Sunday, June 16, 2024

Exhibition takes an up, close look at ‘horse-faced shirt’

Must read

Dong Jun / SHINE

The exhibition showcases over 100 mamian shirts.

Exhibition takes an up, close look at 'horse-faced shirt'

Dong Jun / SHINE

A visitor takes photos of a mamian skirt found in a Ming Dynasty tomb

Given that the term “mamianqun,” which translates to “horse-faced shirt” in Chinese, has gained popularity recently, the Shanghai Textile Museum is hosting an exhibition that offers visitors a comprehensive look at the background, cultural significance, and characteristics of this well-known ancient Chinese outfit.

The phrase “mamianqun” does not allude to a horse’s face. Instead, it gets its name from the mamian stronghold, which resembles a horse face with steps on either side (like the pleats) and a door in the front and back (like the skirt doors).

It is lightweight and convenient for travel, providing a regal, elegant look, and having a distinctive and easily identifiable silhouette.

The skirt first appeared somewhere during the Song Dynasty (960-1279), rose to popularity during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), and continued to be in style throughout the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911).

Exhibition takes an up, close look at 'horse-faced shirt'

Dong Jun / SHINE

Two women in mamian dress

It is now going through a renaissance, fusing tradition with modern trends.

The “2024 Douyin E-commerce Women’s Consumption Trend Data Report” reveals that orders for brand-new Chinese-style apparel had surged by 195 percent compared to the previous year, with mamian skirt orders seeing an even more noteworthy 841 percent growth.

Co-organized by the museum, Tsinghua University Art Museum, Donghua University Press, and Tsinghua’s traditional Chinese costumes and color research department, the “Splendid Mamian Skirt” exhibition includes numerous unique contemporary designs in addition to approximately 100 traditional mamian skirts.

Visitors will notice the skirts in a variety of hues, embellished with beautiful elements and auspicious designs.

To explore the exhibition and snap striking pictures for visually striking posts on social media, visitors can also hire a set of mamian skirts.

Exhibition takes an up, close look at 'horse-faced shirt'

Dong Jun / SHINE

Innovative designs of mamian skirt

Donghua University Press published “China’s Most Beautiful Costume: The Splendid Mamian Skirt,” the first scholarly monograph on mamian skirts, at the exhibition’s opening ceremony.

A thorough examination of 198 classic Chinese hues, 200 intricate pattern images, and a list of 106 mamian skirts discovered in Ming Dynasty graves are all included in this book.

In addition to developing a closer relationship with Chinese fashion heritage, this exhibition and book series aims to revitalize traditional Chinese garment culture by integrating scientific research with popular enjoyment.

The exhibition ends on July 18.

Exhibition takes an up, close look at 'horse-faced shirt'

Dong Jun / SHINE

A book about history and culture of mamian shirts was released by Donghua University

If you go:

Venue: Shanghai Textile Museum 上海纺织博物馆

Address: No.150, AoMenRd, PuTuo District普陀区澳门路150号

Opening hours: 9:30am-4pm (closed on Mondays)


Metro: Line 13 (Jiangning Rd)

Bus: No.105, No.76, No.64 (Changhua Rd, AoMen Rd)

Admission: Free

Latest article