chinese traditional dress feature

Chinese traditional dress features

Traditional Chinese clothing is divided into two categories: Chinese style clothing and Western style clothing. Chinese clothing ` Western-style clothing by thousands of years of historical accumulation, the formation of a distinctive style and system, in the style, shape, structure, local features, decoration, color, pattern, aesthetic culture are different, with its distinctive national and regional.

I. Style

The main form of traditional Chinese dress is the front-opening lapel and lapel style. The front-opening garment first originated in China and was formed in the era of the Yellow Emperor. There are two basic forms of traditional Chinese dress, namely, the upper garment system and the garment system, both of which have been used in China for thousands of years and are compatible with each other. Women wore more tops and bottoms, and men wore more robes and shirts.

Western clothing in the style of an evolutionary process, ancient Greek clothing is wrapped, ancient Rome to the Middle Ages, the style of clothing to wrap non-forming type clothing and front open semi-forming type clothing. In the fourth century A.D., the Germanic people came south, and the Germanic people’s limbs separate body-shaped clothing gradually penetrated into the basic style of European clothing, and from the 13th century to the present, body-shaped clothing gradually occupied the main position, and its basic form is men’s tops and pants, and women’s skirts of the upper and lower genus.

II, shape characteristics

The shape of traditional Chinese dress emphasizes the longitudinal feeling, from the collar area to the natural drooping, not exaggerated shoulders, commonly used drooping lines, overhand long sleeves, barrel-shaped robe skirt, longitudinal decoration and other techniques, so that the dressed body appears long, especially so that the limbs have a sense of pulling long. Many Asian countries have similar characteristics in their clothing.

Qing dynasty clothing is relatively fat, cuffs, hem have the momentum of outward expansion. However, the high bun and the several-inch-high flowerpot-soled shoes of Qing Dynasty women, together with the cheongsam that draped to the feet, made the Qians appear slimmer than women of all generations.

The slender appearance of the clothing is to make up for the shorter stature of the Oriental people, in the senses to produce the optical illusion, in proportion to achieve perfection, harmony. The natural slender style of clothing makes men look clean and women look slender. At the same time, the smooth shape of the garment is compatible with the softer contour lines of the Chinese face.

The shape of Western classical clothing emphasizes the horizontal feeling, often using laterally expanded shoulder contours, various hard collars, round collars, swollen sleeve shapes, huge skirt supports, overlapping laces and flowers, as well as pulpy yarn and padding in various parts, so that the clothing lines produce an exaggerated and outward radiating effect.

The shape characteristics of western clothing are compatible with the westerners’ passionate and exuberant temperament, the obvious undulating facial contour and the taller and more upright body shape than the oriental ones.

III, structural characteristics

From the structural characteristics, Chinese dress uses the traditional Chinese flat linear cutting method, no matter the robe, shirt, jacket, coat, usually only the sleeve bottom seam and side hem connected to a structural line, no shoulder and sleeve hole part, the whole piece of clothing can be laid flat on the ground, the structure is simple and stretchy.

Western clothing uses three-dimensional cutting methods, three-dimensional cutting methods regard the human body as a polyhedron or at least a tetrahedron, treating the human body carefully from top to bottom, from front to back in all aspects of the convex and concave relationship, using pleating and provincial processing and other means of clothing technology, and finally obtain a three-dimensional effect of clothing that matches the three-dimensional human body.

Some people say that Chinese dress is like a flat painting, while Western clothing is like a three-dimensional sculpture, and this feeling is generally right. Chinese clothing shows two-dimensional effect, ignoring the side structure design. Western-style clothing emphasizes three-dimensional effect, suitable for human structural characteristics and adapt to the laws of human movement, both fit and practical, therefore, by the world’s people generally favored.

