Book Chapter

Textiles and Apparel in the Mao Years: Uniformity, Variety and the Limits of Autarchy

ANTONIA Finnane, P Sun

Making Fashion in Multiple Chinas: Chinese Styles in the Transglobal Landscape | I.B. Tauris | Published : 2018


‘Engels never rode in a plane’, said Deng Xiaoping in 1978, ‘and Stalin never wore Dacron’. His point was that the Party had to look to the future, and move with the times. This led to a shift in policy and practice across most domains of Chinese life, summed up in the phrase ‘four modernisations’. It is common to draw sharp distinctions between the next and the preceding 30 years. Clothing offers a way both to illustrate the distinctions and to blur them. In either case, observable variables such as cut, colour, and fabric provide adequate evidence to support an argument, but they only take us so far. Variations in the experience of dressing are more difficult to calibrate but, depending on..

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