Re­form and open­ing-up has also made peo­ple bolder when it comes to sar­to­rial choices

China Daily - - IMAGE - - ZHANG LEI

The year 2018 marks the 40th an­niver­sary of the re­form and open­ing-up process. From 1978 to 2018, we have wit­nessed many changes, and we have ex­pe­ri­enced great suc­cess across gen­er­a­tions.

Cloth­ing is like the ex­ter­nal skin of hu­man be­ings, and it is also the most in­tu­itive vis­ual ex­pe­ri­ence.

So, dress of­ten di­rectly re­flects the cur­rent po­lit­i­cal and eco­nomic con­di­tions and cul­ture.

Be­fore the re­form and openingup, blue, black, gray and green were the “main melody” of Chi­nese dress­ing.

But on March 19, 1979, the fa­mous French fash­ion de­signer Pierre Cardin held a fash­ion show at the Bei­jing Na­tional Cul­ture Palace, which opened the eyes of the Chi­nese peo­ple to dif­fer­ent ways of dress­ing.

Soon, the 1970’s green uni­forms, tu­nic suits, and over­alls were re­placed by flared pants, body­build­ing pants and bat shirts.

In the 1990s, in­ter­na­tional cloth­ing brands be­gan to en­ter China, and peo­ple got bolder in their sar­to­rial choices.

Now, this year’s pop­u­lar styles may be out­dated in the com­ing year.

And in the new cen­tury, dress­ing has grad­u­ally be­come a way for peo­ple to ex­press them­selves. The dress­ing men­tal­ity of “as long as I like it, there is noth­ing wrong with it” is be­ing ac­cepted by more peo­ple.

In the past, many were afraid that they had dressed dif­fer­ently from oth­ers. And later, peo­ple was afraid to dress like oth­ers.

Cur­rently, so­ci­ety is more tol­er­ant, and peo­ple are show­ing more in­di­vid­u­al­ity.

Cloth­ing is the vane of cul­ture, and the his­tory of Chi­nese cloth­ing is the his­tory of Chi­nese cul­ture.

There were not many choices in dress­ing be­fore.

But nowa­days, all kinds of cos­tumes flash be­fore our eyes, and they can be se­lected on­line without leav­ing the house.

The change in cloth­ing styles in the past 40 years of re­form and open­ing-up vividly demon­strates the char­ac­ter­is­tics of the times.

Although there are dif­fer­ent fash­ions in vogue at dif­fer­ent stages, what holds true is the con­stant pur­suit of beauty.

Re­form and open­ing-up opened up a win­dow that al­lows us to in­te­grate with the world, not only with re­gard to cloth­ing, but also in the deep-seated pur­suit of beauty and self-ex­pres­sion.


On March 19, 1979, French fash­ion de­signer Pierre Cardin held a fash­ion show at the Bei­jing Na­tional Cul­ture Palace.


Young men and women dressed in fash­ion piece take self­ies in San­l­i­tun, Bei­jing (2018).


Red dress is the fad among young women in the 1980s (1986).


A Yao eth­nic boy from Tian­lin county, Guangxi wears a suit (1986).


NE·Tiger 2014 Haute Cou­ture show in Bei­jing (2013).


Tang suits are a com­mon scene in the Spring Fes­ti­val (2002).


A girl in a mini skirt in Dalian, Liaon­ing (1991).

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