IV. The local structure characteristics

From the local characteristics of clothing, Chinese clothing slanting cross collar, open V-neck, upright collar, clothing hem on both sides of the slit, the Qing dynasty arrow robe style front and back around the four slits, as well as clothing on the lapel, large lapel, a word lapel, pipa lapel, etc., are local details with oriental characteristics, often used by designers as a way to show the interest of Chinese clothing processing, including Chinese stand-up collar and clothing hem on both sides of the slit is more typical.

The continuous pleats of the wheel-shaped collar are ironed and shaped with fabric sizing, sometimes with fine metal wires for support. Garment modeling like padding or support, such as padded shoulders, padded chest, padded sleeves, padded hips, skirt support, etc.. Since Western-style clothing is not even sleeves but fitted sleeves, so the shoulder ornaments are shaped in various ways. There are many variations of sleeve styles, such as half-leg sleeves, bishop sleeves, etc.

V. Decoration

From the decorative features, because Chinese clothing is a flat linear cut, the performance of two-dimensional effect, so the decoration is also based on two-dimensional effect, emphasizing the flat decoration. The decorative means are the traditional Chinese inlay, inlay, roll, plate, embroidery several major crafts. The clever use of these techniques makes Chinese clothing simple in shape, but colorful and beautiful in pattern.

Embroidery has a long history of use on clothing, and in later years, even “clothes must be embroidered”. The use of flat embroidery to decorate the surface space of clothing is a common practice in Chinese clothing design and has been used to this day. In particular, the exquisite embroidery work with silk fabrics gives the garments an oriental charm that is admirable.

In addition to embroidery, inlay and rolling techniques were also used in many Chinese garments. For example, at the end of the Qing Dynasty, it was popular to decorate the edges of clothes with panels and rolls, and the edges of women’s clothes became wider and wider, from three panels and three rolls, five panels and five rolls, to “eighteen panels and rolls”.

Western clothing is a three-dimensional composition design, three-dimensional effect, so the decoration and the overall structure of the corresponding shape, emphasizing the sense of three-dimensional and spatial, decorative means are embellished with a variety of three-dimensional things such as spikes decorated with knots, ruffles, gold and silver ribbons, pleats, cutouts and other clothing surface. Initially, flowers, lace and so on only a small amount of decorative clothing surface, rich surface effect. To the rococo period, certain dresses are even made of three-dimensional flowers stacked.

 

Western clothing using three-dimensional decoration has its own brilliant points: first, three-dimensional decoration and three-dimensional structure echoes the shape, natural harmony; second, the decorative effect in line with the aesthetic psychology, because all the flat, at-a-glance surface, easy to cause a sense of monotony, and rich layers, virtual with the real, overlapping and interspersed surface space has an intriguing effect, easy to stimulate ornamental beauty.

VI. Fabrics, colors and patterns

From the viewpoint of clothing fabrics, the earliest textiles used in China were kudzu, ramie and hemp cloth. Ge cloth was made from the stem bark fiber of the Ge vine. Ramie is a unique plant in China, which Europeans call “Chinese grass” and hemp is called “Chinese hemp”. China’s world-renowned clothing fabric is silk. Raising silkworms, reeling silk, and weaving silk are the outstanding contributions of our ancestors to the development of textile and clothing in the world. Chinese people wear cotton later, cotton was introduced from India, to the time of the Yuan and Ming, cotton has become a common wearing clothing material.

From the color of clothing, in ancient times, black was considered by the Chinese ancestors to be the color of the emperor who ruled all things, and the coronation clothes of the sons of heaven in Xia, Shang and Zhou were black. Later, with the development of feudal centralized dictatorship, people turned to the worship of the gods of heaven (black) to the worship of the earth (yellow), so the formation of the traditional concept of “yellow for the noble”. Yellow became the special color of the emperor, metaphorically signifying the supremacy of the ruler.

Traditional clothing colors are influenced by the five elements of yin and yang, there are five colors: green, red, black, white and yellow. Green, red, black, white and yellow are regarded as the positive colors, while the rest of the colors are inter-colors. The positive colors were used in most dynasties for the superior society, indicating nobility. In folklore, positive color is the color that people love and pursue with their clothes.

