The Auspicious Cloud of the Orient 東方祥雲 thumbnail 1
The Auspicious Cloud of the Orient 東方祥雲 thumbnail 2
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Not currently on display at the V&A

The Auspicious Cloud of the Orient 東方祥雲

Dress
2010-2011 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

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 rolling waves at the hem, fittingly cascades down the long flowing train.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Satin-weave silk embroidered with gold and coloured silk threads
Brief Description
Red carpet dress, yellow silk, dragon embroidery in silk and raised metal thread embroidery, by Laurence Xu, China, 2010-2011.
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 (dragons, clouds and rolling waves, etc.), dragon embroidered in raised work metal thread.
Dimensions
  • Whole dress height: 228cm
  • Train width: 156cm
Production typeHaute couture
Credit line
Given by Laurence Xu
Object history
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.
Summary
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 rolling waves at the hem, fittingly cascades down the long flowing train.
Collection
Accession Number
FE.3-2012

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record createdMarch 20, 2012
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