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THE FASHION & THE CITY PART 1 What’s the fashion like in Shanghai?

“Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening.” from Coco Chanel


Have you ever wondered how fashion was at colonial period in Shanghai? Have you ever imagined wearing a typical Shanghainese clothe? Have you ever guess that Shanghai could be one of the majors Fashion cities in the world?

Well if you have all these questions in mind, let me bring you go back in Shanghai time, and this is not happening by chance if I am talking about Shanghai. Shanghai is the first Asian city which was exposed to Western culture and Fashion. Since what, it became the leader of the fashion in China. Today Shanghai is the good and right place for fashion and tends to be the Oriental Fashion Capital. It is the first city to try a different style and this point introduces how fashion developed from 1930’s until today. As luck would have it, I am actually in Shanghai and I would like to tell you and to make you understand better what is the real Shanghai through its story of fashion.


As everybody knows, 2010 is a special year for Shanghai above all the most cosmopolitan city of Asia because the city is organizing the big event of the year which is World expo. How incredible is it? Isn’t it? I am not so surprised at least because since the beginning Shanghai does not stop moving forward and took another new step in World’s fashion. And Shanghai’s history is linked with the way fashion managed to grow on so fast in Shanghai. And you know what? As a French fashionista and also shopaholic (I had to confess it!), let me show you how far Fashion was developed in Shanghai and why Fashion is so part of Shanghai’s identity.

Let’s go back to the origins of the way Shanghai was set up and how fashion evolved especially from the years 1930’s. And you will soon understand what’s the point of this time travel from the 1930’s to 2010’s. Could you imagine how fashion was in Shanghai in the years 1930’s ? It seems to me like time goes so fast and we are running out of time because the world does not stop changing.

The Past to Present: 1930’s to 2010’s “ In Shanghai, we make money. That is the raw material… and the last” According to the great reporter Albert Londres in 1934. “Dressing is a way of life.” According to the French designer Yves Saint Laurent. These two quotations sum up exactly the situation of Shanghai now: the most globalized, international, cosmopolitan and fashionable city of Asia. Shanghai has always been a strong link with fashion since ever. Yes, perfectly and this is due to the fact that contrary to the others Chinese cities, Shanghai has always had a link with the Western culture. It had a first foundation by the foreigners at the beginning of the 1930’s which are the period where everything started for that city but had also its first opening towards western and international Fashion.


The Fashion and The City  

Story of the FAshion in Shanghai from the Years 1930's to 2010's

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