Thanks to everyone who’s been voting on my Fashion forward/fashion fail post. I’m glad to say that I think I’m well on the way to recovering my fashion perspective, between your input and the fact that we are now in Shanghai.
This place is a whole other world from the rest of what we’ve seen in China, and there is a whole lot of fashion going on here, and not just fashion but all out great style! My bags are too full as it is so I’m really doing my best to resist the urge to go shopping! 🙂
Yesterday we went to the Shanghai Museum, which was just excellent: tons of wonderful, interesting and beautiful artifacts from Chinese history on display in a cool, modern, tasteful setting. Certainly the most sophisticated museum we’ve visited in all of China. I wish we had more time and could view all the exhibits, but I really enjoyed the ones we did fit in, especially the display on minority traditional clothing.
Just a quick explanation – ethnic minority is the turn that is widely used here to describe the groups of people who are not Han Chinese. While the Han are most definitely in the majority, still China has a wealth of other ethnic groups. We’ve been lucky enough to visit some of the areas some of these groups call home. Having a glimpse into these traditional ways of life has been a big highlight for me.
I have squirmy feelings about the term “ethnic minority” and even squirmier feelings about the commercialization of these cultures that we’ve seen in many places around China (i.e. the tendency to turn the some of the places they live into tourist attractions), but I’ll leave those thoughts for another post.
Anyway, one thing that I really love about all this is the absolutely fantastic traditional/folk costumes that are still worn in some of the areas. Ethnic minorities have got mad style! Check out just some of the amazing outfits on display at the Shanghai Museum:
Mongol ceremonial dress
Dress and headdress details
Lhoba women’s ensemble. Awesome color, I love the necklaces!
Miao ceremonial garment. What a dope cape!
A Yi woman’s garment
Yi detail. Love the patterns, the buttons, everything!
De’ang woman’s dress. Fashion forward, I’d say!