Posts Tagged ‘Mao suit’

Mao suit

Wednesday, January 6th, 2010

If you walk down any street in China nowadays, you will be amazed at how fashionable people are becoming. But it is hard to imagine that 30 years ago, what everyone wore was no more than blue, gray and green.

In the late 1970s,“fashion”to most Chinese was a taboo since it was linked to a“western capitalist lifestyle”. People seemed to deliberately distance themselves from the colorful world. Today, along with the improvements to China’s overall national strength, the clothing sector has become a pillar industry for the country. China also boasts one of the world’s largest garment manufacturing industries and consumer markets. The man who helped trigger this change was French designer Pierre Cardin, the first western adventurer that preached fashion in China.

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For the past decades China has gradually changed alright, but still democratically vague as far as the political and people’s right is concerned. The communist theory of Mao Tse Tung overwhelmingly taken over by the open minded theory of Deng Xiao Peng, who followed the path of democratic theory of market economy abhorred by Mao.

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There’s no stopping China and the recent Miss World competition held in the “land of the yellow race” is a history for the Chinese people because one of their own bagged the coveted title of Miss World. Of course the Chinese people no longer wear the “Mao Suit.” Western jeans and other foreign clothes is the in thing in China. High rise buildings dotted the premier cities. Wide roads are full of flashy cars because Chinese millionaires and the middle class are going up in numbers. This is China to the world and the world must keep an eye on her.

Is Beijing on the road to becoming a new fashion hub in Asia, or even a world fashion Mecca – capable of competing with Paris, New York and Milan? It would seem so, if the recent Beijing International Fashion Week is anything to go by. Silk, taffeta and brocade have dethroned the grey Mao suit of orthodoxy.

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Yang Lin is one of China’s top designers. He is adamant that “Western fashion norms are not the only standard”.Model Mo Wandan said, “I just adore wearing these gowns, they are so elegant, so modern but so Asian.” Mo, who has modeled for many big brands, such as Paris-based Amsler, won the “best model award” at the Beijing Fashion Week. More often than not, she said, she could not tell whether Chinese designers or their foreign counterparts had designed the dresses she modeled as both were excellent in terms of style and material.

“About 10 years ago, when color make-up first appeared in Beijing, people were astonished or even afraid when they saw a blaze of color on the faces of models,” said Wang Qing, Deputy Director, China National Garment Association and also Director-General of the Beijing International Fashion Week “But now young people dye their hair and young career women use make-up to brighten their lives,” he said.

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“The days when people wore the same grey or black or blue suits, shoes and hairstyle on the streets of Beijing are long gone,” recalls Wang, adding that the Chinese perception of fashion as late as the early 1990s consisted of ladies wearing a cheongsam (pronounced ‘chongsam’).

China’s joining the World Trade Organization in 2001 saw more and more foreign designers choose to present their designs in Beijing. Famous French designer Jean-Luc Amsler told China Features that he came to Beijing to debut his new Amsler collection because “Beijing has a more and more professional approach to fashion“. The 43-year-old futuristic designer said he would set up chain stores in Shanghai or Hong Kong but would definitely hold fashion shows in Beijing, which is a political and cultural centre.

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Amsler presented his new collection in Beijing in November. “Expect me back with new designs,” he grinned. “Beijing is a fashion city like Paris or Milan,” said Amsler, adding he hopes to cooperate with talented and creative Chinese designers to integrate Chinese culture in his designs.

“As a historical and cultural centre, Beijing is a natural stage for foreign and domestic designers to present their creativity,” said Wang, adding that Beijing could be a fashion- resenting centre, and the more affluent Shanghai could become a major fashion consumer.

That’s the interesting if you find the people like Mao suit and Qipao more and more, especially the young. Right, you can find every big brand in Beijing almost, but now, Chinese style is fashionable in now world. Mao suit for man is more special in now China and the world.

zhongshan suit

Thursday, December 24th, 2009

The modern Chinese tunic suit is a style of male attire known in China as the Chungshan suit or Zhongshan suit and known in the West as the Mao suit. Sun Zhongshan introduced the style shortly after the founding of the Republic of China as a form of national dress although with a distinctly political and later governmental implication.

