I’ve recently saw a post from Culture Shock Tour about ‘Hai Pai’ aka ‘Shanghai Style’ that really inspired me. The combination of Chinese and Western culture resulted in the birth of inclusive and an openness to diversity – Hai Pai.

最近,我在文化冲击之旅上看到一篇介绍“海派文化”也就是“上海风尚”的文章,深受感触。中华文明和西方文化的碰撞交融孕育出兼收并蓄,又有容乃大的海派精神。

Hai Pai is rooted in traditional Chinese culture, based on the fusion of the essence of Wu and Yue culture, from Jiangsu and Zhejiang Provinces, and absorbs to a lot of western culture. It embodied rebellion against traditional conventions and boldness in innovation.

海派一词来源于传统中华文明,基于吴越文化精髓的糅合,以江苏和浙江省为发端,并吸收了大量西方文化。海派精神以反传统藩篱为体现,积极进取,锐意创新。

Li Shoubai, showing Shanghai’s distinctive haipai culture

One of the first expressions of Hai Pai, ‘cultivated’ by old generations till these days and shocking foreign newcomers, was adopting the habit of wearing…Pajamas! Proud Shanghailanders started wearing it outside to make sure everyone around noticed how stylish they were.

提及海派文化,首当其冲的表现就要数穿……睡衣上街了!在祖祖辈辈的老一代人“培养”下,这一习俗延续至今,给初来到访的外来人口一惊。骄傲的上海人穿着睡衣在外面晃晃悠悠,就是要让每个人都注意到他们多有型。

Another significant example of inclusive Hai Pai’s spirit was the transformation of traditional Qi Pao/Cheongsam. Influenced by western aesthetic standard, traditional Chinese Qi Pao was shortened and became more fitted. The new Qi Pao, originated in Shanghai, quickly took over the rest of China in no time.

包容的海派精神,还特别反映在对传统旗袍的改良上。受西方审美标准影响,中式旗袍被改短,也变得更合身了。新式旗袍,起源于上海,迅速风靡中国各地。

Even when the glamour and decadence had to surrender in the face of pervasive Communism, Shanghai people just could not let all the elegance go and that’s how the “fake collars” were born.

即便在无所不在的共产主义冲击下,海派文化风光不再,上海人依然不愿失去了他们的风度,“假领子”也随此应运而生。

Now the opulence and unlimited indulgence are back in Mo Du (Shanghai’s nickname which means “fascinating city” or “devil’s / magical city”) and seems like Hai Pai is at the peak of its Renaissance.

如今,富丽堂皇又极懂享受的风气在魔都回潮(对上海的昵称,意思是“魔幻之城”或“魔鬼”/魔法城市),海派文化迎来复苏,重回鼎盛。

The multinational crowd of foreigners gather at countless fashion events and fairs, bringing new designs and inspiration that locals embrace almost immediately.

各国外国人在无数时尚盛会和交易会上云集,带来全新的设计和创意灵感,本地人几乎立马就跟风全收。

Shanghai Tang

After all, the city’s chic reputation, that took years of efforts to gain, could not be ruined in the eyes of foreign guests! The answer was ‘Why not? It’s Shanghai!’  Yes – whether you call it the Hai Pai, Mo Du, Paris of the East or even paradox. Hai Pai never ceases to make its own, bold, fashion statement and I consider myself lucky to be witnessing it!

毕竟,城市的时尚之名靠的是经年累月的经营,绝不会在外国人眼里说垮就垮!回答是“为什么不?这就是上海。”是的 - 无论您管她叫作海派、魔都、东方小巴黎海派从不停止她大胆的时尚宣言,我也为能见证这样的文化变迁而感到幸运!

Author

Angela Bi is an international citizen who has lived both in Shanghai and Vancouver Canada. She’s worked in immigration for over a decade and has experienced first hand the joys of living overseas. Angela Bi 是生活在中国上海及加拿大温哥华两地的世界公民。她从事专业移民行业已有十余载,并掌握着旅居海外的一手乐活体验。

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