“Imported Trash” Wearer

_-59  "Imported Trash" Wearer 591

Shanghaier Shen Shen was accompanying her spouse to Beijing. She has been stylishly unemployed for some time, and spends some of her abundant leisure time viewing street fashion sites like this one. The cardigan and skirt are both “made in Japan” and she bought them used. Her interesting style comes mainly from the Anxi Market, described here as an emporium of retro goods that were cool then and are cooler now. On Anshun Road, it is a must-see for me during my next trip down to Shanghai, which should be next month. If all goes well, I will be taking street fashion pictures for a new Shanghai-based women’s magazine.

Yang Laji (洋垃圾) or “imported trash” is held accountable for both evil and good. Much is real trash like toxic waste and computers ready for poor villagers to take apart with their bare hands. This business causes cancer and other negative health effects in some regions. Even in the realm of fashion, the reputation is mixed. There was a time when clothes imported from the West and Japan were thought to transmit sexually transmitted diseases and be generally vermin-infested. This clothing was considered to be fit only for the poorest. In recent years, trendy used clothing, accessories and shoes have become increasingly popular. The prices are not on the level of Salvation Army due to rarity and the cost of importation. Shen Shen’s husband pointed out that without imported trash in the form of records and tapes Chinese rock musicians in the ’80s would never have been exposed to the Western music that has been such an inspiration for their work. Imported trash that brings The Clash is probably better than the kind that includes Cadmium.

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