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4 November 2017 / leggypeggy

Fashion and passion cross all cultures

wedding pic, Shanghai

Step a little closer, honey, I don’t bite

Wedding pic Shanghai

An arty wedding pose

No one asked me for directions in China or Mongolia. It’s no wonder. I don’t look Chinese or Mongolian. But every second street in Russia, someone stops to ask me something. I don’t know what their words are, but it’s obvious they think I’m a babushka (grandmother but minus the headscarf) with local knowledge.

Perhaps it’s the sensible shoes, the woollen trousers or the knitted ear warmer. The grey hair might be an indication, but mostly it’s hidden by the ear warmer and parka hood.

Okay, so I look frumpy. I look like an ancient Russian. Like a babushka, only taller. Most women here don’t look like me.

Frankly, nothing really prepared me for the fashion and passion I have seen on our travels across the vast landscapes that are China, Mongolia and Russia.

These people have nailed fashion—maybe not the Chinese so much, but the Mongolian and Russian women are dolled up in the most incredible outfits. They look like they stepped out of Vogue magazine—I look like I fell out of a duffel bag.

Their coats, hats, dresses, casual wear—it’s all impressive.

men's shoes in Russia

Men’s shoes in the Gum Department Store in Moscow

And the boots! Every woman in these two countries seem to wear knee-high boots of the most extraordinary designs. I haven’t been able to photograph much footwear on the move, but they are mostly leather and have been embellished with fur, sequins, laces, buckles, buttons, glitter, bows, flowers and more.

Some are flat and some have six-inch heels. Some come half way up the thigh. Beefier women with plump calves (like me) have ankle-high boots with just as much flair.

I haven’t paid quite as much attention to the menswear, but the shop windows are full of equally fashionable gear for the guys.

And the passion. I’m guessing relationships have to be kept a little more ‘quiet’ than in the western world, which may explain the passionate kisses and hugs we’ve been seeing. I missed capturing a lot of the passion, like the fellow who swept his woman into a backbend embrace ala Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers.

The wedding pictures have tickled me too. The pics here are from The Bund in Shanghai. If it’s anything like Vietnam, before the wedding, the couples hire outfits and get photos taken at different fashionable locations. I especially like the pic of the woman who seems to be saying ‘step a little closer, honey, I don’t bite’.

We saw a few weddings in the Baltic States earlier this year and I’ll post about them one of these days. I need more hours in a day and possibility a better wardrobe. 🙂

Couple Beijing

Couple in Beijing park


Leave a Comment
  1. Sharon Bonin-Pratt / Nov 4 2017 5:00 pm

    I bet it was lots of fun to see all these people glamped up for whatever occasion. But next time you have to warn me that a big funny is coming – I nearly fell off my chair reading, “I look like I fell out of a duffel bag.” I think you should buy a pair of those boots – the ones with the furry balls on them – though they might be hibernating animals. You are having way too much fun!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Paula / Nov 4 2017 5:02 pm

    Such fabulous photos! Love the red gown… and the boots, wow!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. thewonderer86 / Nov 4 2017 6:22 pm

    I too laughed out loud at the fell out of a duffle bag comment – think that captures my own ‘style’ rather nicely!

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Nov 5 2017 1:27 am

      Oh good, we can be seen in public together. 🙂


  4. IreneDesign2011 / Nov 4 2017 6:38 pm

    Great photos Peggy 🙂
    We are not all joining the special boots season.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Miss A / Nov 4 2017 6:52 pm

    Nice wedding pictures ! I love seeing how love is so different yet exactly the same all over the world.

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Nov 5 2017 1:29 am

      I took even more passion shots today in St Petersburg. I may have to add some to this post.


      • Miss A / Nov 5 2017 1:57 am

        Yes! We want to see!

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Rhonda / Nov 4 2017 7:17 pm

    That calf design would look great tattooed on your calves, Peggy. Who needs boots when you can have a permanent design like that!?

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Nov 5 2017 1:30 am

      I’m way, way beyond the tattoo stage. Thank goodness. My mother was horrified when I got my ears pierced. Mustn’t overdo it.


