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by on May 9, 2019
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A Retro Fashion Statement in 1,000-Year-Old Gowns, With Nationalist Fringe They flocked together in silky, flowing gowns, arms draped in billowing sleeves, with many wearing high black hats or intricate floral headpieces as a flourish.If they resembled time travelers teleported from a Chinese imperial ritual of a thousand years ago, that was just the desired effect.To get more hanfu, you can visit shine news official website. These hundreds of retro-style dressers, gathered on a university campus in Beijing this past weekend, are devotees of the “Hanfu” movement. They are dedicated to reviving the clothes they believe China’s Han ethnic majority wore before their country succumbed to centuries of foreign domination — and to taking pride in the past they evoke. “Hanfu is a social scene, and that’s why I’m into it, but it also has deeper levels of national feeling too,” said Yin Zhuo, 29, a computer programmer, who joined the day of activities in a long blue gown and red cape with a fake fur fringe. While the Chinese government bans countless social activities, the nationalist leader, Xi Jinping, has promoted reviving traditional virtues, making this a golden time for fans of Hanfu — which means Han clothing — and giving it official cachet and permission to grow.Hundreds of groups across China now practice Hanfu, especially on college campuses. Proponents say it has up to a million followers, mostly female, and mostly in their teens and 20s.Internet commerce has spread the trend, making it easy for shops to reach devotees even in small towns. “Numbers are certainly growing, and fast,” said Wang Jiawen, who under the pen name Jia Lin has been a prolific promoter and researcher of Hanfu in southern China. The Hanfu enthusiasts who met this past Saturday were celebrating the 15 years since Wang Letian, a power utility worker, strolled through Zhengzhou, a city in central China, wearing old-style robes, an event recorded on the country’s then-emerging internet. The movement claims, with some poetic exaggeration, that Mr. Wang’s walk was a milestone in its modern rebirth. “Reviving Hanfu had great significance for raising Han ethnic identity and pride,” Mr. Wang said by telephone.Chinese officials have embraced Hanfu costumes as part of the Communist Party’s idea of tradition. Schools now often parade students in traditional scholar gowns for fancifully reimagined versions of coming-of-age ceremonies. When Mr. Xi hosted President Trump in Beijing last year, they watched traditional Chinese musicians dressed in Hanfu.“Hanfu is maturing, and the country and government are giving more support,” said Jiang Xue, a manager at a mobile app company in Beijing, who was wearing a pink gown modeled on Ming dynasty dresses of centuries ago. The hand embroidered rabbits and flowers were her own touch.“Xi has always promoted reviving traditional culture, and naturally that includes clothing,” she said.Hanfu draws on the idea that China’s ethnic Han majority — who make up more than 90 percent of the country’s population — should show their pride by wearing clothes like those worn before Manchu armies from the north occupied China and ruled it as the Qing dynasty from 1644. The Manchu emperors, and then waves of Western and Japanese imperialists, imposed their own styles and Han culture fell into eclipse, according to Hanfu proponents. “Most people in the Hanfu movement that I met were nationalists looking for the thrill of wearing traditional clothing,” said Kevin Carrico, a lecturer in Chinese studies at Macquarie University in Australia who has written a book on the movement. Despite the movement’s growing popularity and official acceptance, walking down a Chinese street in a traditional gown requires a dash of boldness. Most Hanfu followers step out in their outfits only on special occasions. A few of the most committed wear their Hanfu clothes almost every day, including at work. In a Hanfu store in east Beijing on a recent weekend, newcomers and longtime customers fingered through racks of gowns, scarves, sashes and headdresses. When a man in his 20s pulled on a long black gown and a gold-colored belt, the store broke out in admiring oohs and ahs.
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