Zhengzhen Ma (z3325090)-post 2

This week’s tutorial topic is politics of dress in Asia. National dress has an influence on self-representation of politicians in a variety of regimes from democratic to authoritarian. Besides, dress is crucial to the constructions of nationhood and national identities in Asia since it has been a marker of identity and status.

The traditional dress in china is qipao. The style of qipao is often tight-fitting. It was developed in Shanghai in 1920’s under the influence of Beijing styles and became popular by socialites and upper class women. It not only creates the image of being traditional in dresses but also reflects the personality of the one wearing a dress. Due to restrictive nature of qipao, it is mainly worn as formal wear for special occasions. They are sometimes worn by politicians and film artists in Taiwan and Hong Kong. Nowadays, qipao is only commonly worn day-to-day as uniform for some people like restaurant hostesses and serving staff at luxury hotels.

For example, some airlines in Mainland China and Taiwan have qipao uniforms for their women flight attendants and ground workers. Many waitresses in Chinese restaurants over the world wear suits and skirts but some wear qipao. In the 2008 Olympics hosted by China, qipaos were the uniforms for the medal bearers.

Thus, Chinese national dresses are converted into creative style but the sense and the symbolism are still incorporated. It has been a significant symbol for Chinese culture that reflects their history, beliefs and the ancient way of living they have back then.

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