Title: The Tactile and Playful World of Tang Fashion
Format: online over Zoom (register here)
Speaker: BuYun Chen, Associate Professor of History at Swarthmore College
Date: 14 April 2022
Time: 06:00 PM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Organized by: The Fralin Museum of Art, Charlottesville, VA, USA
This talk explores how clothing, its makers, wearers, and critics, became the moving parts of a burgeoning fashion system in Tang dynasty China (618-907). Across the empire, elite men and women stirred up much attention by subverting official regulations on dress, opting for sumptuous silks and novel designs. Motivated by a desire to “keep up with the times” and spurred on by a booming silk industry, these elites – in particular, women – flouted the sartorial hierarchy and in turn, the social order.
BuYun Chen is the author of Empire of Style: Silk and Fashion in Tang China (University of Washington Press, 2019). Her current research explores the relationship between craft production and statecraft practices in the independent Ryukyu Kingdom (modern-day Okinawa, Japan) from the seventeenth to nineteenth centuries. She is an external faculty fellow at the Stanford Humanities Center this academic year.
Image: Musée national des arts asiatiques – Guimet, Paris bpk / RMN – Grand Palais / Roger Asselberghs