BuBu costumes and the true dress of the time

*credit to a historical fanatic 洛梅笙 and 春梅狐狸@weibo*

I love the costuming of BuBu straightly on the pretty sto my modern eyes and the amazing top notch embroidery work.  The thought and poetry went into the design and detailing makes me weep in joy, but yes, it’s TV and there’s no way it’s historically accurate, at least I don’t really care/know too much for it to bother me, unless it’s so jawdroppingly stupid as in YZ’s Goong.

But it does shock me how ‘time traveling’ and glossed up things are, even in BuBu.

It must be a landmine to navigate, pondering what to wear in those days (and really, seeing ANY paintings and later real photos of days back then, it killed any fancy of time traveling) If I were a Han Chinese, I’ll be heavily influenced by the lingering Ming vogue, yet there must be strict political alterations enforced to adapt as much (or as little) to the Manchurian style.   It’s much more drastic in the guys, but still….there were accounts of girls shaving the more than half bald chic till they are of age *sweating bullets*

Just to pour an Antarctic of freezing ocean towards the fancying of the HOTTT Princes, the half bald Qing braid is of a much later variety, (later Qing, more hair unshaved). Early Qing guys sported an almost entirely bald do with a tiniest braid sometimes in the middle of the back of head (it’s literally called a rat’s tail).  I’m not a Manchurian, so I really dunno WHY this is attractive no matter what period of time we’re talking and how on earth they land brides.

兩把頭/Manchurian Do is basically what Princess Leia stole her inspiration, at least the mid Qing style.  It consisted of braiding the hair on each side, forming a ‘cross’ dead center at the back and a very tight ‘swallow tail’ in the back with a tilt up….constricting the head to very subtle/’aristocratic’ movements.  The side buns started naturally hanging like sideburns next to  the ears, evolving to more elaborate protrusions secured by ornaments closer to the top of the head, and much more horizontal, usually involving fake hair.  IF u r interested in a tutorial of how to braid your own: http://hi.baidu.com/zhouhui6595/blog/item/7f5d8816e8241153f2de3243.html

Top left: QianLong period  Top Rt: DaoGuang period (mid Qing, mid 1800s), Bottom left: early Qing.  Rt is RuoXi.  *yes, not historically accurate at all*

It’s not till mid Qing that 大拉翅 (the flat fanlike black ornament) appeared.  It’s a ‘hat’ secured on top of the 兩把頭, up to a foot tall, sometimes the hair was worked into it.  Structurally it’s a metal wire frame with black silk coverings.  Ornaments such as flowers and jewelery are stuck on in front, with jeweled tassels spicing up the sides.  The following collage followed the time line with the paintings fr early Qing (top rt is KangXis’ rule)  to mid Qing to 1912.

A real late Qing ‘Princess’ ( a cousin of PuYi’s empress):

The Han Chinese and the non-aristocratic Manchurian have a different dress code.
Chronologically evolving fr top L: Shunzhi (KangXi’s Dad), R: KX, 2nd row: YongZheng (ie what LuWu should dress alike); QianLong; third row: JiaQing, DaoGuang (~1800-1850); Bottom fr L: TongZhi, GuangXu, very late Qing….and LuWu

Then for the Imperial maids, ie RX for the middle bulk of BuBu, the dress code was very spare and boring, they had a simple braid at the back as opposed to any bun.  They are only allowed TWO colors for the 4 seasons.  Pale green for Spring/Summer, dull violet for Autumn/Winter.

And Erica, you asked about the layering.  Actually it varied on the occasion and social status, but one thing certain, The outermost layer, the氅衣, is not shortened by the sleeves for the purpose of ‘showing’ the inner layers, and the layers have no strict numbers, in BuBu, we’re shown mostly 3, but rather it’s lavishly embroidered inside and the sleeves may be turned up showing the detailing.

And TBH how the clothes are cut, the collaring and the number of buttons have very strict rules, what’s shown in Bubu was more Ming style (early Qing clothes had no collar), softened up and back in vogue in late Qing.  This number RX wore mourning KX, which I adore, would cause him to spit blood, twist and turn in his grave.  And yes, those prettiest romantic furry hooded cloaks she and Prince8 wore should never have the hood and should be collarless capes.

