From colonization to modernization, witness the shifting tides of history through this colorful and reader-friendly guide to Taiwanese fashion of the past four centuries.
First, a quick fashion quiz! What do the following outfits have in common: the robes of a Dominican monk, the silk gown of the Ming imperial court, the kimono, the qipao, and the sailor-style uniform of Japanese school girls? The surprising answer lies in the rich tapestry of Taiwan history. As an island nation shaped by the rule of various external powers, the clothing donned by the Taiwanese of yesteryear transcended mere practicality – these varied outfits were faithful witnesses to the sweeping tides of history!
Unfolding chronologically, this accessible guide to clothing in Taiwan begins in the 17th century with the colonization efforts of the Spanish and Dutch. Subsequent chapters delve into periods of rule by Ming loyalists, the Qing Dynasty, and the Empire of Japan. Opening with a cultural and historical overview, each chapter unveils a tableau of full-color illustrations showcasing the garments worn by the various ethnic groups and social classes of each respective era.
Complementing the illustrations, well-researched explanations provide historical context and vivid anecdotes that shed light on the daily lives of the era’s inhabitants. From the influence of Western attire during the Age of Exploration to the localization of traditional Chinese garments in Taiwan and their subsequent modernization, the great tides of history unfold within the microcosm of costume, illustrating the ways in which fashion is an expression of class, values, and cultural identity.
This comprehensive visual study of Taiwanese clothing from 1624 to 1945 combines meticulous research with a brisk narrative style. Whether you’re an ardent fashion enthusiast or devoted history buff, this colorful, reader-friendly guide will instantly immerse you in Taiwan’s vibrant history as seen through the kaleidoscopic lens of clothing.