Why is the Hanfu horse-face skirt so popular

Why is the Hanfu horse-face skirt so popular

Why is the Hanfu horse-face skirt so popular - Image 1

In Guangzhou Sunac Paradise, tourists wearing Hanfu take photos with models

What once again brought Hanfu "out of the circle" was the horse-faced skirt, known as the "New Year's jersey", which triggered a new round of traditional clothing craze. In this national trend, the industrial chain of the Pearl River Delta has played an important supporting role.

More people are falling in love with Hanfu

On Yunpu 4th Road in Huangpu District, Guangzhou, during morning and evening commutes, you can often see a figure wearing Hanfu and carrying a briefcase. She is Xia Siqi, a Hanfu enthusiast.

Half an hour before going out, Xia Siqi first tied up her hair with a hairpin, selected the best one today from more than a dozen tops from different dynasties and styles such as Tang, Song and Ming Dynasty, put it on the most matching horse-faced skirt, and finally put it on Walking on the clouds or walking on the head. She said that the slowest thing is doing her hair, and the fastest thing is choosing a horse-face skirt. As long as the pattern and pattern are good-looking, she can wear it with a sense of sophistication. She only bought 5 horse-face skirts, which is enough to change them every day.

There are many fans of traditional Chinese clothing like Xia Siqi. Qin Muzhi, a senior Hanfu enthusiast in Beijing, met his wife at an offline event organized by the "Tongpao Group". The group members called each other "Tongpao", named after "Yuzi Tongpao" in "The Book of Songs: Qin Feng" "One sentence. Hanfu lasted throughout the entire process of him and his wife getting to know each other, falling in love with each other, and finally getting married. The couple purchased more than 50 pieces of Hanfu in Han, Tang, and Ming styles.

In November last year, they received their marriage certificate wearing a horse-faced skirt. "On the day she received the certificate, she was wearing a white women's dress with a dragon pattern and a horse face, and I was wearing a white dress with a dragon pattern." According to his recollection, the staff of the Civil Affairs Bureau asked him to confirm whether he was taking photos wearing Hanfu. He nodded: "My wife and I met because of Hanfu, and we have been in love for a lifetime."

Among the current national trends, horse-faced skirts are the most eye-catching. According to Tmall's "Double 11" sales data in 2023, Taobao sold more than 730,000 horse-faced skirts, which can fill 105 football fields. The Baidu Index in the past year shows that among users who search for products with the keyword "Hanfu", Guangdong users account for the highest proportion in the country, among which Shenzhen, GuangdongZhouzhou was selected into the top ten cities with the most searched for "Hanfu".

Horse-faced skirt makes Hanfu "out of the circle" again

What once again made Hanfu "out of the circle" was the horse-faced skirt, which was hailed as the "New Year's jersey". This kind of skirt has pleats on the sides and a total of four skirts at the front, back, inside and outside. It is shaped like the train of the "horse face" of the defensive building in the ancient city wall. It lowers the body while ascending the palace. It has changed from a celebrity wardrobe item to a common people's home. New Year's greeting clothes. From the perspective of historical evolution, the basic shape of the horse-faced skirt can be traced back to the women's skirts in the Song and Liao Dynasties. Currently, the more common horse-faced skirts were made in the Ming Dynasty and continued into the Republic of China. The decorations are mostly auspicious patterns such as auspicious clouds, Luan and Phoenix.

"The first time I paid attention to the horse-faced skirt was the Dior plagiarism incident in 2022. At that time, my colleagues were talking about it in the group." Although Dior called the style an "iconic brand silhouette" in its official promotion, Qin Muzhi believes that , it is necessary to strictly distinguish between the reference and originality of horse-faced skirt elements to protect traditional Chinese culture. After the public opinion fermented, many Hanfu bloggers and Hanfu enthusiasts took it upon themselves to popularize the knowledge and matching plans of horse-faced skirts, and through specific actions, aroused people's attention to traditional clothing and even traditional culture.