From the color matching method, high brightness and strong contrast is the traditional Chinese color matching method. Strong contrasting colors in gold, silver, black, white and other neutral colors buffer with, so that the clothing overflowing with rich, simple and generous atmosphere.

Chinese folk have traditional love for blue, such as blue printed cloth, indigo batik cloth, etc. The blue color matches with the yellow skin color, which is easy to harmonize and can produce a soft color contrast effect.

The patterns of traditional Chinese costumes are rich and colorful, including birds and animals, flowers, mountains and pavilions, geometric patterns, etc. The abstract, figurative, exaggerated and realistic styles are all available, and the patterns are not only exquisite but also have rich connotations.

Chinese clothing prefers to use patterns to express auspicious wishes. From ancient times to the present, from noble satin to folk printed cloth, auspicious patterns are used extensively. Such as dragon and phoenix auspicious, dragon flying phoenix dance, nine dragons playing pearl, lizard dragon haunting Lingzhi and other patterns, not only metaphorically totem worship, but also express the “heir of the dragon” emotion. The motifs such as crane and deer in spring, magpie in plum, phoenix wearing peony, crane in longevity, fortune, prosperity and happiness, and auspicious eight treasures reflect the people’s hope for a beautiful life. In addition, the pattern of official uniforms pay attention to the role of identification, Ming and Qing civil officials for the flying bird pattern, military officials for the beast pattern. The emperor’s dragon robe symbolizes the true dragon son of heaven, dragon robe on the twelve chapter pattern each has a symbolic meaning: “sun, moon, star” to take its illumination; “mountain” to take its stability; “Chinese insects” to take its beauty; “fire” to take its brightness; “Fire” to take its brightness; “algae” to take its cleanliness; “powder rice” to take its nourishment; “Zong Yi” to take its loyalty and filial piety; “embroidery” to take its determination; “embroidery” to take its clear identification.

Embroidery has been used in clothing for a long time, and later, even “clothes must be embroidered”. The use of flat embroidery to decorate the surface space of clothing is a customary technique in Chinese clothing design, and is used to this day. In particular, the exquisite embroidery work with silk fabrics gives the garments an oriental charm that is admirable.

In addition to embroidery, inlay and rolling techniques were also used in many Chinese garments. For example, at the end of the Qing Dynasty, it was popular to decorate the edges of clothes with panels and rolls, and the edges of women’s clothes became wider and wider, from three panels and three rolls, five panels and five rolls, to “eighteen panels and rolls”.

Chinese dress prefer to use patterns to express auspicious wishes. From ancient times to the present, from noble satin to folk printed cloth, the use of auspicious patterns is extremely extensive. Such as dragon and phoenix auspicious, dragon flying phoenix dance, nine dragons playing pearl, lizard dragon haunting Lingzhi and other patterns, not only metaphorically totem worship, but also express the “heir of the dragon” emotion. The motifs such as crane and deer in spring, magpie in plum, phoenix wearing peony, crane in immortal life, fortune, prosperity and longevity, and auspicious eight treasures reflect the people’s hope for a beautiful life. In addition, the pattern of official uniforms pay attention to the role of identification, Ming and Qing civil officials for the flying bird pattern, military officials for the beast pattern. The emperor’s dragon robe symbolizes the true dragon son of heaven, dragon robe on the twelve chapter pattern each has a symbolic meaning: “sun, moon, star” to take its illumination; “mountain” to take its stability; “Chinese insects” to take its beauty; “fire” to take its brightness; “Fire” to take its brightness; “algae” to take its cleanliness; “powder rice” to take its nourishment; “Zong Yi” to take its loyalty and filial piety; “embroidery” to take its determination; “embroidery” to take its clear identification.

Western clothing fabrics, colors, the use of patterns with the Eastern tradition there is a gap.

