Chinese Entry 5: Ru Qun

This is a Han Chinese woman from the Tang Dynasty which lasted from 618 to 907. She is wearing a chest fastened Ruqun (襦裙) (gown consisting of “top” and “skirt”); one of the many fashion styles of the dynasty and is living the life of a wealthy concubine. The Tang Dynasty was also known as China’s Golden Age and was when the country was at its most open to foreign influence. Women during this period enjoyed an unparalleled amount of freedom compared to other dynasties. Many women were involved in politics, had religious authority through Daoism, and some even had a hand in military exploits. In fact, it was the Tang Dynasty that gave China its first woman leader, Wu ZeTian. This forward thinking showed in the clothing as well. During the Han Dynasty women’s clothing was very modest, layered, and thick. Women could not show their feet or hands outside their clothes. During the tang dynasty ladies could show their arms and legs and sometimes even show off their figure through the translucent and flowing silk material of the ruqun.

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