From Robes to Pencil Skirts – Chinese Fashions in Modern History

  • December 13, 2011
  • Editor: Sun Xi
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1970s Style

The uniform trend lasted till the mid-1970s.

Airline stewardess in uniform. [28.com]

Airline stewardess in uniform. [28.com]

The prevailing herd mentality of that time inhibited the pursuit of fashion.

Jiang Qing Shirtwaister

Girls in Jiang Qing shirtwaisters. [base888.com]

Girls in Jiang Qing shirtwaisters. [base888.com]


China's self-imposed exile from international cultural and economic communication during the 'cultural revolution' period was reflected in its citizens' dress.

In 1974, Jiang Qing, third wife of Chairman Mao, commissioned designers from Beijing, Tianjin and Shanghai to design a women's dress that incorporated characteristics of Tang, Song, Yuan, Ming and Qing Dynasty women's wear.

"Make the past serve the present. No western-worship," Jiang said.

On October 14, this hybrid dress was unveiled in Tianjin. After making a few amendments, Jiang personally named it the Jiang Qing dress.

Women cadres of all shapes and sizes took the lead in wearing this mode which was actually best suited to a slim figure. On sale everywhere, certain units judged the correctness of their employees' political attitudes according to whether or not they wore the Jiang Qing frock.

The political imperative behind its promotion, however, did not make the dress popular.

The winter of clothing discontent ended with the last year of the cultural revolution in 1976. The bell-bottoms and miniskirts that then abounded throughout mainland China and at first met with disapproval were soon accepted. Not long after the unisex uniform became history.

 

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  • From Robes to Pencil Skirts – Chinese Fashions in Modern History2011-12-13   Editor: Sun Xi
    1970s Style

The uniform trend lasted till the mid-1970s.

Airline stewardess in uniform. [28.com]

Airline stewardess in uniform. [28.com]

The prevailing herd mentality of that time inhibited the pursuit of fashion.

Jiang Qing Shirtwaister

Girls in Jiang Qing shirtwaisters. [base888.com]

Girls in Jiang Qing shirtwaisters. [base888.com]


China's self-imposed exile from international cultural and economic communication during the 'cultural revolution' period was reflected in its citizens' dress.

In 1974, Jiang Qing, third wife of Chairman Mao, commissioned designers from Beijing, Tianjin and Shanghai to design a women's dress that incorporated characteristics of Tang, Song, Yuan, Ming and Qing Dynasty women's wear.

"Make the past serve the present. No western-worship," Jiang said.

On October 14, this hybrid dress was unveiled in Tianjin. After making a few amendments, Jiang personally named it the Jiang Qing dress.

Women cadres of all shapes and sizes took the lead in wearing this mode which was actually best suited to a slim figure. On sale everywhere, certain units judged the correctness of their employees' political attitudes according to whether or not they wore the Jiang Qing frock.

The political imperative behind its promotion, however, did not make the dress popular.

The winter of clothing discontent ended with the last year of the cultural revolution in 1976. The bell-bottoms and miniskirts that then abounded throughout mainland China and at first met with disapproval were soon accepted. Not long after the unisex uniform became history.

 

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