Under My Shanghai Umbrella

After spending time in Shanghai, Beijing and Tokyo these past eleven days, I discovered the beauty of these Asian cultures. While I found the thousand year old architecture and history of this region were vastly different from the Western culture I have always been accustomed to, there were so many things that were strikingly similar (and often humorous). For example, while touring around the old city of Shanghai, there was a Starbuck's carved into the ancient architecture- a far cry from the one located in the ulma mater's Student Union.

The similarities and differences in fashion were equally apparent amongst the college aged demographic. Today, my focus is on the Chinese women of Shanghai and their subtle and soft fashion choices. Without letting the effects of the rain season alter their fashion forward ensembles, the three ladies pictured all carried an elegant pastel umbrella. The subdued color of these Fashionista’s accessory made enduring this weather fashionable. And while it was drizzling in the city during my visit, I came to find that women use umbrellas here come rain or shine to protect their fair complexion. Umbrellas are a must have accessory just like the latest designer bag or shoe.

Upon speaking with a local Chinese college graduate, she informed me her friends love Lady Gaga, picking up Zara’s latest pieces and the well-constructed garments of Uniqlo. I enjoyed observing the differences in this society but also acknowledging the similarities that girls will be girls no matter where you are. I've learned that longing to be fashionable and chic carries across the globe- no matter if you are in Beijing or Bloomington.

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