A new model for t'ang dress: modernising and reconceptualising historical Chinese costume

Lo, H.C., 2005. A new model for t'ang dress: modernising and reconceptualising historical Chinese costume. PhD, Nottingham Trent University.

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My research has emerged from my experience as a practicing fashion designer in Taiwan. A culturally significant segment of female fashion consumers is concerned to express their sophistication and 61itist individuality by wearing clothes of a distinctively Chinese form. They are interested in wearing clothes designed and articulated in an original and evocative philosophical style embodying continuity with their Chinese heritage.

I have analysed the work of contemporary Chinese designers and discovered that they work in an Orientalising mode if they don't adopt a globalising a-cultural style. I argue that they have not shown themselves to be aware of the historical resources that are open to their use. I contend that Chinese fashion design has been dominated by a process of Westernisation instead of developing in terms of its own cultural heritage. One critically significant difference between Chinese and Western garment design relates to the way in which clothing is made to relate to the body and the symbolic significance it thereby assumes.

I argue that an excellent model for a new style of Chinese dress may be found in the T'ang dynasty. Its fashion was modernising and had a cosmopolitan quality that incorporated the influence of Hufu (barbarian) conventions yet at the same time deeply reflected Chinese values. I analyse original documentary and visual sources to establish its essential characteristics and theorise parallels between the historic past and contemporary trends to underscore the potential for cultural continuity.

My new collection demonstrates the potential of academic research to arrive at new contemporary design concepts for the Chinese consumer based on the principles of Yun (iconic silhouette), Chih (minimalist dress styling) and Wen (T'ang convention). My designs balance the demands of modern functionalism with the aesthetics of T'ang form and result in an innovative form of garment construction that is documented in my thesis.

Item Type: Thesis
Creators: Lo, H.C.
Date: 2005
ISBN: 9781369315899
Divisions: Schools > School of Art and Design
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 22 Sep 2020 14:09
Last Modified: 16 Aug 2023 10:23
URI: https://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/40881

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