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|Thursday, October 25, 2001, updated at 15:59(GMT+8)|
APEC Leaders Dress to ImpressChinese traditional dress has been given a welcome boost, thanks to the tailor-made conclusion of the Ninth Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders' Meeting on Sunday.
World leaders wore traditional coats to culminate the meeting, and now tailors have been bombarded with customers seeking similar clothes, according to today's China Daily.
One such happy tailor is Wu Mengfan at the Daxin Textile Shop of Beijing, who specializes in making Chinese-style clothes.
"I should thank APEC," he said. "The leaders putting on our traditional clothes seem to have brought home the charms of these clothes to many people."
According to Wu, the past few days have continuously seen people enquiring about "the kind of coat worn by the APEC leaders."
This has, naturally, led to an increase in business for Wu and neighbouring counters which sell brocades displaying similar circular patterns of auspicious Chinese characters, including fu (luck) and shou (longevity) .
The most popular colours sought are red and blue, as worn by President Jiang Zemin and US George W.
Bush at the APEC meeting.
One saleswoman added that they have sold four to five rolls of the red and blue material each day this week - each roll 40 metres in length and 1.2 metres wide.
"What is interesting is that the young, especially young men, seem to be more enthusiastic than their elders about having APEC clothing, though the latter might be more suited to copy the leaders," she said.
Other counters selling Chinese-style clothes in various malls and department stores also received a lot of customers searching for APEC clothing.
However, the influx for such specific clothing has not stopped at the circular-patterned brocade coats, but has permeated the whole Chinese-style clothes market.
One enthusiastic customer, Wang Hui, said �� "I came here thinking of getting just one coat for my father as a birthday gift, now that Chinese-style clothes seem to be appropriate for senior men following the APEC meeting. However, I ended up with two. The other is a silk cheongsam for myself."
She had also not expected Chinese-style clothes to have been made so fashionably, until she saw and tried some samples at Wu's counter. "It is so graceful and fits so well," she added.
Wu admitted many female customers who came looking for APEC clothes for themselves ended up with something more chic, more than likely a dress.
Li Xin, a leading official with the China Fashion Designers' Association, and a senior fashion designer herself, said the reasoning behind the present popularity of Chinese-style clothes is not a simple or sudden resurrection of what Chinese people wore before the liberation.
She believes it indicates a mature cultural concept of the Chinese.
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