Life In The Slow Lane
In a world increasingly fuelled by disposable, low-cost products it is nothing short of cheering to find a good soul like designer Hui Li still willing to surmount the hefty task of sourcing rare handicrafts for Slow Lane, her new artisan boutique in Beijing’s historic Shijia Hutong.
Not only does this dexterous lady design or modify much of her store’s delicate ceramics and sumptuous silk clothing, but she has spent years scouring the country for rare teas to fill the former and antique trinkets to decorate the latter.
As a veritable celebration of Chinese culture, Slow Lane aims to offer items that are preceded by a story, such as their selection of Nantong blue calico bags decorated using the age-old method of indigo dye rinsed over soybean paste, their jumpers and wraps spun from the Tibetan plateau’s heritage yak wool, or their antique silk brocades and hat ornaments that have been nattily transformed into one-of-a-kind jewellery.
With a maxim of fair-trade and sustainability in mind, the store’s clothing is often fashioned by local seamstresses, their ceramics are hand-thrown in Jingdezhen, and they only stock like-minded clothing labels such as Khunu, Ju-Bru-Rigs and Craft Link. Slow Lane’s array of lovingly hand-crafted wares and vintage curiosities serve as proof that good things come to those who wait. Pause for thought, indeed!