Designers have been swept away by the romance of China. At Gucci, Tom Ford's thigh-grazing silk kimono is hand-painted with watercolor florals, and at Stella McCartney, hip-hop meets Ming in an embroidered yellow satin bomber. Inside the Prada flagship in Manhattan (575 Broadway; 212/334-8888), ivory mannequins are draped with satin cheongsams. Giorgio Armani was so smitten with Hong Kong, he opened his mega-store there in October (11 Chater Rd.; 85-2/2532-7700). This month, Cartier (800/227-8437; launches its Kiss of the Dragon collection: rings and necklaces that fuse Asian tradition with twenties Deco. In time for fashion's obsession with all points East, Pearl River Mart (477 Broadway, New York; 212/431-4770), the 25-year-old Chinese department store, has relocated to SoHo—just a rickshaw ride from the area's designer boutiques.
—Kristy Zimbalist