The Miao Ethnic Minority, Fuxing Park

I feel like I need a break from posting about Shanghai Fashion Week (yes, there are still a few shows I haven’t posted about yet, I’ll get around to it I promise), but I wanted to post one last update about my recent afternoon with Franca Sozzani, the longtime Editor in Chief at Vogue ItaliaChina Fashion Collective had the honor of introducing Ms. Sozzani to 14 of China’s top emerging designers and she was so impressed she almost immediately decided to put the content online for the world to see, so I feel like I should at least provide some links to this content… So please check it out if you’re looking for some great coverage on Chinese fashion designers.

But to bring the blog back to its roots, I’m doing my second post on Chinese ethnic minorities, as I recently had a great encounter with a Miao Zu (pronounced meow zoo) at Fuxing Park, the home of Shanghai Fashion Week.

In the illustration they are wearing their traditional garb, but in real life they don’t always don such an intricate getup… But they are still beautiful, and here’s one example:

I love the graphic nature of her garb, and the colors are interesting as well… But what’s most intriguing to me is her HAIR, specifically the shape and adornments (it makes her look like the Queen of Clubs!):

But I can’t really say I have a favorite part to her look, I think she’s got the whole package. She claimed that she was just “studying” how to dance in the background, but it looks to me like she could tear up the dance [pavement?] floor, and we got to talking after I complimented her moves and her style.

She wanted to know where I was from, so naturally I made her guess (a favorite pastime of mixed babies around the world I think)… She guessed Southeast Asia if my memory serves me correctly (or maybe it was Central Asia), and her friend guessed France… But because of her friend’s heavy Shanghainese accent, she was pronouncing it “Fu Kuo” “Fa Kuo” “Fa Gou” etc., which I didn’t interpret as “Fa Guo” (France) until a few minutes into our conversation:

Sorry I haven’t had a chance to write subtitles, but I don’t think you need them to hear how funny “France” sounds when pronounced with a Shanghainese accent… But I also loved the general, slow tone of the Miao Zu lady, so here are a few subtitles so you can more easily follow the conversation (that they didn’t know I was recording, hence the bizarre angle):

Miao Zu: Ni shi Mei Guo de maaaaaa? (Are you American?)
Me: Uh, dui dui dui, jiu shi Mei Guo Ren!
(Uh, yes, yes, yes, I’m American!)
Miao Zu: Ni shi Mei Guo, hen mei a!
(You are American [literally beautiful country], very beautiful!)
Me: “Fu Kou” shen me yi si?
(What does “Fu Kou” mean?)
Shanghainese Lady: “Fu Kuo si yi ke kuo jia” (“Fu Kuo” is a country)
Miao Zu: “Fu Kuo” shi yi ge guo jiaaaaaa” (“Fu Kuo” is a countryyyy)

Another favorite segment of the conversation (55 seconds):

Me: Ni men zou ma? You yi dian leng le… (Are you leaving? It’s a little bit cold now…)
Miao Zu: Wo chuan na me duo yiiiii fu… (I’m wearing so many clooooothes…)

Hopefully I’ll have some more encounters with some more minorities soon because they tend to be a bit more interesting to me than the Han…

It’s so appropriate that they are the Joker in this set of cards for so many reasons, so if you have a reason why it’s fitting, please leave a comment.

So anyway…

Best Dressed Generation:
Gen X – 180 points
Gen Y – 125 points + 20 points because this lady was one of the coolest Chinese people I ever met = 145 points
Gen Z – 30 points