Beijing’s fashion scene is exploding and street style photographer/magazine editor Nels Frye is at the center of the action, ready to document it all.
Five years ago Nels Frye quit his job as a business consultant to focus on his real passion: documenting the dramatic changes in fashion, culture, and style happening on the streets of Beijing. His blog Stylites.net is now a leading source of sartorial inspiration worldwide and its success led to him becoming editor in chief of Lifestyle, China’s leading bilingual English/Chinese magazine. As if that weren’t enough, Frye also serves as creative director for Serli and Frye, a bespoke men’s fashion company in Beijing. Somehow Frye found the time to do a little style scouting for us—here are the most stylish ladies he met on a recent winter’s day in the Chinese capital.
DAN DAN, 29
STYLE INSPIRATION: I like Chinese people’s style from the 1920s and ’30s, I am particularly impressed with how well they were mixing Chinese and Western clothing styles back then.
THE PERFECT WEEKEND: It would be spent with my friends chatting and sipping tea.
ERICA HUANG, 24
JOB: Editor at The Creators Project
STYLE ICONS: David Bowie and Patti Smith.
SONG I CAN’T GET OUT OF MY HEAD: “You Oughta Know” by Das Racist.
LAST MOVIE THAT MADE ME CRY: Life of Pi.
SECRET SPOT IN BEIJING: My yurt.
KAREN LEUNG, 29
JOB: Vintage boutique owner
STYLE ICON: Audrey Hepburn—pure understated elegance.
MY PERFECT SUNDAY IN BEIJING: Sitting in a hutong courtyard with good wine and excellent company.
BEST PLACE FOR AFTER-WORK DRINKS: D Lounge—it has a great urban, arty warehouse vibe that you can rarely find in China.
BEST PLACE FOR LAZY AFTERNOONS: Bodhi for their amazing massages. The perfect place to relax and chill.
LI XUE, 26
STYLE ICON: Rowland S. Howard
SONG I CAN’T GET OUT OF MY HEAD: “Death of a Ladies’ Man” by Leonard Cohen.
LAST MOVIE THAT MADE ME CRY: La Frontière de l’Aube
BEST PLACES TO GO OUT: Dada, XP, Mao Livehouse, and Dos Kolegas.
THE PERFECT WEEKEND: Staying awake all night listening to music.
LI RUO GU, 22
LAST MOVIE THAT MADE ME CRY: Warriors of the Rainbow: Seediq Bale.
BEST PLACE FOR LAZY AFTERNOONS: Café Alba.
RIA LIU, 34
JOB: Concept store owner and jewellery designer
STYLE INSPIRATION: 1930s flapper.
PERFECT PLACE TO RELAX: With coffee at my studio.
BEST PLACES FOR AFTER WORK DRINKS: Nali Patio in Sanlitun
FAVOURITE SCENT: Sea breeze.
MA DUO DUO, 24
JOB: Vintage store owner
STYLE ICON: All the beautiful ’50s girls.
LAST MOVIE THAT MADE ME CRY: Walk The Line.
SONG I CAN’T GET OUT OF MY HEAD: “冰糖葫芦—冯晓泉” (“Bing Tang Hu Lu” by Feng Xiao Quan).
FAVOURITE SCENT: The fresh smell of the air after the rain.
LIBER JIANG, 23
JOB: Handbag designer
STYLE ICON: Michelle Violy Harper—she always has distinctive style.
SONG I CAN’T GET OUT OF MY HEAD: “Black Mambo” by Madrugada.
SECRET SPOT IN BEIJING: I like standing in the top of Jingshan park overlooking Beijing. You can see the whole Palace Museum—so spectacular!
BEST SPOT FOR AFTERNOON TEA: Temple Restaurant Beijing, which is an old Lama Temple. The building is very original because it combines the modern with the classical.
BEST PLACE FOR COFFEE: Colibry in Sanlitun Village North, especially coffee chocolate with matcha cake.
PEI YU SHEN, 24
STYLE ICON: Björk.
SONG I CAN’T GET OUT OF MY HEAD: “Intro” by The xx
BEST PLACE FOR LAZY AFTERNOONS: At home.
YOUR PERFECT SUNDAY: Hanging out with friends or going to a concert.