This week's star-crossed lovers spotlight is on the Butterfly Lovers, a tragic tale of romance from China used as inspiration for part of Tina Tang's newest line.Liang Shanbo and Zhu Yingtai are the Chinese equivalent of Romeo and Juliet from the Jin Dynasty, which spanned years 265 to 450. Zhu was the ninth child of a wealthy family and the only daughter. Although it was uncommon for the time for a female to go to school, Zhu begged her father to let her go and disguised herself as a boy in order to do so. On her way to the school far away in Hangzhou, Zhu met Liang who shared her destination. They became quick friends and swore to be brothers. For the three years Zhu and Liang lived and attended school together, Zhu fell deeply in love with Liang though he had no idea about her true identity. Just shy of graduation Zhu travelled back to her hometown after promising Liang he could wed her fictitious younger sister. When Liang discovered the truth about Zhu's identity upon arriving at her hometown to marry her "sister," he was thrilled and vowed to be with Zhu until death. In a tragic twist, Zhu soon finds out that she has been promised to another man in an arranged marriage. Liang is devastated by the news and dies from the heartbreak. Later, during Zhu's wedding procession that happens to pass Liang's grave, strange whirlwinds prevent the group from going forward. Zhu runs Liang's grave and throws herself down in despair. The grave opens up to consume her, then a pair of butterflies emerge.Tina's tribute to the Butterfly Lovers in her Star-Crossed Lovers Line comes in bracelet, ring and necklace form and are available online at http://www.tinatang.com/ or at the Limelight Marketplace in Chelsea (656 Avenue of the Americas).
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