Hanfu, meaning “Han clothing,” is based on the idea of donning costumes worn in bygone eras by China’s Han ethnic group. Some of the most popular styles are from the Ming, Song and Tang dynasties.
About three-quarters of hanfu customers are between 16 and 24 years old. Members of this generation often see it as a way to rediscover and engage with their country’s traditional culture.
The main features of hanfu include collars, upper garments in the style of a skirt, jade ornaments and a sash, according to Wen Run, professor of textile design and industrial economics at Donghua University.
Materials such as brocade and yarn, along with traditional craftwork, including embroidery, are also hallmarks of the attire.
It has seen a resurgence in recent years, despite some initial public resistance. It's pretty exciting to see young Chinese people building up their self-confidence and developing their individuality to show the world what they love. For more Chinese, this dress code might become a good starting point to further explore the beauty of the country's traditions.
Yang Na is one of those hanfu enthusiasts who have been dedicated to the revival of the costume for over a decade. As a media professional, she wears hanfu, talks about it and has even written a book about it, titled "Hanfu Returns."
Song Xuan, a student from Harbin, in northeast China's Heilongjiang Province said, "hanfu is my daily outfit. In the summer, I wear it just like this. In the winter, I'll put a warm sweater inside and a down coat outside.
Hanfu enthusiasts refer to themselves online as tongpao, which literally means wearing the same type of gown as a symbol of comradeship.
2020年3月，穿着汉服逛北京玉渊潭公园的女孩们 摄影：中国日报记者 邹红
There were more than 2 million hanfu enthusiasts in China in 2018, according to a survey by the market consultancy iMedia Research, a year-on-year rise of nearly 73 percent. The total value of the hanfu industry exceeded 1 billion yuan.
Deng, who also joined a hanfu club at her high school, said she spends about 3,000 yuan to 5,000 yuan ($432 to $720) on the attire every year.
Hanfu company Zhiyuji, founded by actress Xu Jiao in 2016, did over RMB 10 million ($1.4 million) in sales in 2018.
As the main organizer of the association, Li Siting, president of the Hunan Hanfu Culture Promotion Association, often communicates with her counterparts from different places. Last November, she attended the 7th Chinese ritual and music conference in Wuhan, the capital of Hubei province, which was the first time she met overseas Chinese culture lovers from Japan, France, Argentina and other places.
“Hanfu is the perfect bridge for young people to connect with Chinese culture and identity,” said Fang Wenshan, a lyricist who started the Hanfu Culture Week in Xitang seven years ago.
After 16 years of development from the so-called "fantastical dress" to daily attire, hanfu has been through quite the change in status.
Whatever the controversies behind the new trend, some traditional beauty on modern streets will indeed add a bit of vitality and diversity to urban life.
bygone /ˈbaɪɡɔːn/ adj 很久以前的；以往的
sash /sæʃ/ n 腰带；饰带
brocade /brəˈkeɪd/ n 织锦缎
yarn /jɑːrn/ n 纱线
embroidery /ɪmˈbrɔɪdəri/ n 绣花；刺绣图案；刺绣品
hallmark /ˈhɔːlmɑːrk/ n 特征；特点