you are tired of life…