She’s been trending on and off Sina Weibo since September 5, with wide news coverage from the Far China Daily East to the Western Daily Mail East Coast: Huang Yanzhen, aka the Granny Goddess. A quick @Regrann – how befitting.
PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS POST IS BASED ON AN ARTICLE ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN CHINESE BY HENAN CHINA DAILY ON SEPTEMBER 5, 2016. ENGLISH TRANSLATION, INTERPRETATION AND ADDITIONAL EDITING BY ELSBETH VAN PARIDON.
This September celebrates septuagenarian Huang, who at 73 is proving to China’s younger generations that elegance and beauty can last beyond a mere five decades.
Octogenarian lace-loving fashion mavens, 72-year-old grandfathers modeling womenswear, 85-year-old granddads dressed to the nines in three-piece suits and elderly couples documenting their 64th wedding anniversaries on snappy fashioncam… China has met the odd Hepburn, Onassis, Dietrich postergirl/-boy. This September celebrates septuagenarian Huang, who at 73 is proving to China’s younger generations that elegance and beauty can last beyond a mere five decades.
From the back, she could pass for a sgnificantly younger woman and when she turns to face the camera, what we see are not the ups and downs of life after a few decades, but a well-established equilibrium of self-confidence and elegance. In a flash of faint and fading mind, one couldn’t tell if the “grandma” label would befit this appearance. This 73-year-old swaying down catwalks wearing a qipao has garnered national praise and pride. Huang is trending.
This new China Fashion icon is in no hurry whatsoever; it’s all about steadfast and gentle purity.
Huang is a Fujian Province native who now resides in Xiamen. In January of this year, she was handpicked from a lineup of qipao-wearing contestants from all over the world and invited to fly into Beijing and participate in an award ceremony hosted at the official CPPCC Auditorium. With her showstopping appearances, she rapidly became known as “China’s most fashionable grandmother”. A mere five months onwards, in June 2016, Huang was booked to shoot a Xiamen editorial with fashion photographer Jesse. That very same Xiaoye “Jesse” (aka Ding Guoliang) who also captured his aforementioned 85-year-old farmer grandfather on camera wearing some snazzy ensembles – you can review this photo-opp in Temper’s “Style Never Gets Old” post. Fashion has come full circle, you might say.
So what does our latest septuagenarian granny catwalk queen have to say about all this qipao hoopla coming her way? “I may be 73 of age, but I certainly do not feel old.” And this new China Fashion icon is in no hurry whatsoever; it’s all about that steadfast gentle purity.
My fair Huang lady, if you please… The stage is yours!
Photos: Xiaoye Jesse.
Visit Jesse’s Sina Weibo: @小野杰西