Dressed in a lengthy flowing gown decorated with beaded floral embroidery from a bygone generation, stylist Xiao Hang looks like she surfaced from a time device as she strides across the bustling Beijing metro, attracting curious glances and exciting questions.
China has embraced Western fashion and futuristic technology as its financial system boomed for a long time. However, many young humans like Xiao look to the past for their sartorial alternatives and don conventional “hanfu” or “Han apparel”.
These ancient costumes of the Han ethnic majority are playing a renaissance in part because the authorities are promoting traditional tradition to boost patriotism and national identification.
Period dramas have also contributed to the surge in the hobby for classic Chinese apparel — “The Story of Milan”, a TV collection set in the Song Dynasty, garnered over four hundred million viewers in three days when it debuted earlier this year.
There isn’t any uniform definition of hanfu because each Han-ruled dynasty had its very own style. Still, the clothing is characterized by unfastened, flowing gowns drape across the body, with sleeves that hold all the way down to the knees.
“When we had been little, we would additionally drape sheets and duvets round ourselves to pretend we had been carrying stunning garments,” Xiao advised AFP.
Xiao, who used to work at a country-owned gadget production organization, now runs her own hanfu business. She dresses clients for photoshoots and even plans hanfu-fashion weddings.
– Ancient style, new fashion –
In modern China, the hanfu network spans the gamut: history fans, anime lovers, students, and even younger professionals.
Yang Jiaming, an excessive college scholar in Beijing, wears his outfit under his college uniform.
“Two-thirds of my dresser is hanfu,” he said, decked out in a Tang-fashion beige robe and black boots at a hanfu gathering, including his classmates and instructors’ support.
A government-supported revival of Chinese tradition has given the hanfu community a boost: since he entered the workplace in 2012, President Xi Jinping has supported selling a Han-centric version of the historical past.
In April, the Communist Youth League of China launched a -day convention for traditional Chinese clothing, including hanfu.
A live broadcast drew a few 20 million viewers and a visceral outpouring of feelings.
“Chinese people have abandoned their culture and selected the Western way of life. The crimson marriage gown has now become a marriage dress,” wrote one consumer on Bilibili, a video streaming platform popular among young anime, comic, and gaming lovers in China.
Clothes are the “foundation of tradition,” said Jiang Xue, part of Beijing-based hanfu club Mowutianxia, which has acquired funding from the Communist Youth League.
“If we as human beings and as a country do now not even apprehend our conventional apparel or don’t put on them, how can we communicate about other vital components of our subculture?” she said.
– ‘Strange clothes’ –
There is some way earlier than the fashion reaches mainstream reputation in China.
In March, two students at Shijiazhuang Medical College in northern China were reportedly threatened with expulsion for carrying the clothing to high school.
Others say they’re deterred using the peculiar looks they get while wearing hanfu in public.
“I was very embarrassed to wear (hanfu) out,” screenwriter Cheng Xia informed AFP.
The 37-year-old stated she overcame her reservations after wearing a full outfit last year.