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Museum to dress up in old clothes

Shanghai is getting ready to take a new step back in time to celebrate its glamorous past.

The Jing'an District government is planning a museum to display the lifestyle of Shanghai's many celebrities and the fashions of the 1930s.

An Old Shanghai Lifestyle Museum is scheduled to be completed by 2010. The museum, which is still on the drawing board, will display original furniture and other artifacts used in the 1920s and 1930s. Planners will also re-create the salons of celebrities.

The living room of Ruan Lingyu, an actress of the silent film era, will be re-created with displays of the clothes she wore.

The museum will also showcase clothes from Hongxiang (Wings), a fashionable brand of the 1930s, along with suits from Humsuit, another upscale store from this bygone era.

Popular games children played in the lanes of Shanghai - which have all but vanished - will be part of the display. Music and movies from those heady years will be an important part of the collection.

Authorities said they have already gathered more than 50 original items from the 1930s, including sewing machines, bowls, fancy birdcages, paraffin lamps and a coal stove.

(Shanghai Daily October 20, 2008)