Title page for ETD etd-08242011-210636

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Zeng, Yao
URN etd-08242011-210636
Title Chinese Influence on Western Women’s Dress in American Vogue Magazine, 1960-2009
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
Department Human Ecology
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Kuttruff, Jenna Tedrick Committee Chair
Washington-Brown, Andrea L. Committee Member
McRoberts, Lisa Barona Committee Member
Negulescu, Ioan I. Committee Member
Mitchell, Roland W. Dean's Representative
  • Chinese influence
  • dress
  • fashion magazine
Date of Defense 2011-05-17
Availability unrestricted
Chinese culture has dramatically influenced Western women’s fashionable dress over many centuries. Researchers have studied Chinese dress and its influence on Western women’s dress in the eighteenth, nineteenth, and early twentieth century. However, no research has systematically examined Chinese dress influences on Western women’s dress from the time

that China reopened its door to the West in the 1970s and into the twenty-first century.

The purpose of this study is to trace Chinese influence in Western women’s dress from 1960 to 2009 in American Vogue magazine. The specific aims of this study are to identify and record the influence of the Hanfu, Qipao, and Mao suit along with other Chinese dress characteristics, including accessories, hair styles, and makeup, on Western women’s dress as depicted in the magazine over fifty years. The ways in which elements and patterns of Chinese dress were adopted into modern Western women’s fashion was examined along with concurrent social changes and globalization by tracing a single popular fashion magazine, American Vogue.

Content analysis was applied to answer the research questions. A total of 704 issues of American Vogue were examined and the frequencies of Chinese attributes present in both visual representations and written references in every issue were recorded. The visual counts were accompanied by examination of verbal text, such as articles, editorials, and figure captions that referred to China.

The results indicate that Chinese influence in visual representations was seen throughout the entire research period in greater numbers than written references. The two decades with the highest numbers of occurances in both written references and visual representations were the 1970s and 1990s. Garment features had higher frequencies than fabric, accessories, and other features. As a garment type, Qipao had the greatest influence on Western women’s dress. Collars appeared as the most influenced construction element depicted in Vogue. Political events, culture, globalization, and fashion trends all played important roles in the frequency of Chinese influences seen on Western women’s fashionable dress in American Vogue.

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