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TRENDS of ANCIENT

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“Find your own unique style” is the ultimate advice often given by tons of fashion experts, celebri-ties, magazines and television. And, no doubt, clothes and accessories are very important in terms of giving off a certain impression. As clothing and style continue moving in time on as a cycle - re-peating colors and shapes of the past decades - the value people give to it hasn’t changed. 

 
Types of clothes are countless and vary from dynasty to dynasty, from one area to another as well as from class to class. Tianjin took active part in a history of traditional Chinese costumes. Howev-er, being “next door” to Beijing, Tianjin echoed all styles and changes of its influential neighbor, featuring only minor differences from the “hit trends”. Nonetheless men and women wore all the pieces that nowadays are replicated and sold in the shops on Tianjin Ancient Culture Street. 
 
Han Dynasty
 
It is thought that the first traditional costumes that were commonly worn across China were cre-ated during the reign of Han dynasty. HanFu (Han clothes) has deeply influenced the following his-tory and development of Chinese traditional clothes. HanFu, a both male and female costume, featured short jackets with long and wide sleeves, combined with a long wide skirt or bottom piece.
 
Costumes of the Han Dynasty are easy to be seen in a variety of historic movies. The metal acces-sories that are frequently shown to be worn by heroines are seem to be inappropriate. Even if yarn-dyeing, embroidering, and metal-processing technologies developed rapidly in the period, only royal and noble people could in fact afford any decoration for their “casual” clothes. 
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Tang Dynasty
 
The Tang Dynasty was a heyday of trade and overseas business with neighbouring countries - Ja-pan, Korea, Indian, etc. Traditional Chinese costumes “soaked up” the foreign fashion trends. Queenly gowns for women were soft and elegant. Costumes of the prosperous Tang Dynasty were commonly made of colourful silk and other flowing materials, as well as often being embroidered, but they featured for the most part the same shape as Hanfu. Compared with the Han Dynasty, when Chinese women were widely suppressed by the old Confucian or feudal ethical code and re-stricted from even basic social activities, the Tang Dynasty opened a whole new door.
 
Chinese styles of Tang Dynasty actually impacted the neighbouring countries of Japan and Korea. Kimono and Hanbok actually developed from the Hanfu of that time, borrowing some elements and motifs.  As for men, one of the most famous and popular Chinese male costumes was created during Tang Dynasty.  The Tang Suit or Tangzhuang has two distinctly different types that are not to be mixed; the early Tang suit of the Tang Dynasty and the other referring to the Manchu male's jacket evolving from traditional male clothing of the Qing Dynasty. 
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Qing Dynasty 
 
Rushing through the history of Chinese costumes, there is another piece that has forever been embedded in our minds - the cheongsam, or QiPao. Taking its origin from the ethnical minority of Manchu, Qipao became one of the true symbols of Chinese style in clothes. The gown features no collar, a narrow cuff in the shape of horse’s hoof, buttons down the left and a firing waist. Qipao was a type of clothing that spread all over China, leaving no exceptions as during the Qing Dynas-ty, China was unified - and so was the national costume. 
 
In the 1930s, Qipao truly became a favourite piece of clothing for Chinese women. Changes in Qipao style started in Shanghai and continue nowadays. Qipao became one of the sexiest pieces of clothing that you can find in China - flattering the body shape and hiding imperfections, the dress can be worn by anyone. Now, the imagination of designers has spread and Qipao can be found in silk as well as made of denim, leather and velvet. Also, it is quite curious that in China, with it’s unbelievable amount of shopping malls, developed e-commerce and exposure to the western world, lots of Chinese still prefer Qipao to any couture gown for special celebration or event. Con-sequently, some brands specialising in high quality silk productions and Chinese traditional clothes offer gorgeous jewel incrusted and embroidered Qipao for the humble price of only 20.000-30.000 RMB. 
 
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