Mao to Now: Chinese Fashion from 1949 to the Present

Goldstein Museum of Design, University of Minnesota

Through January 17th, 2011

Chinese culture changed drastically between 1949 and the present. The evolution of Chinese fashion reflects how the culture transformed. “Mao to Now” is divided into three periods: pre Mao (1912 to 1948), the Mao era (1949 to 1977), the era of the nondescript Mao suit and the post-Mao era (1978 to present), which demonstrates how, after Mao, Chinese fashion began to exhibit an increasingly dramatic melding of Chinese and Western design expression.

The work of four top Chinese fashion designers will be included in the exhibition: Wu HaiyanLiu CanmingWang Yiyang, and Zhang Da. In addition to the items of dress and accessories, the exhibition will feature photographs by high-profile Chinese journalists and photographers to illustrate the differences between the periods.

For more information on the show click here.


To see the book that was the inspiration for this exhibition click here.

Chinese Fashion: From Mao to Now

Juanjuan Yu

How has fashion mirrored the social and cultural changes that have taken place in modern China? To what extent has fashion contributed to those changes?

This book provides the first comprehensive account of modern Chinese fashion from 1978 to the present day. The post-Mao era witnessed the birth of the Chinese market economy, the reawakening of Chinese fashion, and the rejuvenation of Chinese society. The program of economic reform turned China into the world’s leading manufacturing powerhouse, and the Chinese fashion industry now plays a key international role. During the same period, Western companies discovered China as a significant market for branded fashion and luxury goods.

This book, which takes a chronological approach, offers an analysis of the development of the Chinese fashion industry as well as an analysis of the relationship between dress, gender, identity and consumption in contemporary China. As such it will be welcomed by all students of fashion and textiles.

Juanjuan Wu is Assistant Professor in the Department of Design, Housing, & Apparel at the University of Minnesota. She has written extensively on Chinese fashion and dress. She is former editor and journalist of Dadushi (Metropolis), a fashion magazine in Shanghai.

Thank you to the Goldstein Museum, Berg Publishers, and Monica for this information!

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