  7. Osyth / Nov 4 2017 8:09 pm

    The clothes both in shops and on live people in Moscow are quite breathtaking. The shoes are remarkable (and the prices eye-watering) and I particularly enjoyed Sunday mornings in the gardens around Red Square where women paraded in their latest high-end uber-chic attire accompanied by their equally fashionista fellas. And the wedding parties that go to be photographed in the Summer Palace gardens ….. I’m interested in the tie-ups to China and Mongolia. As for me, I’m still off the pace living in posh place in a French city, I’m afraid I am more hic that chic 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    • leggypeggy / Nov 5 2017 1:33 am

      The clothes in Russia—even in Siberia—have been stunning. I bet they are more affordable in Siberia, but I failed to check prices there. Certainly through the roof here in St Petersburg.

      As an aside, I hoped you lived in or near my duffel bag camp.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Osyth / Nov 5 2017 2:03 am

        I liked to think my chic is just way ahead of the flock 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      • leggypeggy / Nov 5 2017 4:16 am

        We’re both way ahead in the practical stakes.


  8. beetleypete / Nov 4 2017 8:55 pm

    GUM seems to have changed a great deal since I first shopped there, in the 1970s.
    Those over-the-top boots and clothes show me just what a consumer society those countries have now embraced.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Nov 5 2017 1:34 am

      You wouldn’t recognise GUM now. Poor John was in Moscow in 1978 and again in 1988, and he is gobsmacked by the changes.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. magarisa / Nov 4 2017 8:58 pm

    So you look like an ancient Russian who fell out of a duffel bag. Nice! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  10. derrickjknight / Nov 4 2017 9:21 pm

    My younger brother is married to a Chinese woman from Shanghai. They have the most elaborate wedding album of photographs created in a studio after the event. I understand that that is normal.

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Nov 5 2017 1:42 am

      Thanks for the insight. In Vietnam they take them before the event. In Shanghai it must be after.

      Liked by 1 person

      • derrickjknight / Nov 5 2017 2:58 am

        I wasn’t sure – before or after – Jackie was certain it was after.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. theunassuminghiker / Nov 4 2017 9:40 pm

    Enjoying following along on this trip with you. I am rarely mistaken for a native, I leave the fashion at home and travel in comfort, not in style.

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Nov 5 2017 1:43 am

      I always go for comfort and ease of washing. Also rather partial to black because it doesn’t show stains. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Miriam / Nov 4 2017 10:07 pm

    Wonderful photos and commentary of life and your escapades over there. I really enjoyed this. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Snapshotsincursive / Nov 5 2017 1:14 am

    Fantastic photos! 👁👁

    Liked by 1 person

  14. pvcann / Nov 5 2017 1:28 am

    Some really different wedding photos! Love those fur shoes 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  15. J.D. Riso / Nov 5 2017 4:53 am

    Wow, I didn’t realize they are so fashion conscious way out in Siberia. I can just imagine how it is in Moscow/St Petersburg though.


    • J.D. Riso / Nov 5 2017 4:54 am

      P.s. I hope you post more about Irkutsk. I really want to visit there (and Lake Baikal) one day.

      Liked by 1 person

      • leggypeggy / Nov 5 2017 5:04 am

        I have at least two more posts coming about Irkutsk and/or the lake. Stay tuned.


    • leggypeggy / Nov 5 2017 5:05 am

      I was gobsmacked by the level of fashion awareness. I look like a hobo compared to them.


  16. janowrite / Nov 5 2017 5:26 am

    So interesting! I didn’t think of Russia as a fashionable place – shows ya what I know 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  17. In My Cluttered Attic / Nov 5 2017 7:08 am

    My wife loves winter clothing and knowing her taste I suspect she would like the Rissian fashions. Sounds like you’re having a good time there, Peggy. :O)

    Liked by 1 person

  18. In My Cluttered Attic / Nov 5 2017 7:09 am

    And the Russian fashions too! Don’t know how I typed Rissian fashions but I can only hope their fashions aren’t bad either. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Julie Manley / Nov 5 2017 10:01 am

    Think I’ll be saving up for a pair of those boots, love them!

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Nov 5 2017 3:50 pm

      If I lived here I’d be on the hunt for some of those boots and maybe even a fur coat.


  20. Curt Mekemson / Nov 5 2017 11:38 am

    The fashion surprised me, Peggy. I would have expected something more traditional. I guess it speaks to the influence of globalization, especially on the young. –Curt

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Nov 5 2017 3:51 pm

      Even most of the grandmothers are better dressed than me. 🙂


      • Curt Mekemson / Nov 7 2017 11:41 am

        Laughing. I guess it just depends on your culture. Mine has always been super informal, Peggy. I showed up for an event once honoring a California legislator. I was late, several hundred people were there, and the honoree was already giving a speech. He saw me when I walked in, stopped what he was doing, and said, “Wow! Now I know this is important. Mekemson has a tie on.” 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • leggypeggy / Nov 7 2017 5:44 pm

        Obviously you know how to add pomp to an event!


