Thu, June 02, 2011
Lifestyle > Fashion

Fashion in China three decades ago

2011-06-02 06:53:14 GMT2011-06-02 14:53:14(Beijing Time)  China Daily

By 1986, colorful skirts and fashionable sandals had grown common for summer wear in Beijing. Xinhua

More colors and new clothing styles gained popularity among the young 30 years ago, but not among many older people, who disliked flared trousers and the like. Today, one in four garments in the world is labeled "made in China".

Reports from the West

Designer Pierre Cardin presented Peking's first fashion show Saturday with Chinese models who wobbled in gold high-heels and covered bare shoulders in embarrassment.

"Yes, they were a little embarrassed," Cardin said after the show in the Peking Hotel's gilded ballroom. "But it was fantastic. They are beautiful girls, but today was the first time they wore these clothes."

The Chinese audience gaped and grinned at the space costumes, petal-skirted dresses, gold bowties, flashy men's pajamas and ornate dinner jackets.

Twenty young Chinese men and women modeled the clothes after a couple of hours' training.

The Associated Press

Nov 21, 1981

A symbol of summer is a comely girl in a sheer, short, cotton dress. She wears white gloves; a huge, floppy white sunbonnet; 2-inch plastic high-heeled shoes; and sheer nylon knee-stockings - pantyhose haven't arrived yet.

She wears imitation designer sunglasses, or gold-rimmed sunglasses that say "Made in Taiwan" - and she leaves on the label for status.

. . . Males lament that the fashion craze seems to benefit women more than men. But stylish men wear cheap, polyester Western suits and ties, rakish caps and sunglasses. Their hair is pomaded.

"Summer in Peking: New styles and romance in parks but little beer"

The Associated Press

Aug 2, 1981

Current comments

Angelia Teo, garment expert from Worth Global Style Network (WGSN): "When it comes to manufacturing and product, China is now one sophisticated place. The factories are well equipped and very efficient. But . . . styling, marketing, buzz and store experience need to come together closely for a real powerful brand. Until that happens, Chinese brands will not seem to be part of the global community of international brands."

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