China Chic: East Meets West

Front Cover
Fashion today is increasingly international & multicultural, & many designers are turning to Chinese clothing & decorative motifs for inspiration. Yet few people - western or Chinese - understand the historic significance of Chinese clothing. China Chic is the first book to explore the evolution of Chinese dress, from the dragon robes & lotus shoes of the imperial era to the creation of new fashions like the cheongsam & the "Mao suit" that symbolized modern Chinese identity. For China specialists, the focus on fashion will open up an entirely new way of thinking about modern Chinese culture & society. For readers whose primary interest is fashion, China Chic demolishes the Eurocentric myth of an ancient, unchanging mode of dress. China Chic features a narrative & interpretive text by Valerie Steele & John S. Major, supplemented by six more specialized essays by some of the world's foremost scholars of Chinese dress. The book also features a wide range of well-chosen illustrations, including some that have never before been published. The book is published to coincide with the opening of an exhibition at the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City.

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China chic: East meets West

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Fashion designers often borrow design details from Chinese dress, but what is not often understood is that Chinese costume, far from being static throughout centuries, actually absorbed influences ... Read full review


Issues of Fashion
Clothing and Chinese Identity
From Foot Binding to Modern Fashion
The Maoist Uniform
East Meets West
Military Culture and Chinese Dress
A Woman Has So Many Parts to Her Body
High Heels Platforms
IO Dress and the Cultural Revolution

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Popular passages

Page 194 - Jonathan D. Spence, The Search for Modern China (New York: WW Norton, 1990).

About the author (1999)

Valerie Steele is chief curator of the museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City.

Bibliographic information