To truly understand the fashionable attire of Tang Dynasty women, one must not miss the renowned painting "Court Ladies Adorning Their Hair with Flowers".
It is said that during the late 8th century in the Zhenyuan era, painter Zhou Fang created this masterpiece. This painting serves as a benchmark for ancient lady paintings and fully showcases the dressing essentials of fashionable Tang Dynasty women. Cctvnewscenter has made a fine interpretation of this painting, come and feel the charm of Tang Dynasty fashion.
The great Tang Dynasty style
In this painting, there are five ladies with adorning flowers and one maid holding a fan. Enjoying themselves amidst blooming flowers and elegant cranes, with two playful dogs nearby.
The dressings of these Tang Dynasty fashion influencers not only emphasize color coordination but also pay attention to layering, exuding sophistication and ambiance. The women in the painting wear dresses made from yarn or silk, which were considered to be the most fashionable fabrics in Tang Dynasty. A strapless long skirt trails on the ground while transparent shawl wrap around both sides. Loose and comfortable wide sleeves, mainly in shades of red with various decorative patterns.
Let's focus on these ladies: the second woman from left wears a purple out shirt with a crimson cloak draped over her shoulder as she gracefully approaches with small steps.
This woman dons a floral plaid yarn shirt with a vermilion long skirt trailing behind her while holding a red flower in her right hand.
The only maid depicted in the painting has white knotted sashes adorned with circle-shaped flower patterns at her waist. She holds an intricately painted round fan featuring blooming peony motifs.
On the far right side of the artwork stands a woman wearing light purple yarn garment. Her outerwear depicts colorful clouds and cranes, showcasing every intricate detail of her clothing, exuding gracefulness and elegance.
If you wish to learn specifically how to dress like them, on November 20th, 2022, during a grand cultural program called "Poetry and Painting in China", dancers highly recreated the adornments of ladies from the painting. Dancing gracefully to melodious music, it would be helpful to refer to their stage costumes.
Extremely fashion for headwear
To capture the overall ambiance, It's necessary to put effort into jewelry and makeup. In the painting, apart from the maid, all five fashionable beauties are styled with the popular "high bun" of the Zhenyuan period. Their buns are adorned with various accessories such as floral ornaments, hairpins, hair clasps, and golden hairpins. It is a scene full of vibrant colors and grandeur.
During the Tang Dynasty, women were fond of wearing ornaments on their heads. The women in the painting have their buns decorated with oversized colorful flower ornaments including peonies, red petals branches, lotus flowers, and begonia flowers.
Between these flowers are embellishments like hair clasps and golden hairpins. Four or five golden hairpins are inserted into their buns so that when they walk gracefully, exquisite dangling tassels sway with elegance.
Not only do they adorn their heads with pearls and precious stones but they also wear wrist bracelets and gold collars engraved with cloud patterns. There are two types of wrist bracelets: one is a single loop double-layered bracelet embedded with pearls on its front side; the other is made by utilizing gold's malleable property to create multiple coils.
Their makeup emphasizes color coordination - richly beautiful yet harmonious. They shape their eyebrows into moth-shaped, adorned with round flower-shaped headdresses between foreheads.
How to achieve a popular Tang Dynasty makeup look? Generally speaking, it involves seven steps: applying lead powder → dabbing rouge → shaping brows using black pigment → attaching decorative Huadian → drawing Mianyan → drawing Xiehong → applying lip rouge.
Glimpsing into the prosperous era of the Tang Dynasty
Before "Court Ladies Adorning Their Hair with Flowers," most paintings focused on historical and religious figures. This artwork, inspired by the social reality of its time, had a profound influence on lady paintings and Buddhist art in subsequent dynasties.
The openness and inclusiveness of the Tang Dynasty fostered a flourishing era and created the most splendid chapter in ancient Chinese history. From "Court Ladies Adorning Their Hair with Flowers," one can catch a glimpse of the prosperity, magnificence, and vibrant openness of the great Tang Dynasty.