Tag Archives: Chinese

Gendercultural

Editor’s Note: This post is from the original Genderplayful Community Blog, back when we were also a marketplace.
Chinese fabrics hanging on a store rack, lit by a halogen lamp.

Photograph by Jakob Montrasio on Flickr, used under a CC-BY licence.

新年快乐! To everyone whose culture celebrates the spring festival, happy new year!

While contemporary Western modes of clothing have become part of globalised wardrobes in many societies, traditional fashion is often worn on holidays, and some people also deliberately elect to make these garments a part of their everyday closet as a political statement.

However, one problem is that traditional clothing tends to be treated as though it exists in historical stasis – globalisation stifled its organic evolution – and, as such, the garb may reflect outmoded understandings of gender as a binary. For example, certain kinds of clothing, like the cheongsam or the Aboyne dress, are coded explicitly feminine, and there is a lot more resistance to androgynous or genderbending approaches thereto.

Does your culture have different types of traditional dress for different genders? Is there a traditional dress that is particularly dear to you, or which you particularly enjoy wearing? How do you negotiate conventional restrictions on what kind of dress you can wear in your culture? Do you know of any modern, genderplayful takes on these articles of clothing?

And can you point me in the direction of interesting qipao designs? ;)