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After the end of the Chinese Civil War and the establishment of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, the suit became widely worn by males and government leaders as a symbol of proletarian unity and an Eastern counterpart to the Western business suit. The name “Mao suit” comes from Chinese leader Mao Zedong’s affinity for wearing them in public, thus tying the garment closely to him and Chinese communism in general in the Western imagination. Although they fell into disuse in the 1990s amid increasing Western influences, they are still worn on occasion by Chinese leaders during important state ceremonies and functions.

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Origins

When the Republic was founded in 1912, and the style of dress worn in China was based on Manchu dress (qipao and changshan), which had been imposed by the Qing Dynasty as a form of social control. The majority-Han Chinese revolutionaries who overthrew the Qing were fueled by failure of the Qing to defend China against western imperialists and the low standing of the Qing in terms of technology and science compared to the West. Even before the founding of the Republic, older forms of Chinese dress were becoming unpopular among the elite and led to the development of Chinese dress which combined the cheongsam and the Western hat to form a new dress. The Zhongshan suit is similar development which combined Western and Eastern fashions. It should be noted that until 1949 on the mainland and the 1980s in Taiwan, the civilian, non- political attire for males in China was not this tunic suit but a gown and over-jacket.

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The Zhongshan suit was an attempt to cater to “modern” sensibilities without completely adopting Western styles wholesale. Dr. Sun Yat-sen was personally involved, providing inputs based on his life experience in Japan: the Japanese cadet uniform became the basis of Zhongshan suit. There were other modifications as well: instead of the three hidden pockets in Western suits, the Zhongshan suit had four outside pockets to adhere to Chinese concepts of balance and symmetry. Over time, minor stylistic changes developed. The suit originally had seven buttons, later reduced to five.

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After Sun Yat-sen’s death in 1925, popular mythology assigned a revolutionary and patriotic significance to the Zhongshan suit. The four pockets were said to represent the Four Virtues cited in the classic Guanzi. The five center-front buttons were said to represent the five Yuans (branches of government) cited in the constitution of the Republic of China and the three cuff-buttons to symbolize Sun Yat-sen’s Three Principles of the People.

Historical development

Mao, wearing the suit, meets Nixon In the 1920s and 1930s, civil servants of the Chinese government were required to wear the Zhongshan zhuang. A slightly modified version of the suit, adapted for combat, formed the basis for National Revolutionary Army army uniforms leading up through the Second Sino-Japanese War, although during the 1930s, as German military advice and assistance to the National Government waxed, the formal military uniform in the professional elements and ranks essentially became that of Weimar and then Nazi Germany (including the famous helmet).

After the establishment of the People’s Republic of China, and especially during the long initial period marked by intensive Maoist indoctrination and mass oppression through waves of purges and campaigns and “criticism/struggle” culminating with the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution from 1965-76 when Mao himself died, the suit became widely worn by the entire male population, formally as a symbol of proletarian unity, but in fact as a form of personal — and virtually camouflage — coloration; it was, of course, regularly worn by Communist Party cadres until the 1990s when it was largely replaced by the Western business suit.

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The Mao suit remained the standard formal dress for the first and second generations of PRC leaders such as Deng Xiaoping. During the 1990s, it began to be worn with decreasing frequency by leaders of Jiang Zemin’s generation. Jiang wore it only on special occasions, such as to state dinners, but this practice was almost totally discontinued by his successor Hu Jintao. By the early part of the 21st century, the Mao suit is rarely worn even on formal occasions. The military-green version of the suit is more often worn, usually by civilian party officials wishing to demonstrate control over – or camaraderie with – the military. In Taiwan, the Zhongshan suit was seldom seen after the 1970s. Moreover, given the subtropical weather much of the year in Taiwan, for a time a modified version became at least semi-standard which dropped the high-collar buttoned up original constriction in favor of a Western style open dress shirt collar, unbuttoned.

