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Will Han robes be the next fashion

2006-07-28 16:10

  On Christmas night, visitors to Shanghai's downtown Xujiahui precinct would have seen a gathering of more than 50 people dressed in stylish clothes characterized by a loose robe with wide sleeves and a belt at the waist.

  People in the little gathering greeted one another with a bow and a polite smile.

  Don't think that they were extras in a movie set in ancient times and don't misread their dress as being traditional Korean or Japanese costumes.

  According to a report in the Youth Daily on Monday, the people in the group were wearing Hanfu, the national dress of the Han people for many thousand years.

  The group of people in Xujiahui are linked by a Website, www.haanen.com, which has organized several similar events throughout the country for people who have a passion for wearing Han costume.

  The Website was launched in 2003 and now claims to have more than 20,000 registered members.

  Lin Quanyong is a member of the group. He is a lawyer in his forties and he wears Hanfu at home.

  He finds the traditional dress comfortable while sitting and reading.

  For Yao Yuan, a reporter born in the 1980s, the dress makes him feel he is in touch with his cultural roots - his ideal is to revive a Han spirit of wisdom, elegance and calmness. He is not alone.

  Gu Xiaoming, a history professor at Fudan University, says the costume was designed scientifically and delivered a sense of holiness to the wearer.

  He was confident that Hanfu could become popular again.

  Bian Xiangyang, a costume professor at Donghua University, estimated that it would take at least 10 years for Hanfu to be accepted by ordinary people.

  Not a bad idea

  It is not a bad idea for the Han people to wear their traditional dress on solemn occasions such as a wedding ceremony or during festival celebrations.

  Most Korean and Japanese people wear traditional dress on those occasions and look great.

  And the return of Hanfu could put Chinese elements on the runways of the world's fashion stage.

  Very often, designers get inspiration from exotic things and history repeats itself in high fashion from time to time.

  If society is truly diversified enough, it should make Hanfu's return to everyday use more easy.

  Clothes do change the way people think and behave.

  Blue jeans and Western suits typically represent convenience and speed, which are necessary for modern business occasions and urgent tasks.

  But men need to have a break and wearing Hanfu may do wonders unimagined by masseurs.

  Who knows? Give it a try.

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