Clothing culture in China has changed a LOT in the past century.
1880 － 1910
At the end of the last dynasty, clothing in China was still bulky and cumbersome, with multiple layers, high collars, and long sleeves, but by around the turn of the century, clothing had shifted to a more pragmatic, slimmer silhouette.
1910 － 1920
But by the founding of the Republic of China, silhouettes had become much slimmer, sleeves shorter, and clothing typically less ornate than it had been during the dynastic era. Hairstyles had changed as well, with this strong fringe look becoming very popular.
For men, there was still more traditional Chinese clothing:
but by this time foreign fashion had already landed on the shores of The Mainland:
1920 － 1930
What was interesting was that women, up until around 1920, had worn two pieces instead of one. But around 1920 the qipao became more popular, a the style remains today one of the most iconic forms of Chinese fashion today:
This was the heyday of Shanghai, which was extremely international and cultured. I mean, look at HOW GREAT this Chinese couple looks!
What’s particularly interesting in the family pictures below is that men were wearing one piece, while women wore two pieces… this goes against traditional Western conceptualizations of gender identity in clothing, but we love how China has it’s own clothing culture and traditions!
We absolutely love this picture because it shows just how mixed China, and Shanghai in particular, was at the time. Here, Western and Eastern hats mix to create a harmonious composition:
If they had Instagram back then, these guys would have SLAYED it:
1930 － 1949
In the next decade, qipao became tighter and more ornate, hair got bigger, and some women even started to wear high heels.
Men were typically in Western clothing by this time, but it wasn’t only suits anymore… Check out this awesome casual look!
Even the kids were too cool for school:
1949 － 1960
But then, with the founding of the People’s Republic of China, things changed dramatically.
When 1949 came around, there was to be no more flash… childrenswear was an exception, with patterns and colors still barely acceptable in the new People’s Republic of China, but the adults were noticeably more somber:
And even though colors seemed muted and monotone, it was one of the first times that we saw color photographs:
And for those who couldn’t afford or didn’t have access to color photography, well, they kind of just made their own:
1960 － 1970
By the time the 1960s came around, clothing had become much more serious and more uniform-like:
到 1960 年以后，衣服更严格的，比较像军装：
It was a kind of militarization of the country, and even though kids around the world generally like toy guns, this is a little too real:
1970 － 1990
The 70s were quite closed off, and it’s actually almost harder to find pictures from the 70s, 80s, and 90s because most people are generally still holding off on to those images as personal memories.
70 年代还是有点难找照片。70，80，90 年代都不太容易因为
The point of this post was to show that China has its own unique clothing culture and history of fashion… so we know the future of Chinese fashion is bright!!
＊pictures are courtesy of artist Maleonn 照片来自艺术家马良： http://www.maleonn.com/
Follow us on WeChat!!