China has developed a unique fashion system since at least a millennium. In Tang dynasty China (618–907), for example, changes in dress and shifts in the perceptions of dress reveal the emergence of a fashion system. Later, in the Republic of China (1912–49), textiles became an important marker of Chinese modernity and played a prominent role in fashioning new Chinese appearances. Nowadays, multiple fashion practices constitute Chinese fashion both in China and its diasporas. These range from “western” styles of dress to the reemergence of traditional styles like the Hanfu among an increasing number of young Chinese.

Chinese, Ceremonial Armor for a High Ranking Official, 18th century. Steel, copper, gold, silk, metallic thread.

Chinese, Ceremonial Armor for a High Ranking Official, 18th century. Steel, copper, gold, silk, metallic thread. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Bequest of George C. Stone, 1935, 36.25.5a–t. metmuseum.org