Those who can most intuitively feel the popularity of horse-faced skirts are probably major Hanfu merchants. Starting from December 2023, the exhibition space of the Hanfu brand "Weaving Department" located in Panyu, Guangzhou is buzzing with the sound of machines. The long table is filled with silk fabrics to be cut and various preliminary drawings, from skirt ties to skirt tail embellishments. Decoration, under the skillful hands of designers, horse-faced skirts that incorporate modern trend elements are born here.

"The first horse-faced skirt we designed is called 'Dancing Goddess', and the prototype is the flying goddess on the Dunhuang murals." Xie Linglong, one of the founders of the "Weaving Division" told reporters that after this Hanfu was put on the shelves in June 2020, There have been many voices questioning the practice of drawing portraits on horse-faced skirts, but the monthly sales of more than 50,000 pieces gave him confidence. In January this year, the brand's online orders increased eight times compared with the previous period, exceeding 400,000.

Xie Linglong believes that the popularity of horse-faced skirts is not sudden, but accumulated over time. "In the subway or office scene, if a girl can appear in daily wear with a horse-faced skirt, users will become more and more accepting of traditional clothing such as Hanfu." In his view, getting the public to understand and fall in love with Hanfu culture is a gradual process. He compared his entrepreneurial experience to planting a tree, "Now everyone has paid attention to this seedling, and it is growing vigorously."

Good quality, cheap and versatile

The horse-faced skirt is so popular because of its high quality and low price.

Different from people’s stereotypes of Hanfu as being exquisite, expensive, and retro, the price of horse-faced skirts on the market today ranges from tens to hundreds of yuan. This is due to the opening up of the upstream and downstream industries and the improvement of production technology. . In Guangzhou, known by the industry as "the first city of Hanfu industry", the Pearl River Delta clothing supply chain has laid the foundation for the development of the Hanfu market. According to incomplete statistics, GuangdongThere are currently 154 Hanfu-related enterprises in the state.

"Guangzhou not only gathers fabric manufacturing companies in the upper reaches of the industrial chain, but also has a more advanced logistics system, as well as more design and operation talents, allowing businesses to respond quickly to user needs." Xie Linglong said.

In order to reform the supply chain, Xie Linglong and his team took it upon themselves to develop a jacquard machine that restored the brocade weaving process. The reporter learned that traditional textile machines require manual adjustment of silk threads, and each weaver can only weave 2-3 centimeters per day. Using an improved jacquard machine, it only takes 4 hours from weaving time to make a horse-faced skirt that imitates the point-on-point jade craftsmanship. The model of high turnover, high production capacity, and bulk purchasing has severely "pushed" the price of horse-faced skirts down.

In addition to the price factor, Qin Muzhi believes that an important reason for the popularity of horse-faced skirts is that they look similar to pleated skirts worn by women. They can be matched with daily clothes without being too exaggerated. "In the Hanfu circle, Hanfu made in the Ming Dynasty has always been the most popular. Firstly, because the Ming Dynasty is relatively close to the present day, and there are more cultural relics for reference; secondly, because the horse-faced skirt made in the Ming Dynasty is 'wearable' and is among the most popular. One of the bottoms that can be paired with other Hanfu tops."

Where are the “boundaries” of improvement?

"I wear Hanfu at least four or five days a week. The most common ones I wear are the Ming Dynasty patchwork clothes and Bijia, and the bottoms are paired with horse-faced skirts." Because the appearance is more suitable for work scenes, horse-faced skirts have become Xia Siqi's most common dress. The shape of Hanfu worn outside.

According to her purchasing experience and long-term observation, many of the best-selling horse skirts on the market are improved models, and some have zippers on the sides instead of traditional waist ties. "Improvement is a good thing, but the current Hanfu merchants are still a mixed bag, and the performance costumes commonly seen in film, television dramas, and movies are not 'Hanfu' in the true sense."

