San Francisco Social Diary: Electric Fashion

This spring, I attended the launch of fashion maven Christine Suppes’ book Electric Fashion, featuring images of her personal couture collection amassed over three decades.

THE LAUNCH OF CHRISTINE SUPPES’ BOOK ELECTRIC FASHION
by Jeanne Lawrence

This spring, Christine Suppes, the art patron, couture collector, and trailblazing fashion editor, launched the international tour of her latest book, Electric Fashion, at London’s Victoria & Albert Museum, followed by a national launch at San Francisco’s Neiman Marcus.

Suppes in a shocking pink 1950 Balenciaga Eisa ball gown, originally owned by Mrs. Biddle of Philadelphia, part of her incredible collection.

Continue reading

Shanghai Social Diary: Treasures of China’s Heritage Part 4

On a nine-day trip to China with the Global Heritage Fund, I explored some truly incredible, off-the-beaten-path historical sites, including three days at my favorite stop, the stunning ancient walled city of Pingyao.

Treasures of China’s Heritage: Touring with the Global Heritage Fund
(Fourth of a Seven-part Series)

Fujian and Shanxi

By Jeanne Lawrence

I recently had the privilege of taking a nine-day trip to China in the company of board members of the Palo Alto-based Global Heritage Fund (GHF)—an organization devoted to supporting underdeveloped rural areas worldwide. Although I’d previously traveled extensively in China, this unusual excursion was uniquely enriching and memorable. It’s my pleasure to share this experience with you in a series of recollections illustrated primarily by my personal photographs. Links to the other installments in this series can be found at the end of this article.

6080_pingyao china map copyAfter resting up from our first magical day in historic Pingyao, we looked forward to more experiences in the ancient walled city, including an up-close encounter with the walls themselves.


DAY 5: THE ANCIENT CITY OF PINGYAO IN SHANXI

VISITING THE CITY WALLS AND GATE TOWERS

On the fifth day of our tour, we explored the Pingyao city walls, beginning at the north end with Gongji, one of six gates. The north and south ends each feature one gate, while the west and east walls have two, each with a tower. Each gate has three surrounding walls to protect it from invaders and prevent wind and sand damage.

Continue reading

Shanghai Social Diary: Treasures of China’s Heritage Part 3

On a nine-day trip to China with the Global Heritage Fund, I explored some truly incredible, off-the-beaten-path historical sites, including my favorite stop, the ancient walled city of Pingyao.

Treasures of China’s Heritage: Touring with the Global Heritage Fund
(Third in a Seven-part series)

Fujian and Shanxi

By Jeanne Lawrence

I recently had the privilege of taking a nine-day trip to China in the company of board members of the Palo Alto-based Global Heritage Fund (GHF)—an organization devoted to supporting underdeveloped rural areas worldwide. Although I’d previously traveled extensively in China, this unusual excursion was uniquely enriching and memorable. It’s my pleasure to share this experience with you in a series of recollections illustrated primarily by my personal photographs. Links to the other installments in this series can be found at the end of this article.

3940_pingyao china map copyAfter exploring the port town of Zhangzhou and touring ancient earthen residences called “tulous” in southeast China, we next travelled north to the ancient walled city of Pingyao.

DAY 4: THE ANCIENT CITY OF PINGYAO IN SHANXI

It’s said that to see China 1,000 years ago, go to Beijing; to see China 3,000 years ago, go to Xian; and to see China 5,000 years ago, go to the northern province of Shanxi—our next destination.

Continue reading

Shanghai Social Diary: Treasures of China’s Heritage Part 2

On a trip to China with the Global Heritage Fund, we explored some truly incredible, off-the-beaten-path historical sites, such as Tian Luo Keng, a cluster of round, earthen tulou residences.

Treasures of China’s Heritage: Touring with the Global Heritage Fund
(Second of a Seven-part Series)

Nanjing and Pinghe Counties, Fujian

By Jeanne Lawrence

I recently had the privilege of taking a nine-day trip to China in the company of board members of the Global Heritage Fund (GHF)—an organization devoted to supporting underdeveloped rural areas worldwide. Although I’d previously traveled extensively in China, this unusual excursion was uniquely enriching and memorable. It’s my pleasure to share this experience with you in a series of recollections illustrated primarily by my personal photographs. Links to the other installments in this series can be found at the end of this article.

DAY 2: ARRIVAL IN ZHANGZHOU CITY

2980_zhangzhou map copyAfter landing in Fujian’s modern city of Xiamen and exploring earthen tulou buildings in the countryside on our first day, we proceeded to the historic port town of Zhangzhou and then to Pinghe and Nanjing counties, where we visited tulous of a different style.

Only forty-three miles from the costal city of Xiamen lies Zhangzhou, a second-tier city with a population of nearly five million. Once a big port town known for trafficking in silk and sugar, today it supports agriculture, flour-milling, wine-making, tea-curing, papermaking, printing, the manufacture of jute sacking, and narcissus cultivation.

Continue reading

Shanghai Social Diary: Treasures of China’s Heritage, Part 1

On a nine-day trip to China with the Global Heritage Fund, I explored some truly incredible, off-the-beaten-path historical sites, among them the Xuankongsi Hanging Temple that clings to the side of a mountain in northeast China.

Treasures of China’s Heritage: Touring with the Global Heritage Fund
(First of a Seven-part Series)

by Jeanne Lawrence

For many, a trip to China is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, usually limited to the must-see places such as Beijing, Shanghai, Xian, and the other major cities. But if you have the opportunity to make return visits to this vast and varied country, I highly recommend stepping off the tourist trail and venturing into the provinces.

Below are some of the highlights of the Global Heritage Fund voyage that took us from the south to the north of China, on a schedule packed with explorations of numerous historically significant sites.

I first visited China in 1987 and quickly fell in love with its intoxicating beauty, rich culture, and welcoming people. I immediately vowed to return—and not simply as a tourist. Since 2008, I’ve lived in China off and on and have seen many places that are still largely undeveloped and therefore undiscovered by outsiders.


THE GLOBAL HERITAGE FUND

Of all my travels in China, the nine-day trip with the Global Heritage Fund (GHF), led by founder Jeff Morgan, was a highlight. The California-based Global Heritage Fund’s mission is to protect, preserve and sustain the most significant and endangered cultural heritage sites in the developing world. This trip was designed to introduce donors to some of those projects in China.

It’s my pleasure to share this experience with you in a series of recollections illustrated primarily with my personal photographs. I hope these spark your desire to encounter these wonders for yourself, and to support an organization active in safeguarding them.

Continue reading