Mao’s New Suit

A documentary which charts the course of two Beijing fashion designers as they launch themselves on the Shanghai market. Mao's New Suit follows Beijing fashion designers SUN JIAN and GUO PEI amidst the staging of their first designer collection in Shanghai's annual Fashion Week.

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About the production
  • Year of production
    1997
  • Broadcast and production partners
    SBS / CH4 UK

Synopsis

For decades people in China modelled themselves on Chairman Mao who wore a simple worker’s outfit in blue or grey. It was known as the ‘Mao Suit’. To wear anything different meant that you stood out – and in China any sign of independent thought has always been dangerous.

But China’s door has opened and the next generation has emerged seeking an individual identity separate from the State.

“Young people are definitely not like their parents. They prefer to make money, do business and advance their career. They will not sacrifice their life and personal ideals for politics. Those days are gone. People aren’t like that anymore”.
— GUO PEI

Distribution
Awards
  • Winner
    Kodak Eastman Award Windy City Documentary Fest Chicago 1998
  • Finalist
    Dendy Award Best Documentary Sydney Film Fest. 1998
  • Nominated
    Best Documentary Hawaii International Film Festival 1997
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