June 16, 2021

Shanghai Tang has collaborated with eponymous designer Yuni Ahn for its pre-fall 2021 collection of ready-to-wear, bags, shoes, scarves and accessories inspired by the spirit of today’s modern women and their confidence and attitude.

Yuni Ahn, the former creative director of Maison Kitsuné and design director of Celine, brings a bold design sensibility to Shanghai Tang with an everyday luxury wardrobe infused with Chinese elements. Featuring modern design motifs inspired by the qipao, lattice, bamboo and moon, Yuni Ahn for Shanghai Tang weaves these redefined elements throughout the collection.

The creative concept for Yuni Ahn for Shanghai Tang originates in Ahn’s formative experiences living in Hong Kong during the 1990s. Recalling the crackling energy found in Chungking Mansions, Ahn retraced her steps into this nostalgic era by revisiting Wong Kar-wai’s classic Chungking Express. Amidst the dramatic mood, colours and cinematography of the iconic 1994 film, Ahn was ultimately drawn to the magnetic performance of the film’s female leads and how the evolution of ‘90s on-screen stars into aspirational heroines inspired today’s strong and independent modern women. Together, they form the perfect muses for Yuni Ahn for Shanghai Tang.

To develop the collection, Ahn spoke with today’s modern Chinese women to get a better understanding of the fashion and style they seek. Ahn then distilled these insights to create streamlined pieces made for the current generation.

Ready-to-wear pieces are crafted with design details referencing the structure and clean lines of qipaos. The exclusive Yuni Ahn for Shanghai Tang lattice pattern is the designer’s unique take on the original Shanghai Tang pattern inspired by the latticework of traditional Chinese windows. The reworked pattern creates a more dimensional look in both jacquard and print. Bags are highlighted by a skilfully embossed moon detail along the base, while bamboo is depicted in buckle hardware and interior patches. Together they bring natural elements symbolising the strength of modern women and good virtues to the collection.

Yuni Ahn for Shanghai Tang brings the perfect pre-fall layers with trench coats in sporty lengths and a curated array of dresses, shirts and blouses in soft silk, cotton and wool fabrics. Across ready-to-wear, the qipao’s angled button placket makes an impression on multiple pieces, as does the high split qipao collar—a key feature on cropped sleeve qipao dresses, shirts and blouses that can be worn buttoned up, halfway folded over, or all the way down. Other standouts include a silk gilet with flattering proportions akin to a mini qipao, as well as longline shorts and palazzo pants.

This season’s Yuni Ahn for Shanghai Tang tote bags are made with style and function. Fashionistas will love the chic proportions and sleek look of the North South tote—available in lattice pattern jacquard, canvas and leather options. In black and brown calf leather, the East West tote is the perfect carryall size whose versatility will instantly complement the on-the-go lifestyles of office professionals and young mums. 

Ready for styling with today’s on-trend looks, Yuni Ahn for Shanghai Tang square toe mules and strappy kitten heels are essential footwear for the season. Slip-on leather mules are versatile and comfortable, while kitten heels are designed with a heel shape inspired by the elegance of tables from the Ming dynasty. Red, a colour that welcomes auspiciousness, provides a striking contrast in the insoles of both shoe styles.

An accent piece that gives any outfit a refined flourish, the Yuni Ahn for Shanghai Tang silk scarf comes in two versatile sizes that can be styled multiple ways—roll it up and tie it at the back of the neck for a bandana-like effect. For a complete look, the scarf design features the exclusive updated Yuni Ahn for Shanghai Tang lattice pattern to match with ready-to-wear pieces across the collection. Last but not least, this season’s collection introduces a leather belt that features a bamboo design metal buckle and a thin gold snake chain stripe detail—ready to match with many of your favourite ensembles.