Ancient Greek and Roman clothing fabrics are mainly semi-wool fabrics and linen. Ancient Greeks love white, the most popular color of ancient Roman clothing is white and purple, purple symbolizes nobility, white symbolizes purity and integrity. General common people’s clothing is wool, linen natural primary colors, very plain.

 

In the Middle Ages, the West already had many valuable fabrics, in addition to Oriental silk and brocade, there was velvet, high-grade wool, precious fur in Northern Europe, etc.. At that time, the stained glass windows in Gothic churches were decorated brilliantly, leading people to pursue the colors of heaven, so the colors of the religious atmosphere on the dress were aspired to.

Since the European Renaissance, bright colors were welcomed as the luxury of clothing escalated, and glittering gold and silver threads were woven into brocade satin and velvet. The French were particularly fond of lilac and rose, but also fascinated by the subtle sky blue and saintly white. The Spanish admire the elegant rose red and silver gray tones. In England, black is considered a mysterious, noble color, especially black satin and black velvet is often the first choice of noblewomen. The attractive black color was dazzling against the fair complexion of white women.

The patterns on traditional Western European dresses have changed with the changes in history. In ancient times, floral patterns were popular; in the Italian Renaissance, gorgeous floral patterns were popular; in the French Louis XV period, influenced by the Rococo decorative style, vines and grasses showing S-shaped or swirling shapes and light and soft garden floral patterns were popular. In modern times, the influential popular pattern patterns are fauvism Dufei pattern, disco pattern with galaxy and universe as the theme, Opal pattern designed by using the principle of geometric misinterpretation, electronic pattern designed by computer, etc.

VII. Aesthetic culture

There are many different points in the aesthetic culture of Eastern and Western clothing.

Western culture originated in the maritime civilization, cultural instincts are more open, easy to integrate foreign clothing culture.

Chinese culture originated from continental civilization, cultural instincts are more closed, in clothing with a stubborn “original body” consciousness, traditional dress form for thousands of years in a stable position, relatively difficult to absorb exotic clothing.

Western culture is good at expressing contradictions and conflicts, and emphasizes exciting and extreme forms in the composition of clothing, taking pride in highlighting individuality.

Chinese culture is a culture of harmony, emphasizing balance, symmetry and uniformity in the way clothing is shaped, with rules and smoothness as the most beautiful.

Western culture is an explicit metaphorical culture, emphasizing the objectified beauty of shapes, lines, patterns and colors themselves, with visual comfort as the first.

Chinese culture is a kind of metaphorical culture, with art favoring lyricism and the pursuit of spiritual allegory and cultural taste of clothing elements.

Western culture advocates the beauty of the human body, attaches importance to displaying the sexual differences of the human body, and does not shy away from showing sexiness. The classical model is to show the second female sexual characteristics, such as showing the neck, shoulders, back, half-breast, to tighten the waist and padded hips to show the curve of the female torso. The modern model is to express the natural shape of the human body in a simple form, with short revealing and tight body as the modern fashion.

Chinese culture disregards the existence of “sex”, and clothing does not show the curves of the human body, does not have the element of sensual stimulation, wide clothing, covering the human body, the performance is a dignified, subtle beauty.

 

The aesthetic characteristics of traditional Chinese clothing reflect the aesthetic mentality and cultural characteristics of the Chinese people. The Chinese people are influenced by the complementary aesthetic thoughts of Confucianism and Taoism, attaching importance to the combination of emotion and reason, using reason to temper emotion, pursuing leisure, blandness and the middle, and pursuing spiritual meaning beyond the form. Chinese women’s clothing wrapped tightly around the body, making it difficult to see its details, increasing the sense of mystery. Chinese men’s clothing is strict and slender, overflowing with the beauty of neutral. The emperor’s dress, broad and complex, brilliant and spectacular. The emperor’s dress is not only a symbol of power, but also a manifestation of Chinese aesthetics.

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