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VISUAL EVIDENCE FOR THE EVOLUTION OF "POLITICALLY CORRECT" DRESS FOR WOMEN IN EARLY TWENTIETH CENTURY SHANGHAI

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In China in the first half of the twentieth century, official and unofficial efforts were made to regulate or influence women's dress, despite the fact that for urban, sophisticated, independent, middle-class urbanites, fashions were largely determined by the women who wore them. The first official mandate for women's dress, promulgated by the new Republican government in 1912, had little lasting effect. Unofficial efforts in 1915 and 1920 to influence women's garb, stemming from the antiforeign National Goods Movement, which the textile industry had originated much earlier and which urged patriotic Chinese to "buy Chinese," was also largely inconsequential. Only the Nationalist official designation in 1927 of a "national" feminine dress was effective. Using dated visual evidence from the print media, this paper assesses the failures and successes of these two official and one unofficial attempt to define proper attire for Chinese women.

10.1163/156852603100402421
/content/journals/10.1163/156852603100402421
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/content/journals/10.1163/156852603100402421
2003-04-01
2017-03-26

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