Chinese Clothing: An Illustrated Guide

Front Cover
Oxford University Press, 1994 - History - 224 pages
1 Review
This colourful, illustrated history is the most comprehensive English volume to date on the rich tradition of Chinese dress. Valery Garrett covers more than most works on Chinese dress, which focus mainly on the Manchu-influenced clothing styles of the Qing dynasty (1644-1911); she reaches further back to the Ming dynasty (1368-1644) to unveil the indigenous elements of Han Chinese dress. She also brings the development of Chinese dress up to the present day. Ms Garrett's detailed guide to costume spans six centuries and cuts across the social classes - from the elaborately embroidered silks of the Ming emperors' ceremonial robes to the cotton shan ku (tunic and trousers) of the lowliest labourers and servants. She documents rural and modern urban clothing, military uniforms, children's clothing, wedding and funeral attire, areas largely ignored by previous works in the field. Among the 300 illustrations are original photographs taken of the author's extensive Chinese clothing collection and other private collections. Fashion design teachers and students, theatre and film costume designers, artists and collectors will find this book an important resource. It offers a unique exploration of twentieth-century dress, with instructive chapters on fabrics, dyes and embroidery, among other topics. Virtually no details are left uncovered - from scholars' hats, children's lucky charms, jewellery, hairstyles and shoes, right down to noblewomen's underwear. Yet the book is not a mere catalogue of Chinese dress; it also provides the historical, cultural and social fabric of Chinese costume up through the modern day.

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - NatalieSW - LibraryThing

Excellent book. Clear, organized, differentiates between Manchu dress and Han dress; court, formal, semi-formal, informal dress; clothing worn by lower economic classes; men's, women's, and children's ... Read full review


Chronological Table of Ming and Qing Reigns Ming Dynasty 1368 1644
Hongxi 14241425
Chenghua 14641487

21 other sections not shown

Common terms and phrases

About the author (1994)

Valery M. Garrett is a designer and lecturer, and formerly Head of Fashion Design at Hong Kong Polytechnic.

Bibliographic information