"What is Hanfu?" Chen Yiran, who teaches at the Fashion College of Guangdong Vocational and Technical College, often asks students this question. "After thousands of years of inheritance and evolution, there is still no unified definition of Hanfu. Now the meaning of Hanfu refers more to the clothes worn by the Han people before the Ming Dynasty (including the Ming Dynasty)." She told reporters that Hanfu in different dynasties all have the same meaning. The corresponding shape, "shape" originally refers to the shape or style of an object, which contains the connotation of regulations and systems, and corresponds to the "governance of clothes and crowns" in ancient Chinese society through social management through clothing.

Hanfu has always been open and inclusive in absorbing new elements of clothing culture, but its core features formed in the Han Dynasty have always been retained, such as crossed collars, wide robes with big sleeves, silk and linen materials, etc. According to the reporter's understanding, today's Hanfu is becoming more generalized and popular, but the industry still uses whether it follows the shape as the common criterion for distinguishing "Hanfu" from "Han-element clothing" and "national style clothing".

"Innovation is not the same as creation. The improvement of Hanfu should not be at the expense of destroying the form." In Chen Yiran's view, the innovation of Hanfu is not a simple "addition and subtraction". It should be excavated from historical materials, ancient books and traditional original materials.The essence part integrates the current domestic and foreign trends. The shape, color and decoration of Hanfu must be able to withstand scrutiny, and must have a provenance and explanation, and should not just be externally beautiful. To this end, she visited museums in various places to collect patterns of ancient traditional costumes, such as the Han Dynasty vermilion rhombus silk cotton robes, Mawangdui plain yarn Zen clothes, etc., in search of inspiration for the restoration of Hanfu.

"The public's acceptance of Hanfu is constantly increasing. They can accept not only high-end Hanfu that strictly follows the form, but also Hanfu that can be matched with daily clothes and have a strong sense of fashion." Duan Xueyu, associate professor at the School of History and Culture at South China Normal University, believes , on this basis, withstanding the test of the market and consumers, is the path to improvement that meets the needs of industrial development.

Taking Hanfu as the starting point to find new expressions of traditional culture

"We should also think about how long the Hanfu craze can last." In Duan Xueyu's view, today's Hanfu craze inevitably involves over-marketing and following-trend consumption. Many amateur Hanfu enthusiasts make one-time purchases just to look good. Continuously satisfying people's purchasing desires puts forward higher requirements. In order for Hanfu to really fly into the homes of ordinary people, in addition to denser stitching and more refined materials, it is also necessary to pay more attention to cultural connotations in the design and point to the rejuvenation of the nation and culture.

"Hanfu culture is not only about 'clothing', but also contains the simplest thoughts in every stitch and thread. For example, the fairy skirt means fairyland and mystery, and the underskirt represents the simplicity and straightforwardness of the folk. In addition, it also incorporates poetry, handicrafts, tea ceremony, etc. Traditional elements." She found that more and more Hanfu enthusiasts use clothing as a starting point to learn traditional skills such as calligraphy, painting, and paper-cutting, trying to find a connection with traditional culture in modern life.

Chen Yiran noticed that short videos of "Hanfu with sunglasses" and "Hip-hop wearing Hanfu" were recently circulated on the Internet, which she found very interesting. In her view, revival is by no means "retro". On the basis of respecting history, Hanfu can be combined with current trend elements to interpret a new generation of national style aesthetics. Young people use unique and innovative ways to understand Hanfu and gain cultural identity and identity from it, which not only demonstrates their own unique style, but also gives new expression to traditional culture.

Today, horse-faced skirts have achieved to some extent the goal of bringing traditional clothing back into the public eye, but Chen Yiran believes there is still a long way to go before reaching the ultimate goal. "Before the horse-faced skirt, there were airplane sleeves, silk shawls, myrobalan skirts, etc. What kind of Hanfu will be next? The key is to transform the public's love for traditional clothing into more jobs and expand the scale of the industry. At the same time, we will cultivate leading enterprises, encourage original designs and trademark registrations, and turn 'popular' into 'long-lasting'."