There was a fair amount of buzz surrounding the renovations and repurposing of 1933 Old Millfun — aka the 1933 Slaughterhouse — back in the early 2010s. Originally a "meat processing plant", the warehouse structure is worth a visit just for the architecture alone. Winding staircases, random bridged walkways, and 50-centimeter-thick concrete wall corridors give it this crazy, unhinged, dead-tech, industrial aesthetic. It's like Al Jourgensen built the Winchester House.
M.C. Escher is the obvious reference point that everyone makes. And yeah, it's like an M.C. Escher painting. But one that was originally designed to PROCESS MEAT.
As a SLAUGHTERHOUSE.
That's so metal.
Around 10-15 years ago, they did the thing that Shanghai does and turned it into a "lifestyle hub" with cafes and "creative offices" and the like. But there was just one problem: it's not downtown. And therefore it was "real fuckin' far."
After however many years later, we went down to check out 1933 again because we heard some cool, new, retail fashion-y things were opening up. We were delighted to find these new shops: OKVLT13, a really awesome goth clothing and apparel store, and Planetary System, a really awesome fashion incubator for local designers.
The kids are taking it back...
Goth style and fashion is kind of having a moment in Shanghai these days, with dark techno/EBM nights popping up at places like Abyss and SYSTEM, intersecting a bit with the metal scene that's always sort of here in this city.
But yeah, you know you're in a legit place when they're using the unreadable metal font for their logo branding. Love it.
Wait, is that a bullet belt on that mannequin? SOLD.
OKVLT13 stocks a big selection of goth/alternative/fetish wear in a broad range of styles, from the Trad Goth, flowing funeral chic that wouldn't be out of place at a Sister of Mercy concert, to Cybergoth, to Lolita, to rave, and beyond. They stock men's and women's (if you even need the distinction!) from several international clothing lines: KILLSTAR, Demonia, Black Craft, PUNK RAVE, Devil Fashion, Tripp NYC, and more.
They do head-to-toe, and all the corsets and chokers in between.
OKVLT13 is on the first floor of 1933. Just look for the bullet belts and gas masks. You can't miss it.
If you see a Satanic altar on your left when you walk in, you're in the right place.
If you're in the same dance club but it's more of a straight-up Berlin techno night, you're in Planetary System, a fashion incubator store showcasing local and national designers. Planetary System stocks clothes for people who rotate the 3-4 underground clubs in Shanghai every weekend and look real chic doing it.
And then maybe during the day, they show up in one of these.
The store comes from the same people behind techno label Eternal Light Records, bringing that music, events, fashion, festivals, clubbing symetry to your life. Similar to a pop-up market, at Planetary System, clothes are arranged by designer, with casual, urban, and club wear from: PROVOKA, Cluet, CHOCCORE, Aroof Haven, Anno Mundi, silver jewlery from boldnexx, and more.
It's a real cross-section of young Chinese designers working in tight tailoring, monochrome austerity, and bold, angular silhouettes. Prices are lower than what you would expect as well; a couple hundred RMB for most of the items.
Speaking with the owners, they're opening a techno club on the second floor of 1933, which, hey, I gotta say, makes a lot of sense. If you're looking for next generation club styles from Chinese designers, check out Planetary System.
Fix up, look sharp.