• In Search of a New Mode of Masculinity: Oscar Wilde-Inspired Fashion in Contemporary China

    Author(s):
    Aurelia Dee Wu (see profile)
    Date:
    2021
    Group(s):
    2021 MLA Convention
    Subject(s):
    Great Britain, Nineteenth century, Comparative literature, Eighteenth century, Aesthetics, Comparative literature--Chinese and Western, Fashion, Masculinity
    Item Type:
    Visual art
    Tag(s):
    Fashion History, self-fashioning, Victorian studies, Comparative 18th-century and 19th-century literature, Chinese-Western comparative literature
    Permanent URL:
    http://dx.doi.org/10.17613/3ay1-qs81
    Abstract:
    This talk examines the making of a consumerist middle-class Chinese masculinity inspired by Oscar Wilde’ fashionable persona and his idea of dandyism that have been populated by Western fashion houses’ commercial campaign and male lifestyle magazines in recent decades such as the prominent Alexander McQueen and GQ. The reintroduction of capitalism in Post-Mao (1976–) China has accelerated the rise of consumerism and has spurred a rethinking of a new Chinese (masculine) national image for China to re-join the international conversation. In this talk, I examine the Chinese middle-class millennials’ interest in changing China’s international image by constructing a new model of masculinity inspired by Wilde’s dandyism. From Harper’s Bazaar China’s 2016 “Oriental Gentleman” series, we attempt to probe the Chinese younger generation’s search of a modern, sophisticated, and cultured national (male) image born out of rebel against both the self-restraint Confucian junzi (a Chinese concept of a gentleman) and steely macho communist heroes, instead, they are looking to construct a cosmopolitan urban dandy masculinity, resonating retroactively with Wildean dandies who offer an alternative mode of male identity to the rigid Victorian idealism.
    Metadata:
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    2 years ago
    License:
    All Rights Reserved
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