Hanfu is a traditional clothing style of the Han ethnic group in China, and it has a long history spanning several dynasties. To write a thorough introduction to Hanfu in the past dynasties, we can first start with a brief history of Hanfu.
The earliest records of Hanfu can be traced back to the pre-Qin period (c. 2100–221 BCE). During the Han dynasty (206 BCE–220 CE), Hanfu became more standardized in terms of design and became formalized as the traditional attire for court officials. In the Tang dynasty (618–907), Hanfu became more diverse in its styles, fabrics and colors. The Song dynasty (960–1279) saw the emergence of a more streamlined and elegant style that has influenced Hanfu designs to this day.
Each dynasty had its own distinctive styles of Hanfu that reflected the cultural and social values of the time. For example, the Han dynasty style was characterized by long robes with flowing sleeves and a high, upright collar. The Tang dynasty style featured colorful and elaborate designs, and the Song dynasty style was marked by simplicity and elegance.
It’s also important to discuss the cultural background behind Hanfu in the past dynasties. Hanfu was not just a piece of clothing, but a representation of social status, cultural identity and aesthetics. Each style of Hanfu reflected the changing times, and the cultural values that emerged during that period. For example, the Tang dynasty Hanfu with its bright colors and intricate designs reflected the Tang dynasty’s prosperous and cosmopolitan culture, while the Song dynasty’s more restrained and elegant style reflected its literati culture.
To write a detailed introduction to Hanfu in the past dynasties, we can provide examples of the different styles of Hanfu during different dynasties, and discuss the cultural context that influenced these styles. We can also delve into the symbolism and cultural significance of Hanfu, such as how certain designs and fabrics were associated with different social classes or occasions.
According to the order of dynasties, Chinese Hanfu can be divided into Hanfu in the pre-Qin period, Hanfu in the Wei and Jin Dynasties, Hanfu in the Tang Dynasty, Hanfu in the Song Dynasty, and Hanfu in the Ming Dynasty.
- Pre-Qin Hanfu: Pre-Qin Hanfu refers to the clothing styles worn by the early Chinese from the Xia dynasty (c. 2100–1600 BCE) to the Warring States period (475-221 BCE). During this time, clothing was simple and functional, with animal hides and woven fabrics being the primary materials used. Clothes were often plain and undecorated, with simple waistbands and cross-collared jackets.
- Wei-Jin Hanfu: Wei-Jin Hanfu refers to the style of clothing worn during the Wei (220–265) and Jin (265–420) dynasties. This style was characterized by loose, flowing garments with wide sleeves and round collars. Wei-Jin Hanfu featured an emphasis on layered clothing, with inner and outer garments worn over each other. Decorative embroidery was also common during this time.
- Tang Dynasty Hanfu: Tang Dynasty Hanfu is perhaps the most well-known and recognizable style of Hanfu. This style was characterized by vibrant colors, elaborate patterns and wide sleeves. Men’s Hanfu typically featured long robes with flowing skirts, while women’s Hanfu were often more elaborate, with intricate embroidery and detailed decorations. The Tang dynasty also saw the emergence of the ‘Hanfuchang’ – a bureau responsible for the management of Hanfu style and production.
- Song Dynasty Hanfu: The Song dynasty (960-1279) was a time of cultural and social change in China, and this was reflected in the clothing styles of the time. Song Dynasty Hanfu was characterized by a more restrained and understated look compared to the Tang dynasty style. Colors were more muted, and clothing was designed to be simple, elegant and comfortable. Men’s clothing featured wide, flowing robes with narrow sleeves, while women’s clothing often featured high-waisted, full-skirted dresses.
- Ming Dynasty Hanfu: The Ming dynasty (1368-1644) saw a resurgence of interest in traditional Chinese culture, and this was reflected in the fashion of the time. Ming Dynasty Hanfu featured a return to more elaborate and decorative styles. Women’s Hanfu in particular was highly ornate, with intricate embroidery, beading and other decorative elements. Men’s Hanfu tended to be more subdued in comparison, featuring simpler designs and more muted colors. Overall, Ming Dynasty Hanfu showcased a return to elegance and refinement in Chinese fashion.
The forms of Hanfu in different Chinese dynasties are different, and the Hanfu of each dynasty represents a different culture.