chinesepeoplehavenostyle is meant to prove that Chinese people do in fact have ‘style’, but ‘style’ is only just emerging in China for a number of reasons. The blog is not about judging what is good and what is bad, it’s just about portraying what happens.
chinesepeoplehavenostyle is part of an ongoing anthropological study started at Harvard University in 2008 which studies the different manifestations ‘fashion’ and ‘style’ in China. Overall, the blog aims to focus on and promote the positive (the rare instances of Chinese style), but for your amusement and my catharsis, it also points out the negative (mass Chinese fashion).
The blog focuses on the past, current, and future manifestations of fashion and style in China, but before we can understand this, we have to have clear definitions of these separate but related concepts. So here goes my best shot:
Fashion is clothing that extends beyond the primary functions of protection or modesty, namely adornment, social stratification, and imitation, so fashion has existed for a long time in both the West and East. Today, fashion is commercial, objective, and mass because it is what brands, magazines, and businesses make.
Style is the result of fashion… Individuals use fashion to create and express an individual, subjective psychological schema. Style is what people make on the street, or you can think of it like this: Fashion + the Self = Style.
[you can also look at Fashion Theory for a further explanation]
The practice of style is very limited in China for a number of historical and cultural reasons. Fashion already exists very extensively in China because almost every brand is here vying for a piece of the pie, and Chinese people are buying and buying and buying. But how many Chinese consumers can turn cold hard RMB into an individual and genuine sartorial expression of themselves? There are a rare few, but I can sense that a mass diversification of aesthetics throughout Chinese society is just upon the horizon.
chinesepeoplehavenostyle will follow domestic designers, locals, foreigners, artists, stylists, and any other person, institution, or idea that will help advance the cause of individualization of sartorial practices (read: creation of style) in China. I for one am tired of repetitive and primitive conspicuous/copycat/conforming/cloned Chinese consumers. China has a unique and rich culture, history, philosophy, and aesthetic sense to create style that is unique to the world, so please follow this sartorial revolution of the Middle Kingdom as it unfolds.