Meet Your Color Consultant
One step into Sarah Gallagher’s apartment and it is obvious she has an eye for color. The dining table chairs alternate light orange and green, the gray-teal wood cabinet that pairs with the striped carpet holds carefully arranged books and wine glasses, and the paintings on the wall complement the surroundings perfectly.
In addition to concerns over food, water, and air safety, parents can add one more thing to the list of health hazards: clothing. Rising numbers of people worldwide are suffering from Multiple Chemicals Sensitivities (MCS), a medical condition with symptoms including rashes, allergies, respiratory problems, and difficulty focusing.
“You wouldn’t eat a bowl of fruit drenched in insecticides, so why would you want to cover yourself in clothes doused in chemicals?” asks Sherry Poon, an expat mom and the founder of Shanghai-based organic children’s brand Wobabybasics.
Despite living in Beijing for nearly four years, I didn’t get my first batch of clothes made until just two months ago.
Following a shambolic but ultimately successful trip to the fabric market, my companion and I went through some trial and error to find a tailor. We first visited a shop recommended by a friend, but they gave us surprisingly high quotes. A call to the same friend confirmed that the prices had indeed increased two- to three-fold since the last time she was there.
Muxiyuan is a patchwork of fabric markets located along Dahongmen Lu between Muxiyuan Qiao in the middle of South Third Ring Road and subway Line 10. Exploring Muxiyuan without forward planning will either be a zany, eclectic, real-China shopping adventure, or a malodorous, bewildering, and unfruitful ghetto trek, depending on your state of mind.
As Lily Gatins and her brood stride around 798 on the day of our photo shoot they turn heads and draw stares; passersby stop to photograph them or simply gawp. The family seems neither to notice the strangers’ interest nor to care about it. In between photos Lily’s sons Martin (age 5) and Etienne (age 3) are as apt to amuse themselves with her Chanel lipstick as with their best friend for the day, a beetle in a matchbox. High-fashion and public curiosity clearly don’t faze these boys.
Lily is from the Dominican Republic, and her husband Phillip is American. They moved to Beijing a year ago because of Phillip’s
posting as a public servant. His work has taken them to Lima, and Washington DC previously. It was while they lived in Peru that Lily began Le Report (lereport.com); a website which features collaborations with and coverage of the personalities and trends in fashion, art, and design, which inspire her. She has become a tastemaker and cause célèbre in the world of avant garde fashion, a lodestone for like-minded creative people, and a champion of lesser-known designers from all around the world.
We spoke to Lily about her style and aesthetics, and their place in her family dynamic.
Want to share your new arrival with our readers? Email a photo (at least 1MB in size) of your little one with their full name, nationality, birth date, hospital, and parents’ names to firstname.lastname@example.org. Due to space constraints, we will only publish photos of babies born in Beijing after February 1, 2014.
Cole Austin Hanssen
American. Born Mar 30 to David Loren Hanssen and Ma Zheng at Amcare Women’s and Children’s Hospital.
As a kid, I had a pretty fraught relationship with clothing. My family generally viewed clothes as purely utilitarian items to be bought on discount always and with regard for fashion never.
One of my earliest memories was getting sent to preschool in dancing bear pajamas; even at age 3, my peers knew there was something fishy about my outfit. In Grade 5, while other girls were showing off the latest bell bottoms and jelly bracelets, I was wearing painfully uncool denim overalls and daisy-print plimsolls.
Brad and Lucas Barron
Originally from the US, the Barron family has been living in Beijing for four years. It is 11-year-old Lucas’ first time living overseas.
His dad, Brad, was always an outdoor guy. Growing up beside a forest called Tyler Arboretum in Media, Pennsylvania, he often walked and hiked in the woods. He also sailed with his own father and participated in school sports such as tennis, soccer, skateboarding, and skiing.
After Lucas was born, Brad encouraged him to be active from a very young age – but not necessarily in a structured way. “Young kids aren’t going to react well to long spells of [physical activity],” he says.“It’s about exposing them to sports in a fun way.”
For the Father’s Day issue, bejingkids wants to pay tribute to the Beijing men who love their spouses and kids but live apart from them. Whether for health, educational, or financial reasons, many families elect to stay, move, or return overseas to live. Because of ongoing global economic instability and the wealth of financial opportunities in China, more and more fathers find themselves living here on their own. These long-distance families face unique challenges and pressures.
We spoke to American Wesley Ingram, branch manager of Links Moving Beijing, about his experience of being separated from his wife and son, and his advice for other fathers in the same position.
After calling China home for so long, expats – a clan for which impermanence is built into this cultural environment – often struggle with their eventual departure – particularly those of us who have resided in Beijing for many years. Add a family to the mix and the exit can seem all the more dramatic, especially if your children were born and raised here.
However, with so many immigrant communities all over the world, it’s possible to find Chinese culture outside of China. For those of us whose roots go deep into this land, maintaining ties with China is within reach thanks to modern technology and air travel. It’s just a question of making the effort.