Monday, 28 December 2009

Further Adventures in Sham Shui Po

I've been wandering the wild and wonderful land of Sham Shui Po, gathering together the many costume components as well as collecting an order of pocket watches (soon to be available at Character Kit) and whilst I was there, I thought the nosy world at large might be mildly curious about where all the kit comes from.

Sham Shui Po was once the very throbbing hub of the Hong Kong clothing industry and though many of the tiny workshops have moved across the border, offices are still maintained in the area. Wholesalers of all sorts (toys, fabric, ribbon, lace, buttons, buckles, plastic tat, umbrellas, electric goods, rubber hosing) can still be found in the area and the street market is always bustling. Sellers of any given sort of goods has a way of clustering together in Hong Kong (see, for example, Goldfish Market, Flower Market and Jade Market) and nowhere is this more apparent than Sham Shui Po.

There's a sort of Old Hong Kong charm to the place, which is another way of saying its really rather ancient. Old-style pawn shops, Chinese pharmacies, dry goods stores and local cafes can still be found, pretty much identical to the ones that have been mocked up inside the Hong Kong History Museum.

The picture shows a stall selling incense and other paper goods for ancestors (paper ingots, clothing, passports, mansions, mahjong sets, etc - it's a folk belief that if you burn something, it manifests itself in the spirit world - and yes, I'm oversimplifying it). Behind it to the right is a shop is a wholesaler for umbrellas and anoraks and to its left is a shop that specialises in lace..

Though in area the haberdashers only occupy approximately three streets, the area can boast of dozens upon dozens of shops that are full of haberdasheries, much of which overflows onto the streets. Sample boards clutter up the outside of shops, as well as the ends of rolls in tiny plastic bags. This mercenary company has never been able to visit all the shops selling any given sort of item in one day.

Sham Shui Po also happens to be the birthplace of the Steampunk Coat, so the Mercenary has a particular fondness for the place.

Literally sandwiched between two haberdashers is the Temple to the Third Prince and the God of the North. Perhaps more on them another day.

Street market stalls close up and become these wood-and-iron boxes that squat by the side of the road.

Only a part of the plastic button display of this shop. There's another three walls.

Probably more satin ribbon than you'll ever want. These rolls are for the purposes of sampling and retail. There are similar displays for satin ribbon, lace and other trim that can be rolled up. Some shops have their ceilings covered in rolls that dangle down enticingly (if I ever for some reason have a sudden need to break the mind of a cat, I know where I'm taking it.)

Street level of Yu Chau Stree. Note the old buildings - these are dwarfs compared to the overcompensating, star-gouging monoliths in Central.

I meant to take a photo of a shop that sold snake soup, with its locked wooden boxes (with live snakes inside, presumably) but it came out fuzzy, so here's some cute hedgehog-shaped custard buns instead.

This is a rather steampunk-esque device that is used for winding trim. It's probably not brass enough, but it does posses working cogs.

And finally, here's a quick glimpse of the pocket watches coming your way soon.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...