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Qing dynasty costumes on display at Cornell University
Dec '13
Mark Vorreuter/Cornell Chronicle
Mark Vorreuter/Cornell Chronicle
An impressive display of ancient Chinese costumes, right from the glorious period of Qing dynasty, is on offer at the ongoing exhibit at the Cornell University, New York. 
Dubbed as ‘Chinese Traditional Dress and Its Influence (1840-1960)’, the event not only aims to provide detailed information on attires, worn by the people of that era, but also the influence of eastern fashion sensibilities on early Twentieth century western styles.
Divided into four segments including Manchu, Han, symbolic motifs and Chinoiserie, the display showcases skirts, jackets and children’s clothing, adorned with intricately embroidered collars and sleeve bends.
Some of the major attractions of the exhibit include garments from the southern Han inhabitants and the northern Manchu populace. It includes richly embroidered skirts and coats, worn by Han women, as well as coats paired with long robes, donned by Manchu women. Han and Manchu dynasties ruled China from 1644 to 1911.
Additionally, clothing with Manchu pictographic symbolism, such as birds, beasts, flowers, dragons and other mythical creature motifs, depicting the wearer’s rank within the government system, is also on display. 
The final part of the exhibition, Chinoiserie, highlights how Chinese and Western fashions influenced each other during the 1920s. This part of the segment includes a white coat with traditional Chinese motifs (meant exclusively for westerners) and a signature western silhouette like tight-fit purple dress.
Scheduled to run through March 7, 2014, the display, which is a part of the Cornell Costume and Textile Collection’s 12,000 items, is curated by Yehong Wang, a scholar from the Wenzhou University, China, and Charlotte Jirousek, associate professor of fibre science and apparel design in the university.

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