Fashion Then and Now

Someone emailed me below photos and I spent a good 10 minute studying each image.

Chinese 3 Inch Golden Lillie Feet 三寸金蓮

Unwrapping the binding

My grandfather was born in 1908 2 years before the fall of Qing Dynasty and the rise of Republic of China. He lived through this time with his family, but his sister was very lucky to escape such atrocious obscenity. They were farmer’s children so she was needed to work and carry loads and her feet was subsequently spared.

三寸金蓮

When my grandmother was born sometime in the 20’s, foot binding was already abolished but still wildly practiced as many aristocratic women still believed in the good marital prospect a pair of Golden Lillie would bring. As for the poor women, it was a way for them to bridged the social gap by holding on an ancient prestige mocked and abandoned by modernity.

My great-grandmother was a sensible woman, she enrolled my grandmother into an all woman’s school established by the German Nunnery, and when it became fashionable for girls from respectable families to run, she bought my grandmother a pair of sneakers instead of crushing her feet using below device.

Golden Lillie binding device

A pair of Golden Lillie

Golden Lilie Size Comparison to a cigarette box

We came a long way but maybe not far enough as even I myself would stomp a pair of these:


I believe Beyonce wore this pair for her Get Me Bodied music video

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This entry was published on April 23, 2012 at 9:00 am. It’s filed under ModaRévisé News and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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