Nowadays, with the increasing popularity of world famous brands such as Adidas and Nike, some people fear that Chinese traditional styles will gradually be forgotten. Actually, the concept of wearing traditional clothes is still deeply rooted in the minds of common Chinese people. For instance, I feel proud whenever I think of leaders from all over the world wearing Tang Dynasty costumes during the APEC in Shanghai. Some of my friends even bought and wore these types of costumes at the time. Usually, each nation communicates its own characteristics and vitality to the world in its own way, whether from its people or the objects they create. In this sense, traditional Chinese clothing will certainly find its place in modern society, although the market will be dominated by foreign brands as long as the Chinese clothing culture exists.
Nevertheless, in my opinion, there are two ways to win back the position Chinese traditional clothing deserves. First of all, some trendy fashion elements should be absorbed into the creation of new dress styles, catered to the modern Chinese. After all, we live in a globalized society full of new thoughts and concepts, and can thus be easily inspired to combine traditional Chinese dressing styles with those of fashionable foreign dresses. Designers may boldly adopt the features of foreign garments in terms of forms and adornments (just as the costumes of the Tang Dynasty borrowed elements from the garments of India and Iran, etc.) while retaining distinctive features such as embroidery and batik to highlight the elegance of the dresses. Needless to say, people will be happy to choose these kinds of clothes instead of merely foreign ones, since they're familiar with and proud of the Chinese characteristics in the clothing.
Secondly, once such clothes have become popular with Chinese people, we should build and manage our own style brands for these clothes well. In fact, it is not just a matter of clothing, it is about showing our own clothing culture to the world through powerful channels. By doing so, our distinctive clothing culture can be inherited and developed, and only in this way can it successfully find its place in modern society. Shen Yingbing
JULY 10, 2007