Thursday 2 February 2012

Chinese Ceremonial Court Robes

I have been attending a short course at the V&A - Silk, Style and Symbolism: Chinese and Japanese Textiles.

The lectures are great, putting the costumes into their historical context and giving us the knowledge necessary to start reading the heavy symbolism apparent on absolutely everything.
I am starting right at the beginning because Chinese costume isn't something I've ever needed to research for work so I know nothing about it. Really basic things like learning to tell the difference between men's and women's robes is both useful and interesting.

I had planned to share my course notes here but I am far too much of a novice to attempt that, the complexities are vast so I shall try to show a little of what fascinates me as a taster and recommend better places to gain further knowledge as I come across them.

The first two lectures covered Imperial Court Dress of the Qing period (1644 - 1911).

Of course - Murphy's Law - I won't be able to attend all of the lectures because I will be away filming. I guessed this would happen but figured book it anyway and better to attend some than none at all - the film industry makes fitting into a normal life of planning and preparing in advance impossible.