The now iconic rabbit wrapper didn’t start off as starring a rabbit. Moreover, it used to feature the “ABC Mickey Mouse”. The label later changed its mascot to the jumping white rabbit logo after the candy factory nationalized and the usage of western imagery was considered politically problematic — a real toothache. Where to take a bite?
Chop Suey Club is your destination, with both the candy plus lingerie as seen in the featured image available both inside Manhattan’s Hester Street store as well as the online shop. The exquisite lingerie selection reeks of “provocation” and requires a quick word of enlightenment from Ruoyi Jiang — store founder and owner.
What do these designs and styles say about new perceptions of individuality, sexuality and exploration among China’s post-80s and -90s?
Indecent Female Exposure
The Chinatown-based Chop Suey Club physical Chinese art and design store takes its name from Edward Hopper’s 1929 “Chop Suey” painting which in November of 2018 sold for US $92 million, a new record for a work by the artist. The piece features two women dining alone at a restaurant, a testament to the fundamental changes in American society of the Roaring Twenties.
Such instances of “indecent exposure” in those days would have been deemed inappropriate. The rise of feminism in the mid-1920s contributed to gradual changes in such perceptions. As a result restaurants, in exemplum, began to post signs in their windows, which read “Tables for Ladies”.
“Pillowbook focuses on reinventing Chinese aesthetics and styles to accentuate Asian physique. Designer Irene Lu thinks the world doesn’t give Asian girls enough credit for their sexiness and we agree,” Ruoyi Jiang, founder and owner at Chop Suey Club
Women have come a long way, baby.
Nowadays, the 2018 Chop Suey Club (run by a woman) carries two lines of lingerie that distinctively differ from one another. It’s a matter of mixing things up. The store’s first lingerie brand is called Pillowbook, a Beijing-born lingerie atelier run by Irene Lu.
The Pillowbook brand is the epitome of modern Chinese style, which translates to the fullest in its use of luxurious silk and delicate embroidery. Every piece is handmade with incredible attention to detail. Designer and vision advocate for a strong femininity that comes in every shape, size or form.
Consequently, the dudou, Lu’s special lingerie design power, has been a bestseller with both brand and store since day one. It is classic Chinese intimate wear coming up for air and back to life.
Super Urban Sustainability
The other line Chop Suey Club has on the racks is called The End. This brand’s daring looks are designed by Taiwanese model Beikuo who graduated from Parsons New School Of Design with a major in Fashion Design. It is in cutting edge sustainable fahsion, thatThe End uses organic cotton only. Therefore, the designs all exude heavily sustainable, sporty and super urban vibes. Edged out with some quirk and kink.
“I think people are more sex positive and explorative these days and seem to have accepted quirks, fetishes and dirty thoughts as part of being human,” Ruoyi Jiang, founder and owner at Chop Suey Club
In regards to her selection process for the store Jiang adds, “Although some of the styles are a bit too much for me personally, Bei really knows what young edgy girls want. I just try to edit it down to my taste”.
Fixing the hooks, wearing lingerie in turn is no longer just about looking sexy af. There’s a sense of provocation in dirtiness and imperfections that clicks with everyone. Just like candy.
One final note of encouraging wonder, then. Both men and women alike have been wearing the lingerie lines. One would presume to only think of “clothing” as boasting unisex-abilities. Gender fluidity is going strong.
Featured Image: White Rabbit candy X Pillowbook’s Empress Noir Collection. Photography by Chop Suey Club
Find out more about Chop Suey Club via their:
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After tackling Beijing for some six years where she worked for China International Publishing Group, she spent a moment in time moseying down steep alleyways and writing about their fashionable and underground features in Hong Kong.
Van Paridon most recently managed to claw her way through a Europe-based academic endeavor called "Journalism". 'Tis in such fashion that she has now turned her lust for China Fashion/ Lifestyle and Underground into a full time occupation.
Van Paridon hunts down the latest in Chinese menswear, women’s clothing, designer newbies, established names, changes in the nation’s street scenery, close-ups of particular trends presently at play or of historical socio-cultural value in Chinaplus a selection of budding photographers.
Paired with a deep devotion to China’s urban underground scene, van Paridon holds a particular interest in the topics of androgyny, the exploration of individuality and the power that is the Key Opinion Leader (the local term for “influencers”) in contemporary China.