On the streets of Shanghai, content creator Shiyin can be seen wearing a traditional outfit from China’s Ming period. Popular on social media, she routinely shares fashion buys, beauty tips and lifestyle vlogs alongside all the latest from Gucci and Lancôme—but it’s her passion for Hanfu that really sets her apart.
“Chinese” clothing is often typified by the qipao (a close-fitting dress also called the cheongsam). However, Hanfu—which is defined as a type of dress from any era when the Han Chinese ruled—is seen in China as a more authentic form of historical clothing. Styles from the Tang, Song, and Ming periods are the most popular; flowing robes in beautiful shades, embellished with intricate designs and embroidery.
Right now, the movement is being led by China’s fashion-conscious youth—a little like how Regency-period hair and makeup has had a boost in popularity, thanks to Netflix’s Bridgerton—and the number