Sewing and lifestyle blog of a wannabe "full-time vixen"

Trying to do Vintage when you’re Chinese

I came across a really cool tumblr today called Of Another Fashion through this post on The Sew Weekly and it has vintage photographs of minority women from past eras. Of course the tumblr is focused on the political message of how “white focused” fashion has always been and still is. You can’t think about past eras of history properly (including vintage fashion) if you ignore the racism, sexism, conservatism, etc. However, I do think that we can’t just sit on our high horses today and look down on the past. The current decade isn’t really so fabulous either and there is just as much racism, sexism, conservatism, etc.

From 1938

But finding this tumblr has been a boon, even if there is the awful political history of the mistreatment of minorities to think about. (Head tax on the Chinese, anyone? Japanese internment camps? Slavery and segregation of African-Americans? I hope these things ring a bell!) Let me tell you, as a full blooded Chinese girl, it’s really damn hard to try to find any old resources on what Asians looked like in the past. Often I wonder if Asians adopted the Western styles or stuck to their own styles or blended the two together.

From 1951

I’m also REALLY curious as to how Asian women did their hair because I do have difficulty pin curling my own hair since it’s so naturally “stick straight” and wants to stay that way.

From 1950

I haven’t pin curled my hair in a loooooong time though…I’ve been too busy and pin curling takes time since I’m still a newbie at it and it’s just so frustrating trying to curl my straight hair! It doesn’t really naturally want to curl into a curl even while wet. It just wants to lie there all nice and straight and pointy. *sigh* I’m glad I’m in sewing classes or I wouldn’t ever get a chance to sew!

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2 Responses to Trying to do Vintage when you’re Chinese

  1. I think we were reading each others blogs at the exact same time the other night !! I hear ya about the 5 lbs., not a lot to some but a ton to me :( I did get back on track this week though and feel much better.

    I hope you’ve managed to get out of your funk. I can tell you that proper diet and exercise will help with the sleep and stress issues ;)

    Can’t wait to see your pin curls :) Hang in there !!

  2. Oh neat, I had been thinking about this some time ago, when I was trying to find old pics of Asian women, even in their traditional clothing (the “Chinese” dress that Vietnamese women also wear..) and had a hard time with that. And it’s very true, most of what we (North Americans) think of as “Back in the Day” is back in the day of white people. It’s somewhat bizarre to feel more association with this history than my own, but alas, that is the consequence of growing up in a different country.

    long ass tangenttttttttt

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