Chinese Dress in Detail (Victoria and Albert Museum)



ISBN: 9780500480939 Category:

Sau Fong Chan


A head-to-toe exploration of Chinese dress through sumptuous, detailed photography of some of the most fascinating historic and contemporary pieces in the V&A’s outstanding collection.

Chinese Dress in Detail reveals the beauty and variety of Chinese dress for women, men and children, both historically and geographically, showcasing the intricacy of decorative embroidery and rich use of materials and weaving and dyeing techniques. The reader is granted a unique opportunity to examine historical clothing that is often too fragile to display, from quivering hair ornaments, stunning silk jackets and coats, festive robes and pleated skirts, to pieces embellished with rare materials such as peacock-feather threads or created through unique craft skills, as well as handpicked contemporary designs.

A general introduction provides an essential overview of the history of Chinese dress, plotting key developments in style, design and mode of dress, and the traditional importance of clothing as social signifier, followed by eight thematic chapters that examine Chinese dress in exquisite detail from head to toe. Each garment is accompanied by a short text and detail photography; front-and-back line drawings are provided for key items.

An extraordinary exploration of the splendour and complexity of Chinese garments and accessories, Chinese Dress in Detail will delight all followers of fashion, costume and textiles.

Additional information

Weight 1070 g
Dimensions 20.7 x 29 cm
Publisher name Thames and Hudson Ltd
Publication date 20 January 2024
Number of pages 224
Format Paperback / softback
Contributors Photographs by Sarah Duncan
Dimensions 20.7 x 29 cm
Weight 1070 g


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Sau Fong Chan is a curator in the Asia Department at the Victoria and Albert Museum and a specialist in Chinese textiles and dress. She co-curated the exhibitions Rabindranath Tagore: Poet and Painter and Silver from the Malay World, and has contributed to several V&A publications.