Today among the Chinese people, the suit has been largely abandoned by the younger generation in urban areas, but is still regarded as formal attire by many old people. It is also prevalent among Chinese peasants as casual dress. However the suit is becoming more popular amongst young overseas Chinese as a formal or business wear instead of wearing the “generic” Western three piece suit and also as an identity for their Chinese origin.

shirt

Thursday, November 26th, 2009

There are as many different types of Chinese shirts as there are hours in the day; and with summer fast approaching, the latest styles and fashions of that long time staple of menswearthe Asian shirt – are sure to cause a buzz in the fashion scene all over the country and across the globe.

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Women’s inspirational sexy Chinese style shirts are a great way to display how you feel about keeping a positive outlook on life. Displaying proudly encouraging words for others to see portrays an upbeat image that will attract other positive people into your life.

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Whilst the American usage of the term “Oriental silk shirt” generally refers to any garment other than a jacket worn on the top half of the body, in Britain the term normally refers to a garment with buttons up the middle and on the collar, and long-sleeves with full cuffs – an item of clothing known as a sexy elegant Chinese silk shirt in America. Whilst more formal men’s shirts are often associated with special occasions and restrictive job-wear, young men in particular should not make the mistake of overlooking the fashionable men’s shirt!

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Chinese inspired shirts are also a great way to give a gift to that special woman in your life. She will be reminded every time she wears it and the positive message will keep her thoughts on the outlook that the Asian style shirt carries.

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The variety of garments that this definition can provide stretches is both wide and far-reaching. At one end of the spectrum, you’ll find the extremely informal white sleeveless Chinese inspired shirt which has long been popular in punk and alternative fashions; while at the other end of the scale, people will find the only Asian silk shirt that was officially recognised in mainland China for many years – the double breasted Chinese shirt with four pockets known officially as the ‘Zhongshan suit’, but long referred to as the ‘Mao suit.’ Long sleeved traditional Chinese shirts are also changing to keep up with the times. Oriental style shirts with deliberately pre-rolled up sleeves are proving to be popular, with long vertical stripes and a comfortable but fitted look winning through. Let’s not forget as well updates to the classic smart Asian style shirt – and of course the ties to go with them!

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Shirt

Thursday, October 29th, 2009

There are as many different types of Chinese shirts as there are hours in the day; and with summer fast approaching, the latest styles and fashions of that long time staple of menswear – the Asian shirt – are sure to cause a buzz in the fashion scene all over the country and across the globe. Women’s inspirational sexy Chinese style shirts are a great way to display how you feel about keeping a positive outlook on life.

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Displaying proudly encouraging words for others to see portrays an upbeat image that will attract other positive people into your life. Whilst the American usage of the term “Oriental silk shirt” generally refers to any garment other than a jacket worn on the top half of the body, in Britain the term normally refers to a garment with buttons up the middle and on the collar, and long-sleeves with full cuffs – an item of clothing known as a sexy elegant Chinese silk shirt in America.

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Whilst more formal men’s shirts are often associated with special occasions and restrictive job-wear, young men in particular should not make the mistake of overlooking the fashionable men’s shirt! Chinese inspired shirts are also a great way to give a gift to that special woman in your life. She will be reminded every time she wears it and the positive message will keep her thoughts on the outlook that the Asian style shirt carries. The variety of garments that this definition can provide stretches is both wide and far-reaching. At one end of the spectrum, you’ll find the extremely informal white sleeveless Chinese inspired shirt which has long been popular in punk and alternative fashions; while at the other end of the scale, people will find the only Asian silk shirt that was officially recognised in mainland China for many years – the double breasted Chinese shirt with four pockets known officially as the ‘Zhongshan suit’,

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but long referred to as the ‘Mao suit.’ Long sleeved traditional Chinese shirts are also changing to keep up with the times. Oriental style shirts with deliberately pre-rolled up sleeves are proving to be popular, with long vertical stripes and a comfortable but fitted look winning through. Let’s not forget as well updates to the classic smart Asian style shirt – and of course the ties to go with them!

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