Archive for the Chinese Imperial Robes Category

Imperial Chinese Robes, the source of chinoiserie fantasies

Posted in 19th Century, Chinese Imperial Robes, Chinoiserie, Qing dynasty on February 19, 2011 by babylonbaroque

I recently quipped that I preferred Chinoiserie to the source; having stumbled upon this reminder concerning the ongoing exhibition Imperial Chinese Robes at the V&A, I realized what a foolish statement that was.

Since childhood, spending countless hours admiring the chromo-litho “scraps” in my Nana’s Victorian scrapbooks, I was particularly drawn to the bright and exotic Chinois images. I believe my current taste is still heavily influenced by this extravagant use of pattern and color.The V&A show, focusing on the court dress of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) provides plenty of happy bursts of aesthetic joy.

As the show ends February 27th I recommend that all my friends abroad pop over and buy me a postcard or two.

Until then, a sampling of some of the wonders.

Emperor’s Winter Court Robe


Kangxi period

on loan as much of the show is from the Palace Museum née The Forbidden City

more info

Please no griping about the fur, I am a card carrying vegetarian, working hard to spread the anti-fur gospel, BUT still this is a magical garment.

Imperial concubine’s winter court hat

more info

Imperial concubine’s festive robe


Qianlong period

festive indeed!

Woman’s shoes


Guangxu period

a form of Chinois Rational Dress as Manchu woman did not bind their feet, more info

Emperor’s winter court robe


Jiaqing period

You must admit the Qing dynasty handled  harsh winter with great panache, so much nicer then the offerings at L.L Bean .

Empress’ festive headdress


Guangxu period

more info on this stunning object

Emperor’s helmet


Qianlong period

more info

Emperor’s summer court robe


Xianfeng period



I think I must rush over to our little Chinatown here in LA to satisfy my Chinois itch with some tawdry bauble.

Los Angeles Chinatown

Until then Rose must wear her own silk court robe, pug-dogs are Chinese after all.

Enjoy the long weekend Dear Reader,

Respectfully submitted,

Babylon Baroque