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Daily Show on Shanghai Streets
Fashion always conjures up a world of fantasy for most women. The word "fashion" can instantly transform a girl into a woman of charm.

Shanghai women, well-known in the country for their trendy taste, have always been the most willing to show themselves off. Thus, with summer upon us - the best season for fashion showtime - they are turning the city into a huge T-stage and display their fashionable selves as much as they can.

In Shanghai, most streets are the fashion stages and arenas for young women and they make taking a stroll an eye-opening thing to do. In the Metro, you can see Shanghai women enjoying themselves by looking into windows which reflect themselves like a mirror.

On Huaihai Lu, Shanghai's centre for "street fashion", women compete with each other for the latest pieces. They don't seem to stare at one another - just a glance which seems to be so casual and they can accurately sum up another's taste to the last degree.

Office ladies enjoying a good income can package themselves in imported name-brands and make Lane Crawford or Plaza 66 their shopping heaven. At the same time, their younger counterparts can also be "street fashion" stars in their avant-guarde outfits purchased after a search through Xiangyang Market.

"Fashion" is not a word with a settled meaning. It changes every season. What's more important, it varies according to understanding and favour.

When Jean Paul Gualtier presents its cotton top wear and hot pants, it is okay for girls to array themselves in a sexy style like a "bad girl" in damaged denim pants.

When those wearing classical designs decorated with layers of lace sweep across the fashion stage, a piece of sportswear with a lovely cap at the back can definitely compete with the masterpieces.

When you express your individuality, you win, you are in.

Fashion is as much about combinations and changes as is music. It belongs to those who are willing to express themselves and are masters of their own fate. It really makes for a fantastic kaleidoscope in the street!

(Shanghai Star July 16, 2003)

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