Traditional Chinese costume exhibition opens university fashion week

These include imperial robes and armor produced during the Ming and Qing dynasties. The exhibition is free and will run through April 30 at Donghua University.
Gong Junqi / Ti Gong

Visitors inspect an imperial robe that is said to have belonged to an emperor in the late Qing Dynasty.

Imperial robes and other traditional Chinese clothes were put on display from Tuesday at the Shanghai Museum of Textile and Costume in Donghua University, kicking off the 17th Greater Donghua Fashion Week.

The exhibition includes 107 Chinese traditional textiles and pieces of embroidery, picked from nearly 1,000 items collected by famous collector Li Yulai over the past 30 years.

Most of the exhibits are believed to have been produced in the Ming and Qing dynasties, including five pieces of armor being publicly displayed for the first time.

The ancient body armor consists of upper and lower parts, as well as shoulder and arm armor.

Some corsets were designed for war and have metal sheets woven inside, while others were covered with rivets for rituals such as parades.

One of the pieces of armor that makes collector Li most proud includes a helmet with plumes.

"It is at least 300 years old — it's rare for us to see such a complete suit of ancient armor now," Li said.

A book about the textile history of China was also released on Tuesday at the opening ceremony of the fashion week. The book is said to be the first of its kind in China.

Other activities will also be organized at Donghua and its surrounding area during the Greater Donghua Fashion Week, including a fashion show with designs by foreign students studying in colleges across China.

Another exhibition will be unveiled in the museum on Wednesday to show traditional costumes of minority ethnic groups in south China.

The exhibition will run through April 30 and is free to the public.

Ti Gong

A visitor looks at a complete suit of armour with a helmet and plumes.

Ti Gong

The helmet with plumes.

Sun Zhongqin / Ti Gong

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