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China Fashion & Beauty

From Stay-at-Home Dad to Fashion Designer – ‘Super Dad’ Rises to Fame

Manya Koetse

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He majored in International Business, but ended up as a stay-at-home dad with a talent for design. Qian Xiaofeng, who has created over a hundred outfits for his 5-year-old daughter, is rising to fame on Chinese social media as a children’s clothing designer.

From Disney princess dresses to little Chanel outfits, this Chinese stay-at-home dad can make almost everything. Having created over a hundred outfits for his 5-year-old daughter, including hair bands, necklaces, and brooches, ‘super dad’ Qian Xiaofeng (钱晓峰) is making his rounds on Chinese social media.

According to China’s Sohu News, Qian Xiaofeng first caught the attention of Chinese netizens when he started posting pictures of the designs for his daughter on WeChat about a year ago. Although he majored in International Business, Qian started to become interested in fashion when he first had a daughter.

Qian, a Shanghai resident, revealed to Sohu that he always had an artistic talent and wanted to study arts, but chose another path because his father thought International Business would give him better career opportunities.

After getting married and having his first child, Qian and his wife decided that since she had a flourishing career, he would take on the task of becoming a full-time father and take care of his daughter and the household.

At the start of his designer adventure, Qian only drew the designs for special theme outfits and let a crafty friend make the clothes. Eager to learn to sew himself, he then later took on a 6-month sewing course and now does everything himself.

Although many commenters on social media say that Qian’s daughter is lucky to have him as a father, Qian says he is the fortunate one; because of his daughter, he is finally doing what he really wants to do.

Qian says he started out this journey to give his daughter a “fairy-tale childhood.” Now, he hopes to turn his design into a brand that he can leave to his daughter when she grows up.

On Weibo, netizens hope that Qian Xiaofeng will soon expand his business. “The Christmas tree outfit is adorable, just sell it on Taobao,” a popular comment says.

Others also reply: “I want to make my kid happy this way, too!”

In the Sohu feature article, Qian also praises his wife for making it possible for him to pursue his new-found ambitions. As for the little girl – she is happy to wear her dad’s creations.

Some netizens doubt Qian’s motivation to create these dresses. “Actually, I think he is the one who wants to wear his own designs,” one person says: “His daughter has now become the Barbie doll he likes to dress.”

By Manya Koetse

©2017 Whatsonweibo. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce our content without permission – you can contact us at info@whatsonweibo.com.

Manya Koetse is the editor-in-chief of www.whatsonweibo.com. She is a writer and consultant (Sinologist, MPhil) on social trends in China, with a focus on social media and digital developments, popular culture, and gender issues. Contact at manya@whatsonweibo.com, or follow on Twitter.

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China Fashion & Beauty

The Mulan Makeup Challenge: Traditional Chinese Makeup Goes Trending

Recreating the Mulan make-up look was the biggest beauty challenge on Chinese social media this July.

Manya Koetse

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Will traditional Chinese make-up make a comeback because of Disney’s Mulan?

Since Disney released the official trailer for its live-action Mulan movie earlier this month, Mulan is recurringly appearing in the top trending lists on Chinese social media.

Among all the different topics relating to the upcoming Mulan movie, the Mulan make-up challenge is one that jumps out this month.

The Disney live-action trailer showed a scene in which Mulan, played by Chinese American actress Crystal Liu Fei (刘亦菲), has a full face of betrothal makeup. The original animated Disney movie also features a full makeup Mulan.

Although there was also online criticism of the ‘exaggerated’ makeup, there are many people who appreciate Mulan’s colorful makeup look.

On Weibo, many showed off their skills in copying Mulan’s makeup look this month.

By now, the hashtags “Mulan Makeup Imitation” (#花木兰仿妆#) and “Mulan Makeup Imitation Contest” (#花木兰仿妆大赛#) have attracted over 300 million views.

Makeup such as lipstick has been used in China as far back as two or three thousand years ago.

Makeup vlogger Emma Zhou explains more about Tang Dynasty (618-907) makeup customs here; the skin would be whitened with rice flower, followed by the application of ‘blush’ (pigment of strong-colored flowers) to the cheeks and eyes in a round shape, to emphasize the roundness of the face.

A floral-like decoration would be placed in between the eyebrows.

The yellow forehead, as can be seen in the live-action Mulan, is also known as “Buddha’s makeup,” and was especially popular among ladies during the Tang Dynasty. A yellow aura on the forehead was believed to be auspicious (Schafer 1956, 419).

Although contemporary Chinese makeup trends are much different than those depicted in Mulan, traditional makeup seems to make somewhat of a come-back because of the Disney movie, with hundreds of Chinese netizens imitating the look.

Beauty bloggers such as Nico (@黎千千Nico, image below) receive much praise from Weibo users for their makeup look. Nico wrote: “I even opened the door for the delivery guy this way!”

It is not just girls imitating the look; there are also some boys showing off their Mulan makeup.

Although many still find the Mulan makeup look exaggerated and even “laughable,” there are also those who think it looks really “cool” – of course, depending on whether or not the application is successful.

Want to try it out for yourself? There are various amateur tutorials available on Youtube (in Chinese), such as here, here, or here.

The Mulan make-up hype will probably continue in 2020; the Mulan movie will come out in late March.

To read more about Mulan, please see our latest feature article on Mulan here.

By Manya Koetse

References

Schafer, Edward H. 1956. “The Early History of Lead Pigments and Cosmetics in China.” T’oung Pao, Second Series, 44, no. 4/5: 413-38. http://www.jstor.org/stable/4527434.

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©2019 Whatsonweibo. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce our content without permission – you can contact us at info@whatsonweibo.com

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China Celebs

Iconic Shanghai Singer Yao Lee Passes Away at the Age of 96

Yao Li, one of the seven great singing stars of Shanghai in the 1940s, has passed away.

Manya Koetse

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Chinese singer Yao Lee (姚莉), the ‘Queen of Mandarin pop,’ passed away on July 19 at the age of 96.

The singer, with her ‘Silvery Voice,’ was known as one of the seven great singing stars (“七大歌星”) of Shanghai of the 1940s.

For those who may not know her name, you might know her music – one of her iconic songs was used in the hit movie Crazy Rich Asians.

Yao’s most famous songs include “Rose, Rose, I Love You” (玫瑰玫瑰我爱你), “Meet Again” (重逢), and “Love That I Can’t Have” (得不到的爱情).

Yao, born in Shanghai in 1922, started singing at the age of 13. Her brother Yao Min was a popular music songwriter.

When popular music was banned under Mao in the 1950s, Hong Kong became a new center of the Mandarin music industry, and Yao continued her career there.

On Weibo, the hashtag Yao Lee Passes Away (#姚莉去世#) already received more than 200 million views at time of writing.

Many Chinese netizens post candles to mourn the death of the popular singer, some call her passing “the end of an era.”

“Shanghai of those years is really where it all started,” others say.

Listen to one of Yao’s songs below:

By Manya Koetse

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©2019 Whatsonweibo. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce our content without permission – you can contact us at info@whatsonweibo.com

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