  21. Sy S. / Nov 5 2017 12:48 pm

    Hello Frumpy Duffle Bag Looken Woman,

    I am absolutely SHOCKED >>”These people have nailed fashion—maybe not the Chinese so much, but the Mongolian and Russian women are dolled up in the most incredible outfits.” << I had expected to see, caravans of camels/herds/horses in Mongolia… and snow bound people in Siberia with heavy hooded coats and carrying frozen plastic containers of milk.

    I believe in wearing basic/functional no fancy clothing when I travel extensively overland, etc.
    Nice, that the people of Moscow and St. Petersburg stop to ask you questions? Maybe they thought you needed some money for a cup of warm Vodka and Sprats/Caviar on a cracker. Do not be fooled, pick pockets are lurking in these cities.

    Finally, turning the clock one hour back tonight Sunday… 26 Mile Marathon manana in NYC. And hope no terrorist problems.


    Sy S.

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Nov 5 2017 3:55 pm

      Thanks for the laugh Sy. I think you’re on to something. They probably thought I was begging. And you’re right. If the signs are to be believed, pickpockets are everywhere.

      Good luck with the time change and the marathon. Hoping for a peaceful day for all in NYC.


  22. Vicki / Nov 5 2017 10:30 pm

    I guess life is the same all over the world, just a different colour/shape/smell 🙂 (I mean food smell, by the way, not body odour).

    Liked by 1 person

  23. lexklein / Nov 6 2017 12:43 am

    Very fun post! The window wares are a wonderfully different look at local life, and I have fallen in love with the suede booties with the fur puff balls attached! Of course, I’d never buy them, but I think they’re awfully cute. When my sister and I were in St Petersburg a few years ago, she fell for a rabbit fur hat that she thought was a great bargain at a bit under $100 … imagine her surprise and terrible shock when she got the credit card bill and it was almost $1000! (I had just lectured her about making sure she got the zeroes right in her currency calculations, and she’d given me a little sister look like ‘I’m not THAT stupid’).

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Nov 6 2017 8:08 am

      Oh ouch. Feeling sorry for your sister, but amused at the same time. Has she learned not to give you THAT LOOK?

      Liked by 1 person

  24. Deb / Nov 6 2017 10:44 am

    You’ll have to ask Santa for some fashionable ear muffs…you can keep your ears warm and be in style doing it! That bride must have been cold…brrrr. What great pics though!

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Nov 6 2017 3:24 pm

      Luckily Shanghai was still quite warm when we were there—I was wearing shorts. All that changed by the time we reached Beijing.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Deb / Nov 7 2017 11:41 am

        Wow I guess so, from shorts to ear muffs!!

        Liked by 1 person

  25. Lynz Real Cooking / Nov 6 2017 11:53 pm

    So interesting to see the fashion! I would totally be wearing those thigh high boots, hahaha

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Phil Huston / Nov 7 2017 2:15 am

    They look like they stepped out of Vogue magazine—I look like I fell out of a duffel bag. I saw up above this had been quoted, but, guess what? Probably true, don’tcha think? It’s also an age thing. Trust me. Old peole are teh safe bet for Q&A

    Liked by 1 person

  27. paolsoren / Nov 8 2017 8:46 pm

    The more blogger I get the more I think we are all the same. And that’s why I am always waiting to see Where to Next!

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Nov 9 2017 10:00 pm

      Thank so much. I’m constantly discovering just how small and similar the world really is.

      Liked by 1 person

  28. myexpressionofthoughtsblog / Nov 9 2017 10:52 pm

    It was fun and enjoyable reading your post !! It’s a very interesting post

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Brenda / Nov 10 2017 11:07 pm

    Fascinating. I guess people everywhere enjoy expressing themselves through clothes. After so many decades of utilitarian dress, it must feel wonderful to the Russians and Chinese to be able to do so again. I love it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Nov 11 2017 4:19 am

      I was so impressed by the fashions available and the lovely range of colours.

      Liked by 1 person

  30. America On Coffee / Nov 18 2017 8:00 am

    So interesting!

    Liked by 1 person

  31. America On Coffee / Nov 18 2017 8:53 am

    Most keeping up with heyday America or being ahead.😎

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Nov 18 2017 10:15 am

      I’m so behind on fashion, I never know what’s current anywhere on the planet! 🙂


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