midlife woman in embroidered traditional dress for Chinese New Year's party
Traditional Chinese embroidered silk dress from someone else’s closet with own pearl necklace, velvet jacket, and yellow square toe Christian Louboutain pumps

Chinese and Fairbanks’ fashion

Happy Chinese New Year! Don’t click away. This post is about Fairbanks street style and traditional Chinese clothes hanging in Fairbanks’ closets.

group photo of models wearing Chinese clothes
Group photo of models on the catwalk featuring traditional Chinese clothing from Fairbanks’ closets

Each year, the Fairbanks Chinese Student Association organizes a Chinese New Year party. As in previous years, the students invited the Fairbanks community to celebrate the Chinese New Year with them. Even the Chinese Consul came up from San Francisco, and a Lion dance team from Anchorage. In this post, I will show you some examples of how Fairbanksans dress up to celebrate.

Lion dance
Lion dance at the Fairbanks Chinese New Year party organized by the University of Alaska Fairbanks Chinese Student Association. It needs two people to give “life” to the lion. At the end of the dance, the lion tries to catch a salad hanging from the ceiling. A tough endeavor when you barely see something due to the costume.

Fairbanks Street style

When there is a celebration or festive event, many Fairbanksans dress up or at least go with the vibe, while trying to protect themselves from the cold. This compromise and/or balancing act between dressing up and staying warm makes for a unique streetstyle as is documented in the following photos.

two Fairbanks women in Alaska street style Examples of Fairbanks street style. Left: Many fashionistas like this young lady wear summer outfits year-round except for the footwear. Her legs are naked. Lady on the right: Wearing a thermal sweater with a denim skirt, woolen tights and heavy boots. Her bag adds pops of color
young woman in Alaska street style Fairbanks street style interpretation of the black and white trend. The young Fairbanks fashionista paired black tights with white pumps

Uggs with bare legs means this fashionista dressed up and will probably throw some down pants over when going home. It is a custom to check your down or thermal pants and coats, and even boots at the coat clerks’.

posh midlife woman in Alaska street style outfits at the Chinese New Year's party
Two women in Fairbanks street style going with the theme of the event with their tops, but staying warm on the bottom with wool clothing

Wearing nearly all red (left) or just adding a red item (right), but holding on to all warm, comfortable clothes are typical examples of going with the vibe, without compromising for thermal comfort.

two Fairbanks women in street style looks Fairbanks street style examples of going with the red vibe of the festivities in warm clothes (foreground), and wearing fancy shoes and a summer skirt (background). Note that summer is associated with light, warmth and positive
mature women in Alaska street style outfit Fairbanks street style example of thermal clothes, but going with the red vibe of Chinese New Year

This young fashionista in the photo below just dressed up, but used Fairbanks layering techniques in all black and white.

Fairbanks street style: mixing pattern and prints when layering
Fairbanks street style example for layering using a posh classic color combination of black and white with gray

Chinese fashion show – catwalk with clothes from Fairbanks’ closets

As in previous years, there was a fashion show. All items on the catwalk stem from Fairbanks’ closets. People provide their items for the models to show off. Thus, the beautiful dress I am wearing is not mine. 🙁 Last year, I modeled my own dress.

fashion model over 40 in sleek dress On the catwalk showing off the high slit of the chic sleek dress
midlife fashion model back view Back view of the Chinese dress I presented at the fashion show. I love this tea length
Red and black dresses shown in the Chinese fashion show
Red and black Chinese dresses shown on the catwalk

Which of the street style outfits is your favorite? Would you wear these outfits in your town? Which of the Chinese clothes shown in the fashion show do you like the best? Let me know by commenting, I am curious.

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Photos: G. Kramm

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