The annual 2nd Session is here again, sharing the unique views of an interview with Mr. Xiong by Netease News last year, and interpreting the political signals by the suit of the 2nd Session.
Netease News "Tailor Xiong Kejia: Making Suits for Senior Mainland Officials and Reading Political Signals from the Two Sessions"
Mr. Xiong's unique view of suit: suit is armor, ancient cold weapon war transplanted to the present, the language is the sharpest sword, and the upright suit is the protection of soldiers'armor.
"Big Countries and Small Citizens" No. 349, Wen-Xu Zhi
Hearing that "officials and businessmen can't stand shoulder to shoulder", he immediately set up a screen in the shop.
On March 4, 2015, the second day of the opening of the two sessions, a suit tailor 6.4 kilometers east of the Great Hall of the People was closely watching the annual event.
This tailor is Xiong Kejia. He is over sixty years old. He is Taiwanese and owns a suit brand. If you want to ask a dressmaker why he is so nervous about national affairs, he will go straight to the subject, clench his fists and tell you in standard Taiwanese Mandarin: "All this is a signal."
The signal starts with a picture.
If you go to Xiong Kejia's tailor's shop, he will show you a black-and-white photograph mounted on the most prominent location in the shop. The photograph shows the tailors on a 19th century New York warship. These cat-hugging craftsmen on an expedition with the warship were the earliest teachers of the tailors of an Eastern Western suit. Xiong Kejiatuo copied this photo from the National Library of America, mounted it and nailed it on the most conspicuous wall of the shop, constantly reminding himself of where the tailor's craftsmanship first came from.
War, ambition and power have always brought the most sensitive signals to this craft.
Xiong Kejia's career grew up in the 1950s and 1970s, when the US-Vietnam War, Taiwan as the base of the Pacific Fleet became the logistical resting place for American soldiers. Soldiers tired of war need alcohol, women and decent suits in women's eyes.
It was at that time that Xiong Kejia became acquainted with the secrets behind tailoring that the rise and fall of the industry was determined by the coming and going of the U.S. Army.
He described the suit as armor. The ancient cold weapon war was transplanted to the present. Language was the sharpest sword. The upright suit was the armor to protect soldiers.
The business of this armor doomed Xiong Kejia to a different interpretation of politics. In Taiwan, voters will come to Xiong Kejia and ask him to tailor his suit to make the best suit.
Xiong Kejia still remembers vividly and imitates the visitor's expression. "Mr. Xiong, you must make my suit well. I just mix it up with a mouth on my head and a skin on my body." At the end of the imitation, Xiong Kejiatong said, "Valuing this layer is a signal of democracy."
Xiong Kejia's insight into the current situation signals of the mainland has never been worse.
In the last few years of the 20th century, he came to the mainland to open stores, a few years after Pierre Cardin, a luxury brand, entered the mainland. At that time, double-breasted suits were popular in the world. As a representative of imported goods, the earliest impression left by suits to mainlanders was two rows of buttons and Pierre Cardin, the name that can represent all luxury goods.
With the return of overseas Chinese to visit relatives, suits began to enter the homes of ordinary people. In the political situation, as early as the 1980s, Hu Yaobang, the leader of the Communist Party of China, began to vigorously promote the Sinicization of suits. In February 1983, Hu Yaobang held a symposium with comrades of the Shenzhen Municipal Committee and the Municipal Government. He asked, "Why are you still wearing the same clothes? I agree with you to wear suits because you have to deal with foreign businessmen." Ren Zhongyi laughed and said, "Comrade Yaobang, first you wear a suit, we have no worries, courage will grow up." Hu Yaobang answered that he would wear a suit next time he came to Shenzhen.
By 1990, Li Peng, then Prime Minister, also wore a suit at the National Two Sessions. Then throughout the 1990s, suits were gradually popularized at the two meetings. By the end of the twentieth century, suits were popular both among the people and officials. Xiong Kejia opened his first store in Shanghai in 1998, when he was in the ascendant.
After 2000, Xiong Kejia expanded his business to Beijing, the capital, and located in the center of Jiali, the hinterland of International Trade. This small shop on the negative floor of the shopping mall also contains many signals.
In 2013, the store was preparing to decorate, just as Xi Jinping said that officials and businessmen could not shoulder to shoulder. He immediately changed the original open shop design, replaced by two curtains at the door, and pasted black and white plaid film on the glass door.
Shop assistants and Xiong Kejia will pay special attention to the middle-aged men who come into the shop. If they wear baggy suits, they will initially decide that the leader is coming. "The Chinese suit is Bolshevik style, suit set size, not fit, no personality." Xiong Kejia shrank her hands inside to cover the sleeves of the shirt that had been exposed outside her suit. "How can the leader's suit be fat and how to do it? The sleeves can't be exposed. The earliest standard is that two sweaters, one thermal pants and one sweater can be worn inside the suit." Xiong Kejia then crouched down at a horse's pace, which seemed laborious, and his suit became tight. "If the leader's suit can do this easily, it's a qualified Bolshevik suit."
A clearer signal comes from a tie.
It's not just bears who care about the political message of ties. David Zailer, an American, wrote a book called Color Your Style based on color signals.
The Emmy Award-winning author wrote: "Colors can give different information. Even with the same suit, different colors of tie can make different impressions and convey different messages.
The safest color is blue, which travels around the world and symbolizes power. The patterned blue tie gives a traditional and reliable professional image and is suitable for any meeting. Soft blue makes people feel soft and introspective, cobalt blue or royal blue makes people stand out; dark blue makes people think of respected pilot uniforms, navy blue makes people believe and confident.
Red tie is favored by politicians in the international context. In addition to the beauty of black suit, white shirt and red tie, Mark Woodman, a trend analyst in Maryland, pointed out: "Red tie symbolizes power, strength and passion." Different red can also convey different messages. Dark red, for example, can help build trust, while light red and pink are more personal and creative. In the past decade, pink ties have been given the message of "intimacy with women".
Xiong Kejia has his own preferences for guests. He likes to make clothes for young people who have just graduated. Graduates have no money. They can do it cheaply. Xiong Kejia regards such suits as a social gift for young people. He often says to young people: tailor makes the man. People depend on clothes and saddles.
It's about the business of a suit of armor and a coat of skin, and it's about becoming a real man. Using clothes to shape leather bags and observe signals from clothes is a tailor's ability to settle down and his unique world outlook.