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“Once-in-a-lifetime” Shanghai: Winner’s travel report

A “Once-in-a-lifetime” Fashion Trip to Shanghai was waiting for Mona Homm, winner of the category “Occident vs. Orient,” from Fahmoda – Akademie für Mode und Design Hannover. Briefly after the Award Gala of the FRANKfurtstyleaward, she traveled to Shanghai together with Hannemie Stitz-Krämer, initiator of the FRANKfurtstyleaward, from October 10 to 14.

This unique fashion trip to Shanghai was enabled by China Tours and One Billion Voices. Mona wrote down her amazing experiences and impressions for us:

I am still overwhelmed by my victory in the category “Occident vs. Orient” at the FRANKfurtstyleaward. When I began to research for my concept “Metanoia – Changing One’s Mind”, I would have never thought that I would be given the great opportunity to, one day, dive into the Chinese culture myself. After we had arrived at the Shanghai airport in the evening, our tour guide came to meet us and accompanied us to our hotel. Since it was already dark outside, Shanghai was illuminated by bright and flashing lights. My attention was directed to Shanghai’s crazy traffic through loud and penetrating honking. Although no one seems to follow traffic rules, it seems as if this system works because of reciprocal respectfulness of others. While Europeans would be heavily shocked by Shanghai’s traffic, it is usual madness for Shanghai’s citizens. As I woke up the next morning, I was able to enjoy an awesome view on the city, which was characterized through tremendous numbers of houses. I could have starred out of my window for hours.

On this day, Shanghai prepared for the fair Chic, which is the biggest, most meaningful and most impressive textile fair in Asia. I am very happy and grateful that this famous fair presented my design. I was really nervous because I did not know what to expect from the event and if everything would go as planned. Nervousness is a feeling that is very new to me, although I had worked in this business for almost four years. I could not have been more proud as my design was presented in a foreign country, on a foreign continent and thousands of kilometers distant from home. I was speechless as I did not know what happened to me and thought; “Someone please pinch me”. I will never forget this feeling!

Following the show, many designs were displayed within the frame of the Intertextile fair, which experienced great popularity and admiration among the visitors. Some even devoted themselves intensively with the designs and were enthusiastic about the artist’s creativity.

During the week, we, among other things, visited the city planning museum, a museum of silk, an artists’ quarter and Shanghai’s historic district as well as the nearby Yu-Yuang Garden.  Many centuries ago, when Shanghai was still a small fishermen’s village, a salesman built his own paradise there. Even today, this garden perfectly reflects the Chinese culture. The Yu-Yang Garden can be approached from Shanghai’s historic district via a zigzag bridge. Due to superstition, bridges were built in zigzag style because Chinese people thought that evil spirits could only walk straight forward. The Chinese superstition, moreover, shows itself in the garden, where entrants were furnished with steps and planks in order to keep out the evil spirits. The landscape of the garden is imaginatively designed: the windows are very elaborately constructed and archways either have the form of vases or stones, which portray beautiful women.

The week’s highlight was the sighting of the city from the 88th floor of the Jin Mao Tower, which is located in 420 meters height. The Jin Mao Tower is one of Shanghai’s highest buildings and is, thereby, only surpassed by the Shanghai World Financial Center with 101 floors and a height of 492 meters and the second highest skyscraper of the world, the Shanghai Tower, with a height of 632 meters. However, the skyline is not only beautiful from above, but also from the so-called Bund, a 1km long riverwalk. Shanghai expresses  its most impressive picture at night when the whole city is illuminated. Shanghai is a city that enthralls one from head to toe. All in all, I acquired an experience for life for which I am immensely grateful. For a short time, I was able to be “Metanoia – Changing One’s Mind” myself.