Forbidden City Exhibits Imperial Chinese Robes in London

The Forbidden City, China's No.1 palace complex museum, has staged a 3-month-long exhibition of imperial Chinese robes at London's Victoria & Albert Museum, one of the world's largest museums, since December 7, 2010.

Some 50 beautiful and historic royal robes once worn by the emperors and empresses of the Qing Dynasty, China's last feudal dynasty(1644-1911), are being exhibited now. Besides, the exhibition includes elaborate hats, shoes, girdles, children's clothes, and other silk embroideries such as beautifully patterned fabrics created for Empress Dowager Cixi, who was a very fashion-sensible empress.

All of these clothing artifacts, made of silk in traditional ways, are displayed for the first time in a foreign country out of the Forbidden City.

"Clothing is a vivid embodiment of thoughts and a significant expression of cultures", said Liu Xiaoming, Chinese ambassador to the UK, "I wish exhibitions like this kind should let more British people know about China and build cultural friendship bridges connecting the two countries."

Visitors to this exhibition will not only see the exquisite formal imperial dress in five categories (official, festive, regular and traveling and military), but also gain an insight to the complex rules, conventions and cultures specifying which clothes should be worn on different court occasions. It is also a nice chance to get a glimpse of life in the Forbidden City where every aspect of life was subject to regulations in the past 400 years.

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