The ‘multicolour’ message stands in stark irony against the backdrop of the monotonous humdrum of factory activity.

Outside of the factory, the scene becomes truly colourful when official style standards are challenged in the streets by ladies dressed in brighter and trendier looks featuring sequins, shorter skirts, and make-up. These clothes, much of which are brought in from China 2 and sewn in small North Korean factories, are often incompatible with the physical nature of work North Korean women do (e.g. walking long distances, running stalls, housework), but remain popular due to a common notion of “dressing for success”. The more stylish one dresses, the better her overall social prospects are, such as in finding a husband or even facing less official harassment 7.


在单调乏味的工厂活动背景下,"五颜六色" 的字眼具有鲜明的讽刺意味。

在工厂外的大街上,身穿亮片和短裙、化了妆的女士与官方标准风格完全相反。 她们的衣着其中有部分从中国进口2,有些是在朝鲜的小工厂缝制,与普遍朝鲜妇女所做的工作性质不符(例如,长途跋涉、跑摊子、做家务)。 但由于朝鲜众多的女性怀有"为成功而打扮"的观念,这种时髦款式仍然很受欢迎。 女子穿得越时髦,她的社会前景就越好 —— 她能找个好丈夫,甚至能够避免官方骚扰7