11 thoughts on “BuBu costumes and the true dress of the time

  1. Hi Mookie! I’ve been rewatching the awesome Yong Zheng Wang Chao and feeling so much for 13th Prince there. The action in Yong Zheng Wang Chao is a lot tighter, moves faster, packed with heart-stopping political maneuvers. BBJX, being told from a woman’s POV, is more of a mood piece.

    I hate to say this and give you another heart attack – but I’d give an arm and a leg to see YH reprise his 13th Prince role in a remake of Yong Zheng Wang Chao…even if the PD is Yu Zheng.

    1. AHHHHHH Sweetie, you r tempting me to rewatch YZWC are you~!?

      Actually I’ve calmed down now that BBJX is awesome and relatively unscathed by the shiz that YZ did. I bet I’ll start swearing storms once any wind of SPW and all his craping on classics will surface. I’ll deal with the inevitable then. *RAWR and sigghhhhhhh*

      I’m never a fan of an actor reprising a role no matter how good he’s in it. So no way I can be excited if YH will be 13 in a YZ’s YZWC (and don’t u fear for ur heart and sanity 13 will be NOTHINGGGG! like the 13 u’ll know?!) But Loverboy will look so yummy in the Qing do, I’m up for watching a YH only cut if we come to that.

      1. Yeah, I know. Like dangermousie, I thought he’s most unattractive in Qing. But seeing him in action in BBJX, he really does embody the air and elegance of a Qing royal prince…I dare say, much more so than as a Jin Prince. I think he understands the Qing period more than any other dynasty. Makes me want to rewatch Shang Shu Fang and Tian Di Min Xin.

        1. He’s sooo attractive in QingDo to me!! 😉 I was fanning self watching both SSF/TDMX although there’s nth fluffy going on there, but I must say TDMX is a BL heaven!

          What do you think about the productions he’s done after Bubu? I see no hope in Princess TP being anything other than the other form of TP. This Mulan drama thing, I’m only trusting his judgment as he seems genuinely happy about it, but I’m allergic to his leading lady. 😦

          1. I’m neutral towards Elanne Kwong. But I love Chen Sicheng (who’s a Huayi star) to bits, and the dramas he has appeared in have been of high quality standard (e.g. Wang Zhao Jun with YM, Pretty Maid, Xin Yi Jian Mei with Wallace Huo).

            The news have said the Mulan drama is a “shi li pai” series and the production company (Universal Entertainment) took a year to prepare for it. And the director, Tian You Lang, seems well known and respected in the industry. So I’m keeping fingers crossed that it would be watchable.

            As for Princess TP – we’ve all agreed he accepted the role just to be in Hengdian to spend his b-day with his SS, LOL. But anyway, it’s a Hunan TV (idol) production. He should have a mix of both idol and “shi li pai” productions in his CV, like YM. 😀

            I’m hoping for a nice surprise in the near future (hopefully) as Fei Wo Si Cun has mutually added weibos with HongMi AT THE SAME TIME!! (http://www.weibo.com/fwsc)

            1. Oh…what is ‘shi li pai’ dear?
              I’ve seen Chen SiCheng in Wang Zhao Jun as well, he’s a great one. I haven’t seen anything fr PD Tian, I bet I will before this Mulan airs.

              I’ve no prob with him picking up some popular crap, but he desperately needs a great leading lady other than SS if we get any OTP action. That’s another reason why I

  2. thanks a million for the post . it amazing , and i love the tutorial u linked to. it helps so much !

    now i just need to find some one like you that did the costumes of Schemes of a beauty in such detail ! lol


    1. *hug*

      As for the shoes, those platformed heels are again only a staple in very late Qing. There have been the practice of feet binding since ~ Tang dynasty, and it’s still considered a charming attribute to have tiny feet, now naturally, but back then bound to a few inches of twisted bones and gangrened flesh. It’s an absolute social norm esp amongst aristocrats till Qing…when the emperor banned it, but it’s still practiced outside of the Manchurian aristocracy till the Communist rule.

      I’m an intense anti of YZ though I watched thro the whole of Schemes of beauty. I do agree the costumes r very colorful and of a much higher quality than Goong 🙂

  3. See? I know I would fail….

    at staying away from this drama but ep. 9, mookie! *clutch heart*

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