Taiwanese socialite, TV show host, writer and actress, Crystal Mu is one of Asia’s most recognizable fashion influencers with more than 1 million followers on Weibo. She is a familiar face on the pages of international magazines like GQ and Marie Claire and a popular writer in both China and Taiwan. Follow her at @crystalpancake
Why did you decide to visit Madrid?
I always wanted to go to Spain, so I said yes!
What was the highlight for you?
I loved doing the El Corte Ingles photoshoots in Spanish landmarks like the Plaza Mayor and the Crystal Palace in Retiro Park. As the name indicates, the Glass Palace is a building made entirely of glass, but from every corner you see extreme beauty. It is one of the finest examples of iron architecture in Madrid. The structure was built in 1887 for the Philippines Exhibition of that year and was designed by Ricardo Velázquez Bosco. The project was inspired by Paxton’s Crystal Palace and was originally planned as a gigantic greenhouse to contain tropical plants but today it is used for exhibitions.
Have you ever tried Spanish Cuisine?
Yes, but not like in Spain. One of my favorite dining experiences was Palacio de Cibeles Restaurant, run by the chef, Javier Muñoz. At the open air bar on the top floor of the restaurant, I was able to enjoy some lovely views and Javier’s comprehensive knowledge of wines. The wine I liked the best was the sparkling rosé called Juvé & Camps which I later purchased at El Corte Inglés. If you like sparkling wine, you must not miss it.
I also enjoyed Street XO, a three-Michelin starred restaurant at Gourmet Experience on the top floor of El Corte Inglés. It combines innovative cooking with Spanish tapas.
What was your favorite cultural experience?
I loved my dinner at the famed Corral de la Morería, which offers traditional Flamenco shows. The show lasted for an hour. Both male and female dancers were full of energy and although I could not understand the words of the songs, I could feel their emotions through their expressions and postures, every gesture, every step.
Did you have a chance to do any shopping?
At El Corte Ingles, apart from having Spanish brands, it is also possible to find top luxury brands, so it is well worth coming. I had not intended to buy anything but I could not stop myself.
What do you think of Spanish fashion?
I did not realize there was such a tradition. I visited the workshops of several traditional Spanish brands dedicated to craftsmanship and hand work. For example, at the Acosta handbag workshop, the entire process takes place on site: selecting the leather, dying it, cutting and sewing, adding the letters.
I also loved visiting the famed Seseña Capes, founded in 1901. Their capes have adorned the shoulders of some of the most well known personalities of the 20th century, such as Picasso, Buñuel, Hemingway, Felini, Marcello Mastroianni, Hilary Clinton, Michael Jackson , Bruce Springsteen, Catherine Deneuve, Jane Fonda, and the Kings of Spain, among others. A piece of Spanish fashion history.
Is there anything else you would like to share about your trip?
It was very short, but I have been told that summer in Spain is highly enjoyable and that the North is also a fabulous place for the holiday so I am bound to be back. Without any doubt, when I come back, I will visit El Corte Inglés.
Paseo República de Cuba, 4. Madrid
Calle de Morería, 17. Madrid