House of Grace Chen kicks off the new year with a magical evening of Fashion, Music, Arts, and Beauty. Special guest, Mr. Gang Chen（陈钢）composer of the famous "The Butterfly Lovers" symphony, joined designer Grace Chen and artist & art critic Mr. Mingjie Lin（林明杰）to discuss: "What makes an ever-lasting beauty?"
Having witnessed the changes of Shanghai from the 1930s to now, Mr. Gang Chen took guests on a nostalgic rendezvous of the women who shaped the golden era of Shanghai. From his mother Jiaoli Jin （金娇丽） to iconic household names such as Zhou Xuan（周璇）、 Guang Bai （白光）、Xianglan Li（李香兰）、Li Yao（姚莉) - all of whom he grew up with first-hand, audiences were awed by their beauty that was classic yet modern at the same time.
"Women are the music of life. These women demonstrate a beauty that's very open, universal. And it doesn't fade with time - it's still just as relevant now. Their beauty is not just something physical. Its an aura that we can all feel, I could feel it in their presence."
-- Mr. Gang Chen.
Mr. Gang Chen also used a piano piece to bring to life his interpretation of a classic Shanghainese lady.
The evening featured a special performance by Dr. Zuoxin Wang（王作欣）, China's first doctorate in Vocal Music. She also shared with guests her personal experiences of how times have changed in our appreciation of beauty.
"Like any young girl, I used to love all things beautiful. But dressing up and looking pretty was not encouraged. How times have changed - I am so glad that women these days can pursue their dreams and desires for beauty so freely."
-- Dr. Zuoxin Wang
A representation of the modern Chinese woman, Ms. Ping Ping, Managing Director of Chengwei Capital, also shared her perspective on the challenges Chinese women face with regards to beauty today. "Although we have more tools than ever to make ourselves look beautiful, sometimes this causes even more anxiety. In the end, I think we have to start from the inside - look within ourselves to discover our unique beauty."
Other guests included American-Taiwanese actress Anya and popular Shanghainese singer Zhou Bingqian.
The evening finished with a bespoke fashion show by Grace Chen, showcasing a modern East-meets-West elegance that is classic to the Shanghainese style.