Mao suit

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.


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.


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.


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.


“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.


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.

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