History of Chinese Hanfu Dress
Hanfu written (汉服) is a traditional and authentic Chinese garment that is often confused with the famous Japanese kimono by Westerners. It actually looks more like a tunic than a dress. For the fact, the word "Hanfu" basically means "garment of the Hans", as was democratized by this ethnic minority. According to the historians, Hanfu has more than 2,500 years of chinese history behind it. In fact, it's been invented by Leizu Empress which is the wife of the Yellow Emperor.
To be more precise, the og and most basic form of Hanfu was developed thousands years ago, during the famous Shang Dynasty (1600 to 1046 BC). At that time, the basic Hanfu was mainly made (85%) of Chinese silk and the main colors used was Red, Yellow and Green. The "original" Hanfu consisted of three main elements:
Yi: which is a knee-shaped tunic with cuffs.
Chang : kind of a narrow skirt that reach the ankle
Bixi : a panel of differents fabric from the knee to the waist
Hanfu has evolved considerably from its earliest form after all these centuries. The Western Zhou dynasty (1045 - 771 BC) introduced a class system. The higher a person's social status, the more decorations and accessories were added to the dress. Social rank also affected the width of the sleeves and the length of the skirt.
It was not until the Zhou Dynasty which was in 770-256 BC that the "shenyi" was bring and represented as an important element of Hanfu. The shenyi (深衣), which means "deep robe," is a long and loose garment with a wedge-length left side. The shenyi was used by everyone, regardless of gender and class, and was an important part of Hanfu clothing to this day.
Hanfu lost its fame during the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), when the minority Manchu people ruled China, and thus became part of Manchu fashion (mainly Qipao or Cheongsam). Then, came the collapse of the famous "Qing dynasty", replaced step by step with the communist regime. Chinese peoples begin to mainly adopts modern western style clothes and the Chinese clothing traditions gradually lose in popularity.
The Hanfu Dress: A unique piece
The Hanfu is generally decorated with a multitude of ornaments, each more elegant than the other: embroidery on a very noble fabric, accessories... The Hanfu is represent by a diagonal collar with a lapel, and a large belt that allows to close it. It is a garment, usually with long sleeves, with a lot of draping, which is quite comfortable to wear. It can be made of silk, cotton, linen or even wool, and dyed with natural pigments. It is often decorated with traditional motifs and symbols, such as the sun, the phoenix, the tiger, the imperial dragon, flowers, or birds.
For all these reasons, a Hanfu will be a real collector's item in your wardrobe: making a Hanfu is a real art! Our Hanfus are made according to Chinese know-how by Chinese craftsmen. In this collection, it is a garment for women but there are also hanfus for men, which were once worn by high-ranking men and then democratized to everyone.
Is the Chinese Hanfu Dress back in fashion ?
Yes, the traditional Hanfu of the Hans time are back in fashion! For a few years now, we have noticed an increase of young people wearing the Chinese costume for celebrations like Valentine's Day or the Lantern Festival. Others wear it daily to go to university. This resurgence of Hanfus by the younger generation is linked to the fact that this young generation is trying to reconnect with the culture of their ancestors. For most of them, when they wear Hanfu, they have a strong sense of belonging and show a deep respect for the traditional Chinese culture. Moreover, the elegance of this Hanfu fits very well with the times and some even organize Hanfu weddings, as in ancient China.