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Shanghai nights.

Yan Yan Chan


[ photo diary ]

Photographed by Gemma De Maria, and I.

Connecting back with a city, I visited on my 11th birthday.

Shanghai, With Michael Kors.

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What a diverse city of lights. And when I say city of lights, I mean - Blade Runner 1987 style, with a side of steam. Whether that steam comes from the heat of the city streets, or the steam that patiently streams from the rows of Bao Zi, and Xiao Long Bao’s. I can gaze out that window after dinner, for hours on end. The clash of colors, and the hoards of crowds - trying to get a glimpse and snapshot of that illuminating skyline.

The city that truly knows, how to reel in a foreigner. And, when I say foreigner - I allude to myself. Although I am lucky enough to swipe my Chinese ID through the express line, I still feel a little inadequate (my Chinese). It is a shock to the system, the first time I walk down the streets, but a sense of comfort from familiarity of noise and smell. Like muscle, it comes back to memory. The mannerisms, so innately inside of me. My harshness, that sometimes seeps out in conversation which, shocks my Australian colleagues... and then I arrive here, and remember it's not because I'm abrupt or that I need to soften up, it's because of where I come from. The Mandarin speaking - if you order food, make sure you raise your voice! The fast pace walking; if you don’t pick your feet up, there's no room on the pavement!

When West meets East, in the best possible way. A few short days, playing catch up with my speaking. What a special way, to reconnect with my other self.

Where it all happens. This is the mecca of the city, where my favourite restaurants and night life happen.

Late night, dumpling filled at Lyon Restaurant.

Late night, dumpling filled at Lyon Restaurant.


The Bun

The contrast of color and texture, from the skyline, to the transport, to the soft and always, perfectly manicured bouquet’s of flowers. That line the pavements, in the most normal of ways. I love seeing these beautiful flowers and flourish amongst the hustle. They remind me that, even though in the busiest of surroundings, you can still remain still, and calm.


Hakkasan and Lion for Dinner, and Sun With Aqua for Lunch.


To stay

The Peninsula

Michael Kors wonderfully hosted us at The Peninsula. It’s right in the bun, and a 5 minute walk to the main street of luxury shopping, and restaurants. You won’t need to worry about taking transportation to anywhere, if you’re here for a night. Everything is walking distance. The Peninsula group are one of my favorites, they always have the best service, and are never short in recommendations on the latest eateries, and places to shop. Luxe, hip, or if you just want to go to a traditional noodle or dumpling house. I’ve experienced this service at The Peninsula in Paris, and they never fail to secure a table, especially when it’s a special occasion ;). Also the Chinese breakfast is such a delight of a novelty.

Aman Yangyun

We got a tour of the beautiful grounds that is the Aman Yangyun. Enriched with history from trees that have habited this land more than 1000 years, to original brick from the Qing Dynasty. This is a beautiful escape from the city, if you want to be surrounded by nature, and zen vibration.


Yan Yan Chan



Photographed & Painted by Jess Ruby James

Collaged & edited by Yan Yan Chan

I recently went on a bit of an exercise hiatus, two weeks without, but this morning I woke up and trained twice. Once at the gym, and once on the reformer. I feel so energetic, and I think I’m BACK. Did I also tell you that I quit coffee? It’s been 10 months too. On the topic of cutting things out, and giving things a break - I’ve been doing a lot of this recently. Exchanging old ways for new ones, giving up things that make me feel less, to make me feel more.

I’ve recently been shooting and producing a lot, which is incredible, but with that - means, less time to explore other mediums… like collage and painting - old favorites and pastimes of mine, which I like to keep for special projects. Here’s a new story for DION LEE - a bit of a comeback to myself from my collage hiatus, call it a bit of an intermission.

Hey old friend, it’s been a long time coming, but how glad I am, that you decided to show up. I really do hope you’re here to stay.



Yan Yan Chan

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Before you scroll down, and take a look at the visual diary of our video making. I’d like to start of with a little trip down memory lane. I know a lot of you guys have grown up with me, from the time I started on Tumblr at the age 15, to my first ever attempt at blogging - under the name of “Parfasseux”, to my slight cyber hiatus at age 19 (the time I moved and interned in New York City). To now - content creating full time, and working for myself. To say the least, this space has given me endless opportunities in work, and travel - it has been a place that has marked some of my most transformative moments, in my career and in my personal life. A space that has pushed myself to express and create in ways I never thought I would be able to.

It is with such gratitude that I share with you guys, my first video I got to produce, style, creative direct and star in - for a client I’ve worked with for the last 3 years. VAMFF - thank you so incredibly much for putting your utmost trust in me, especially at a time I didn’t. To Mercedes Benz for transporting us, to Visit Melbourne for being so hospitable, to VAMFF for putting all your faith in me, and to Cinema Thom, Audrey, Katie for executing it all!

So proud to share with you our video - that we shot in Melbourne, through the storm, and through torrential rain.


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  • Started the day off at The Sister Studio’s Factory. This is where their experiments, ideas, patterns and deliveries all come to life.

  • Stopped off at KONG in Richmond for Korean Fried Chicken Wings - this place is truly my first stop, whenever I’m North. It’s my absolute guilty pleasure. We don’t seem to have a Korean restaurant similar to this in Sydney… and if we do - can someone please share?

  • We took some for the road trip ahead, in our ride thanks to Mercedes Benz Australia. Our first stop in the Mornington Peninsula; The Jackalope Hotel. A favorite destination of mine, and a must see for anyone driving down the Mornington. They have their own Winery “Rare Hare”, where the fire blazes over a rainy afternoon - or opens up to a view of their vivid Vineyard. Not to mention the incredible interior and exterior of the hotel. Filled with art installations that welcome you from the minute you drive in, from Emily Floyd’s impressive Jackaloe sculpture to Rick Owen’s infamous Stag Bench. I would spend a long weekend here.

  • Almost a 10 minute drive, up next; is Pt Leo’s Sculpture park. It wasn’t the perfect weather conditions for a stroll in the park, but we managed to run around, umbrella covered, in sequins and gowns - so that was an A+ for trying.