Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Fashion Statement Of A Different Kind


"Nothing too revealing" - outlaw everything from miniskirts to low-cut jeans when people walk around, is the  new dress code policy  a mayor at the seaside city in Italy wants to enforce.

In an effort to "restore urban decorum and facilitate better civil co-existence", Mayor Luigi Bobbio is planning to ban miniskirts and other revealing clothing to improve what the mayor calls standards of public decency to crack down anti-social behaviour. 
He wants to target people who are "rowdy, unruly or simply badly behaved". 

In the effort to fight crime and confront anti social behaviour, there will also be a ban on sunbathing, playing football in public places, and blasphemy. 
If the proposals are approved at a council , then it's the right decision made.
It's also a way of combating the rise in sexual harassment.

In other places they have banned sandcastles, kissing in cars, feeding stray cats, wooden clogs and the use of lawn mowers at weekends.
Offending the regulations would face fines of between €25 (US$35) and €500 (US$696).

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Meet Xi Li Ge - the so-called hottest homeless guy in Ningbo, Zhejiang, China

The 35-year-old man, Cheng Guorong, originally from Ningbao, Zhejiang province, has gone from vagrant to model.
Since the first picture of this vagrant homeless guy who had been roaming the streets of Ningbo was posted in the Internet, he had been the most searched-for-figure in early March. 
He gained a following and was elevated to the celebrity status.  

He shot to fame after an amateur photographer snapped a photo of him while testing a camera in a shop and uploaded it on the Chinese Internet site.  
Mr Cheng's life changed dramatically after the posted pictures of him. 
He had a  distinctive dress style which had him noticed. With a scraggly beard and long tousled hair, he used bright scraps of fabric as a belt and wore a grubby sheepskin-lined overcoat over a faux leather jacket.

Though he looked scruffy, his hair was carefully disarrayed and he was seen in a well- coordinated overcoat on top of a leather jacket. Soon, netizens began nicknaming him XiLi Ge (or Brother Sharp).  
The homeless guy has been hailed as "the best-looking beggar ever" by adoring netizens. 
As his fan club spread worldwide, he was given more endearing nicknames such as the Handsome Beggar, Beggar Prince and Handsome Vagabond. 
 
Cheng, whom witness had seen him laughing to himself, at times, was seen clad in female attires, suffered from minor mental problems. 

He had lost contact with his family after he arrived in Ningbo in 1996 in search of better prospects, looking for work. 
He was initially successful and was able to send money home to his wife and two sons. 

After being robbed of his savings, he was fired from a succession of jobs until he found himself on the streets. Filled with shame at not being able to provide for his children, he did not call home for years. 
Since then, he began roaming the streets and led a wandering life. He spent his days scouring the streets  for food and rummaging through rubbish for discarded plastic bottles and cigarette butts.

Chinese tramp becomes film star

Several photographs of the 34-year-old were uploaded to the Internet and the community of netizens was intrigued by the appearance of the man, who was likened to models and good-looking actors.  

His style is one that's on fashion catwalks. Netizens have gushed over his look and compared the way he dressed to the bohemian style modeled by fashion icons and celebrities. His unfocused gaze described as "deep and penetrating". 
His prominent cheekbones and bohemian clothes quickly won him a legion of fans who called him ''China's sexiest tramp''. 


It did not take long for his photographs went viral on the Internet, where sympathetic fans teamed together and have donated more than 100,000 yuan (S$20,000) to help him getting his life back on track.
His rising popularity soon drew the attention of the Chinese mainstream media.
The local authority was alerted and when they found Guorong on the streets, the helpless man burst into tears under the glaring spotlight of the media, who swarmed around him as soon as he was found. 

After his story was widely reported in China, he was later admitted to Ningbo Mental Hospital. 
With the help of the local media and efforts of the local authority, Cheng Guorong met his mother and younger brother Guosheng for the first time in more than 10 years at the hospital. 
The family last heard from him in 2003. 

They had been trying for years to locate Guorong and at one point, even went to Ningbo. 
Attempts to locate him failed and efforts were in vain. His family believed he was dead until they saw his picture on the Internet in January. 

He had became one of the most talked-about personalities on the Internet.

When Guorong returned to his village in Poyang, Shangrao, he was given celebrity treatment, as villagers surrounded him and even set off firecrackers to welcome him.

 He returned home in March to find that his father and his wife had been killed in a car accident last year in June. The trauma of his five years on the streets has left him withdrawn and shy.

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Public offers had since poured in for him to appear in advertisements and he did a stint as a catwalk model.
This 35-year old man is recognised for his great fashion sense and has been offered a 3,000 yuan (S$600) a month job as the Fashion Show manager in Shunde near Guangzhou - a far cry from his days as a vagrant where he was seen walking aimlessly in tattered but well-coordinated clothes with a cigarette in hand. 

“I am just a normal pathetic person. It was the Internet that rescued me from the streets and I am grateful to the netizens who had lent their helping hand.
“I do not know anything about fashion and don’t understand why people said I am fashionable,” he said.




Now the story of Cheng Guoron's life will be made into a film.

''It will be a sad story, but at the end there will be the happiness of a family reunion.''