The Roller Disco, Putuo
So most Chinese people are not into vintage in the same way their Western counterparts are, but it’s slowly catching on in the Mainland… One reason they may not be that interested in it is because the society itself is somewhat vintage (save for the assault on the senses that is Pudong). Lots of people equate Shanghai with New York 30 or so years ago, and even though I don’t know what NY was like back then, I know that Shanghai now has parts of it that feel oh sooooo retro [in a good way]. Case in point: the roller disco!
This disco ball/laser-lit gem is tucked away in the outer district of Putuo [former home to friends Adam and Ruben, you guys would have LOVED this place] and is frequented by seemingly only locals because skates and drinks (at the bar connected to the rink of course) are both dirt cheap and probably a bit dirty… Most Westerners would think that it’s hazardous to rollerskate and drink, but it turns out it actually makes you a lot more daring and you may even attempt to mimic some of the really awesome tricks you see the very talented locals doing… Which I guess makes the rink more hazardous if you’re not good at said tricks… But at least you don’t think it’s scary after a few drinks 😉
Note: Seriously, don’t drink and drive. Two locals we met at the disco were plastered and drove home despite us begging them not too… They kept on bragging about being “second-generation” wealth, meaning their parents made money and so they didn’t have to [this is a big deal in China]. These are the most spoiled individuals in China, and they tend to not consider others (such as how drunk driving can hurt OTHER people). So don’t do it. But you can drink at the roller disco, that’s much safer.
Anyway, that’s me with the glowing legs and flowing cape… I recommend two things for the roller disco: 1 – things that sparkle and 2 – things that flow. [I love the little boats on the wallpaper, just thought I’d point that out in case you didn’t notice]
Rollerskating is pretty close to ice skating, and some Chinese people were so good at it they looked like they were on ice… And like ice skating, there are some clothes that are more appropriate on the rink than off of it.
Usually I would barf (I just mis-typed “bark”, is that some sort of Freudian type-slip or something?) at such a monstrously feminine skirt, but it was more acceptable because of its context… But roller skates that light up are appropriate anywhere skates are appropriate I think:
But what was happening sartorially outside the rink in the surrounding area of Putuo district was almost if not more interesting than inside. For example:
I don’t know if this counts as ruxury or parody… I can see Cartier, Boss, Bally, Escada, Gucci, Hermes, and LV all on one sweater. It’s kinda awesome in a way, like this lady’s hair is awesome in a is-it-ruxury-or-parody kind of way:
The color is like a hybrid blond/ginger, as if this Chinese lady was single-handedly trying to make fun of all blond and redhead Westerners simultaneously by showing them how ridiculous these colors look… Or maybe she really just digs the color, and is simply attempting to mimic that which she actually likes… I have to give her an A for effort but definitely less than that for execution…..
But if you want to see a Chinese person who gets an A+ for effort and execution for a crazy hairstyle , I can think of no better example than this lady:
I mean, for a Chinese person to get that much height out of their hair is just… I don’t even know. I’m at a loss for words. Seriously, how do you think she did it?!??
I always thought fros on Asians were the coolest thing ever, and this lady is affirmation of that belief.
Best Dressed Generation:
Gen X – 180 points
Gen Y – 155 points + 30 points for keeping some things retro + 50 points for the fro – 60 points for drunk driving = 175 points
Gen Z – 105 points
*major shoutout to Kim of ParkLu who took the first four pictures (they are much clearer than mine, no? I’m starting to think I should invest in a real camera… any recommendations for a total novice?)