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Dress - The auspicious cloud of the oriental
  • The auspicious cloud of the oriental
    Xu, Laurence, born 1974
  • Enlarge image

The auspicious cloud of the oriental

  • Object:

    Dress

  • Place of origin:

    China (made)

  • Date:

    2010 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Xu, Laurence, born 1974 (Designer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Satin silk embroidered with gold and coloured silk threads

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Laurence Xu

  • Museum number:

    FE.3-2012

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This is an eye-catching example of the luxury fashion popular in contemporary China, and also illustrates the growing interest Chinese have in their cultural heritage. Laurence Xu plays with the well-known motifs from the most traditional Chinese garment, the dragon robe, in this sumptuous evening dress. The dragon robe (known as jifu) of the Qing dynasty (1644-1911) was worn during auspicious events by the emperor, his immediate family and by members of the government élite. The dragon robe was full of symbols and the most important of them, the dragon, coils around the body here in a modern take of the full-frontal motif. Another classic motif, the standing water at the hem, fittingly cascades down the long flowing train.

Physical description

Yellow dress in satin silk, one shoulder with one sleeve, figure-hugging with train, rich embroidered in silk with traditional Chinese dragon robe motifs (standing water, dragons, clouds etc.), dragon embroidered in raised work metal thread.

Place of Origin

China (made)

Date

2010 (made)

Artist/maker

Xu, Laurence, born 1974 (Designer)

Materials and Techniques

Satin silk embroidered with gold and coloured silk threads

Dimensions

Height: 228 cm whole dress, Width: 156 cm train

Object history note

The Chinese actress Fan Bing Bing wore a similar dress at the Cannes Film Festival in 2010, and gained third place in "2010's Critic's Choice Best Dressed of the Year".
All the embroidery is hand-made, taking nearly a year to complete, demonstrating Chinese craftsmanship and long-standing traditions. However, the dress is cut according to western principles with darts and seams, enabling a body-hugging fit adhering to international taste.

Descriptive line

Red carpet dress, yellow silk, dragon embroidery in silk and raised metal thread embroidery, by Laurence Xu, China, 2011.

Materials

Silk

Techniques

Satin weave; Embroidery

Categories

Fashion; Evening wear

Production Type

Haute couture

Collection

East Asia Collection

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