Thursday, May 14, 2009

Who Knew Chinese...

...Were Trend Setters?!

Reading an article in the French Elle Magazine published in the February 28th issue (I’m just a tad behind on my “fashion” reading but the French magazines have to do the round among the girls and I must be at the bottom of the list!), I was intrigued by the following article (in French sorry!)…

“Les jours les plus lounge”:
The lounge (pun with the word long) day!

This is a picture I took 2 years ago of a Chinese man strolling down a street in his pajamas. This is not a rare sight. Ahead of the Olympics, the city government actually handed out booklet to 4 million household giving advise on not to wear too many colors (no more than 3 color groups in clothing to be exact), white socks with black shoes and parading in pajamas!

Dressed to the thirteen!
(While in English we says “Dress to the Nines”
in Chinese we say “shi san fen” (to the thirteen)

Since wearing pj’s (or lounge clothing!) was already a trend in China, let see if we can predict what the future trends will be by looking around us in Beijing. Maybe I should write to Elle/Vogue fashion editors and let them know what’s the next IT thing in fashion. Call me Anna Wintour!!

1 - Boyfriend carrying their girlfriend’s handbag (the habits tend to disappear once married!)

2 - Matching outfit (I seemed to remember it was a trend in the USA a while back!)

Historically the habits of Public Displays of Pajamas (PDoP for short) may have arisen out of class consciousness. Wearing pajamas to bed meant that you had enough money to buy clothes for sleeping. Somewhere along the way, someone decided it was high time to show off sleeping clothes to the neighbors…and PDoP was born!

I have not find anything about carrying your girlfriend’s bag or wearing matching clothes but if I had to extrapolate, I would say that with the largest bank note being 100 Yuan (€10-$13), boys got tired of having big budge in their back pants pocket so they started to put their money in their girlfriends bag, the girlfriend complained about how heavy it was and the boyfriend said fine I’ll carry it. As for wearing matching clothes, it makes it easier to find your partner in a crowd (and there is a lot of Chinese in China may I remind you!); you just have to point at your clothes and asked around if anybody seen a man (or woman) wearing the exact same outfit. That’s just one (mine!) explanation. Another point for the Chinese!!