Tuesday, 23 February 2010


As a follow up to Western women's romanticized interpretation of Eastern clothing, I bring you late nineteenth and early twentieth century China! Also, the cat is staring at the Fairies again.

A Chinese woman in a romanticized pose for a post card- notice her tiny pointed toes, clothing clearly made of expensive silky material, her sumptuous surroundings- all hinting at a life of luxurious lounging in the land of spice

Older Chinese women, again, notice the delicate pointed "lotus" feed- indicative of wealth and beauty. I understand how there could be an appeal for smaller feet, but ankles ending in pointed toes? Yuck.

Just in case you weren't sure where the ideas for Queen Amidala's costumes came from. Sadly, I don't have a name recorded for her.

1870 Chinese girls
I can't quite make out the girl on the right's feet, but the girl on the left is definitely bound- and so painfully tiny!
I like this photograph quite a lot.

1860 Chinese Woman

1910 Children in San Francisco's China Town by Arnold Genthe
Still binding feet- even in American Chinese societies

1870 Chinese Girls

1905 Gorgeous Dresses!

1880 Mandarin Family
*No Bound Feet!*

1900s Probably a performer - love the headdress

And finally, just what those beautifully tiny pointed toes look like at the end of the day:


heremie11 said...

Egg roles please.

Anonymous said...

The women in images #4 and #8, both women sitting on the right, are Manchurian women. Image #9 is not an image of Mandarins but again of Manchurians with the women both sitting on the left. The Manchurians did not allow feet binding as practised by the Han Chinese. Manchurian women also tended to wear their hair differently, often with the head-dress that looked similar to cattle horns, although they did end up adapting the Han style of dress. You can see that head-dress, and clothing style, in image #8. Manchurians were once semi-nomadic people so this head-dress may have directly come from a stylised form of cattle horns since oxen were the primary animals pulling the carts and the women were the drivers. The shoes of the women in #9 are classic Manchurian 'platform' shoes which elevated them above the dirt and floors they walked upon.

/Zigmund Void