Fashion situation – your help needed!

One part of discovering a new country and culture is learning about traditional and local fashion.

I absolutely loved traditional fashion in India (that’s about the only type of fashion you see there, in fact). The stunning, vibrantly colored saris were to die for. I never worked up the nerve to try to get myself into one (NOT an easy process), but I did buy myself some salwar kameez, which were just as colorful and a lot easier to put on!

And then I developed a minor obsession with the longyi/tube sarongs in Myanmar, Thailand, Laos and Cambodia, picking up (at least) one new one for myself in each new country…

Modern fashion in Thailand was also great – quirky and fun and cute, if not a bit on the skimpy side at times – and I’ll admit I went a bit nuts shopping in the fantastic street markets of Bangkok.

Vietnam’s ao dai I admired from a distance. It’s no longer worn in the day-to-day but we saw plenty of women working in hotels, restaurants, etc. who donned them as a uniform and looked great in them.

(It’s not something for me though. I’ve determined that to pull of an ao dai you have to be 1) Vietnamese, 2) elegant, 3) tall, or 4) slender. I am a healthy weight but I wouldn’t call myself slender; I am short and white and many wonderful things but elegant sure isn’t one of them. My beautiful friend Jean, who is items 2 through 4, however, would totally rock an ao dai, for example. However, I digress…)

Having turned into quite the sponge for Asian fashion, I am finding myself totally overwhelmed by China. Apparently, anything goes in this country, and boy, does it ever go.

I’ve actually stumbled upon a whole wonderful blog by a person who is doing a study on the emergence of fashion in China – it’s really fascinating and often hilarious and it mirrors and delves into some of the bewilderment I’ve experienced in the face of Chinese “fashion”.

So we’ve seen quite a range of styles here.

Traditional garb that minority groups have been rocking for centuries. Communist-era blues and greys on the older generation. But it’s the modern fashion that throws me for a loop.

I don’t want to blow things out of proportion. Most modern-dressed Chinese we’ve seen look normal to well-dressed. But there are still lots of people who seem to be trying to push the envelope of style and taste. And these people seem to congregate at the country’s major tourist spots – i.e. many of the places we’ve been spending time at. The fashion is so overwhelming that I’ve begun to lose track of which direction is North, aesthetically speaking. My arrow is pointing to something, but I don’t know anymore if it’s tacky or sublime.

This has been exacerbated by the fact that China has been by far the coldest place we’ve been in ages. What little style I was managing to scrape together with my small wardrobe has been thrown out the window in the name of keeping warm.

Basically I will wear as much of what’s in my pack as possible in a desperate effort to stay warm, regardless of how badly it clashes or how ridiculous it looks. Roman teases me that I’ve gone native, and I am concerned that between being dazzled by Chinese fashion and my need to keep out the cold, my fashion compass has gone completely bust.

So, I’m asking for your help. I’ve started capturing just some of the more impressive ensembles on “film”. I hope I can still tell what constitutes good style and what is just too much, but I’d appreciate the input of people who have a bit more perspective than I do at the moment! 😉

So without any further ado… Please help me reset my style gauges to fashionable!

Fashion forward or fashion fail?

DSC 0549

DSC 0552  Version 2

DSC 0553

DSC 0485
What’s striking about these two ladies, especially the one in the spike heel boots, is that they were in Dazhai, a small farming community that is small part cobble stone streets, big part narrow, hilly dirt paths through farm lands. You can take the girl out of the city…

DSC 0713

DSC 0716

DSC 0283

DSC 0284

DSC 0320

DSC 0353

Silly

Silly1

Fashion1

IMG 0251
I actually think this guy who was waiting at the bus stop with us looks really dapper. What you can’t see is that the checks on his vest are made up of “Cs” and “Ks” – a really poor Calvin Klein knock off that could have gone horribly wrong, but he makes it and the whole ensemble work in my opinion. Fashion forward!

DSC 0622

Fashion2

Fashion3

DSC 0713

Thanks for your help! 😉

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “Fashion situation – your help needed!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s