Chinese Fashion Designs Part VI

June 10, 2010

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In the following 300 years, the Manchu style and its fashion designs gained popularity; the qipao became the adopted clothing and fashion design of the Chinese, and was eventually tailored to suit the preferences of the population. Such was its popularity that the garment form survived the political turmoil of the 1911 Xinhai Revolution that toppled the Qing Dynasty.

We have seen till now that perhaps because of its geographical situation, and/or due to its leaders' mentality, for many centuries China, its culture, its clothing styles fashions had been isolated from the rest of the world.

As a matter of fact pragmatically, from the very beginning of their existence these people have had highlighted inventors, whose names we don't know because of their ideology, (they didn't give any value to personal renown). Just to mention some of the inventions they accomplished there is the nautical compass, (built when observing that magnetized needles indicate the north extreme of our planet); the paper (which was obtained mixing tree peel, hemp and rags); porcelain (or china) besides the silk before mentioned, and of course the powder. There is another aspect of this civilization to remark: the monumental buildings, highlighting the great wall, and the extraordinary tall temples.

Although, in the early twentieth century some Chinese began wearing Western clothes fashions, the vast majority of Chinese preferred traditional Chinese costumes fashion designs, including, among the upper classes, ornate dresses, gowns, and jewelry.

There was a tremendous contrast when the Communists came to power in China in 1949.

Sun Yat-sen (Sun Zhongshan) (1866-1925), the Provisional President of the new Chinese Republic proclaimed in 1911, is credited with the modernization of Chinese men's dress fashions. The design of the Sun Yat-sen suit changed significantly over the course of some 50 years, when small stylistic changes were made to the original fashion design. It is the later style of Sun Yat-sen suit which was further modified and adopted as China's national dress fashion by Mao Zedong after 1949.

On 1 October 1949 at the grand ceremony in Beijing marking the founding of the People's Republic of China, supreme leader Mao Tse-tung (also known as Mao Zedong) wore a modified form of the Sun Yat-sen suit. He had worn this style fashion of suit since 1927 but it was only after 1949 that it was adopted by the majority of the Chinese population; it became the greatest single influence on dress in Communist China.

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