Myanmar’s 1970s was a period of dictatorial power, inflation, food shortages, and government corruption. It was absolutely a difficult time for youth to be themselves. Then the photo studio became an oasis. Girls and boys would come into the studio and take pictures in their favorite dress, flare trousers, western clothing, or extra sexy local skirt that they would never wear outside .

Myanmar Photo Archive’s new book <Yangon Fashion1979> offers a unique insight into the photographs that brought a spark of free expression to the fashionable youth of Yangon in the late 1970s. Photo studios around Yangon University and downtown attracted an enormous number of young clients posing in stylish outfits, some of which were even custom-tailored for the occasion. The resulting images are something like an old-school Facebook – an exchange of physical imagery, as the photos were usually shared with friends.

The image in the books show that fashion always comes through,  no matter what conditions people live in, no matter the barrier, they want to look beautiful and present themselves as such.There is always a need for expressing, for being creative.

About Myanmar Photo Archive
In 2013, Austrian photographer and archivist Lukas Birk launched the Myanmar Photo Archive ( to create a comprehensive archive of Burmese photographers working between 1890 and 1995. Featuring some 10,000 photographs, it provides an inside look at the nation through the eyes of its citizens.