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Imperial dresses worn by concubines in the Qing Dynasty

2014-07-30 16:25:46



From various royal court dramas on TV, you may be impressed by the stunning, beautiful dresses worn by Chinese ancient concubines in the imperial palace. These dresses were made with exquisite workmanship and had different designs in accordance with the status of the owners.

Qing clothing is of traditional ethnic Manchu tailoring, which is a tight-fitting dress with narrow sleeves, as the Qing rulers were ethnic Manchu, a people whose soldiers spent their lives riding horses and hunting. The Qing Dynasty replaced the Ming-era's loose and flowing robes and its high cuts developed into the cheongsam's signaturestylein the 1920s.

Empress Dowager Cixi loved chrysanthemums, which imply longevity, so dresses decorated with chrysanthemum patterns came into vogue in the Qing court. Also, there are other flower patterns embroidered to embellish the dresses. The embroidery makes the clothing beautiful and expresses best wishes.

1. Full dress:

Full dress is an outfit for empresses at grand ceremonies and sacrificial practices and comes in different varieties.

A full dress worn by Empress Xiaoxian, wife of Emperor Qianlong. [Photo/Palace Museum]


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