The first time I chanced upon the Annabel Lee boutique at Xintiandi in Shanghai, I was drawn by their contemporary take on Chinese silk accessories. As much as one might appreciate traditional crafts, it’s often not straightforward to incorporate their use in a modern lifestyle. With Annabel Lee’s “modern twist to our Chinese cultural heritage”, their cases, pouches, bags, scarves, and other accessories handcrafted of fine silk and embellished with embroidery are easy and beautiful to use. I particularly like their pass case, which is a longish silk case that fits a passport, boarding passes, baggage claim tickets and other travel documents perfectly and elegantly. I have bought several permutations of the pass case over the years for myself and as gifts. One version of the case has a copper lock called “xiangpai” which style originated in the Qing Dynasty and is embossed with a Chinese character that means “dreams come through” or “happiness”.
I had assumed Annabel Lee was the name of the brand’s founder but only recently learned that the brand name was inspired by Edgar Allan Poe’s poem of the same name. It is fitting then that their flagship store is by the sea (sort of). The flagship store at The Bund is a graceful, tranquil space with several rooms where the goods are alluringly displayed – definitely worth a visit.Price:
Pass Case: RMB 100
Pass Case with Xiangpai: RMB 120