"Dressed up in Fancy Clothes to Fulfill the Dream of a Magnificent Wedding"—The Confucius Institute in the University of California, Davis Holding an Exhibition of Innovative Designs of Traditional Chinese Clothing Culture

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From October 6 to 9, the China National Arts Fund project (entitled "Dressed up in fancy clothes to fulfill the dream of a magnificent wedding") exhibition of innovative designs of traditional Chinese clothing culture was jointly held by the Confucius Institute of the University of California, Davis (UC Davis) and the Textile and Garment College of Jiangnan University in theInternational House Davis. More than 150 people attended the opening ceremony on October 6, includingRijin Sahakian, chairperson of the international exchange committee at UC Davis, Susan Kaiser, former Dean of Arts and Sciences,Sharon Shoemaker, chairperson of Wuxi Sister City Interchange Association in Davis, as well as local textile and garment industry leaders, designers, costume culture lovers along with UC Davis teachers and students. The opening ceremony was hosted by Michelle Yeh,Dean of the Confucius Instituteat UC Davis.

Wedding dresses of the Late Qing dynasty and the Republican period as well as innovatively-designed modern dresses were on display. In all, thirty sets/pieces of wedding dresses and accessories were featured in a static exhibition and sixteen sets of innovatively-designed wedding dresses and accessories from four different series were showcased in a dynamic exhibition. Based on the design theme of "past to the present, combining Chinese and western elements", the works in the exhibition integrate elements that adapt traditional Chinese needlework to contemporary clothing culture, aesthetics and fashions, thereby highlighting the compelling charm of the traditional and modern features that characterize Chinese clothing culture. The tour culminated in the dynamic display of wedding dresses at the International Festival Davis on October 7. The gorgeous and elegant wedding dresses with distinctive Chinese elements immediately attracted the attention of crowds of attendees. As they examined the beautiful dresses and accessories as well as the intricate ‘auspicious patterns’ and magnificent ‘cloud shoulder’ embroidery which represent some of the many treasures of the China’s cultural heritage, they expressed interest in the wedding culture of which this clothing is a part. Teachers and students from the Textile and Garment College of Jiangnan University also arranged lectures during the exhibition tour and interacted with local scholars as well as the faculty and students of the UC Davis Art Department, discussing issues such the cultural transmission of national costumes.

The exhibition tour coincided with the fifth anniversary of the Confucius Institute at UC Davis. As one of a series of anniversary celebrations, this innovative design exhibition not only plays a crucial role in bringing traditional Chinese culture to new audiences, but also in enhancing mutual respect, deepening understanding and strengthening friendship between the people of China and America.

The opening ceremony

Michelle Yeh, Dean of the Confucius Instituteof the University of California, Davis, delivers a speech

Associate professor Chunyu Pan gives a lecture on a special theme

Wearing a Chinese wedding dress

The exhibition