'This attractive and approachable book presents an overview of Chinese dress, both male and female, from the late imperial period to the present. ...It is a significant addition to the literature and...I know of no immediate competitors with which this can be compared.Its publication is to be welcomed as a contribution to the debates about culture, modernity and gender in twentieth-century China, and, more widely, to the growing body of work on clothing and identity. ' --Verity Wilson, formerly Curator of Costume, Victoria and Albert Museum, London'This is the long-awaited, authoritative and definitive study of fashion in modern China, a topic if not a nascent field that has attracted recent scholarly and media attention. The author, a pioneer in this area, has accomplished an incredible feat-producing a vigorously-argued book that would advance intellectual debates while remaining accessible to the general reader.This book has a great many strengths. Previous Anglophone monographs on Chinese dress--by Vollmer, Garrett and Wilson for example--were works of collectors and museum curators. They focus on the material construction of dress and their regional or social variations at the expense of systemic cultural and economic analyses. As a result, the meaning of fashion as a cultural-economic phenomenon in China remains dimly understood. This is the first book-length work that situates fashion in historical contexts, from the world trading system and urban development to revolutionary movements in modern China. ... The book will launch fashion study as a serious intellectual endeavor in the field of Chinese studies while appealing to scholars in comparative fields (fashion studies, socio-economic history, cultural history, and post-colonial studies) and the general reader alike. It would make an appropriate textbook in an advanced undergraduate class on modern Chinese history or comparative history of fashion.' --Professor Dorothy Ko, Columbia University.
ANTONIA FINNANE, teaches Chinese history, world history, and historical theory at the University of Melbourne. She is the author of Far from Where? Jewish Journeys from Shanghai to Melbourne (1999) and Speaking of Yangzhou: A Chinese City, 1550-1850 (2004).