When it comes to the skirts of the Ming Dynasty, many people will remember the typical "Ma Mian Qun (马面裙, horse face skirt)", often gives a sense of elegance and wealth. It looks very dignified and gentle when matched with Han suit Ao (袄).
Introduction of Ma Mian Qun & Lan
Ma Mian Qun, also known as "Ma Mian Zhe Qun (horse face pleats skirt)", is a kind of traditional Chinese dress. There are four front and back skirt doors, overlapping each other, side pleating, middle skirt door overlapping part, commonly known as "Ma Mian (horse face, 马面)".
The whole circle of patterns on the Ma Mian Qun's is called Lan, the bottom is called bottom Lan, and the top is called knee Lan. Double Lan was very popular in the middle of the Ming Dynasty.
But later, with the growth of women's top in the Ming Dynasty, the knee Lan was gradually weakened because they were covered, while the bottoms Lan were widened and bold.
Why is it called "Ma Mian"?
The question of why Ma Mian Qun named has always been puzzling, what's the relationship between the animal's name and the skirt? In fact, "Ma Mian" is a kind of structure used for defense in the city wall system. It looks like this:
But whether its name is really related to the city wall is still a question to be verified. Because all the books about Ma Mian Qun, whether they are related to costumes, operas or cultural relics, only show that the smooth surface without pleats in the middle is called "Ma Mian", but there is no further explanation for the source of "Ma Mian".
[Ma Mian Qun] the name of the skirt, which is a traditional Chinese name. The two sides of the skirt are pleated, and there is a smooth section in the middle, commonly known as "Ma Mian". Some of them are decorated with embroidery on Ma Mian. According to the name of Western-style skirts, women's skirts of this style are called "interval pleated skirts". ——Dictionary of Chinese cultural relics
Four things about Mamian Qun
There are several easily misunderstood points about Ma Mian Qun:
- Ma Mian is not added additionally. The pattern is originally in the structure of the skirt! Just in visual effect, the middle part seems to be an independent one.
- The Ma Mian Qun looks like making in a piece of cloth, but it's actually two-piece. Two pieces of cloth are overlapped and sewn the skirt head together, with each piece smooth at both ends and pleated in the middle, overlapping by exactly the width of one smooth side. So, a Ma Mian Qun has four Ma Mian that overlap each other and are symmetrical from front to back.
- In fact, it's not so much a skirt as trousers without trouser legs. Because the overlapping skirt door runs right through the front and back, and the side is closed instead, very suitable for activities when wearing.
- As one of the most popular styles of modern hanfu, the Ma Mian Qun is often worn as a fashion item.
The upper Ao (袄) and lower skirts are typical collocations of women's clothing in the Ming Dynasty. A Ma Mian Qun or pleated skirt with Ao is called "Aoqun (袄裙, the name summed up by modern businesses.)".