Tag Archives: Peking Opera costumes

Three suitcase

21 Feb

 “Three suitcase(三衣箱)” is underwear and boots, pants and other collectively which dressed by actors on stage. “Shui Yizi(水衣子)”, “Pang ao(胖袄)”, “Hu Ling(护领)”, “color pants(彩裤)”, “color shoes(彩鞋)” and “Da Xie(打鞋)” all belong to the “ Three suitcase”.

“Shui Yizi” is the shirt dressed by actor before they make-up.

“Hu Ling”, an actor wearing a “蟒”, “靠”, “官衣”, “褶子” and other clothing, with the inside of the auxiliary items. Sewn with a white cloth.

“Pang ao” is to use white cloth, cotton made “cotton waistcoat”.

“Color pants” is worn by an actor on stage, made of silk pants.

“Color shoes” is “旦” to wear shoes in general. The style is similar with slippers in life.

“Bao Dier(薄底儿)”, also known as “Kuai Xue(快靴)”. It is dressed by military play actor.

“Fish scale shoe” similar to the general slippers.

“Heavy-bottomed boots” referred to “heavy-bottomed(厚底)”. It is made of cotton or silk. Emperor wearing heavy-bottomed is called “emperor boots(皇靴)”.

The style of “Tiger boots(虎头靴)” is similar with “heavy-bottomed boots”, There are yellow, green, purple and other colors.

“Chao Fang(朝方)” is made of black wrought, it is empire waist, square head boots, thin soles, it is dressed by “丑” actors.

“Fu Zilv(福字履)”, the style is a form of slippers.

“Flag shoes, boat shoes(旗鞋,船鞋)” are filled with women in the Qing Dynasty to wear. “Flag shoes”, known as the “Hua Pengdi(花盆底)”, the sole intermediate is like square saucers underneath flower. “Boat shoes” are shaped like the boat.

The name of the shoes in the video were “color shoes(彩鞋)”, “Bao Dier(薄底儿)”, “Fish scale shoes”, “Heavy-bottomed boots(厚底儿靴)”, “Tiger boots(虎头靴)”, “Chao Fang(朝方)”, “Fu Zilv(福字履)”, “Flag shoes, boat shoes(旗鞋,船鞋)”.



The video was made by myself. These pictures are based on Beijing Opera by Zhou Jian Chao, published by the Shanghai publishing company CRC.


The area behind a theatrical stage —- “ 行头 ”

20 Feb

Peking Opera performers clothing worn on stage, commonly known as “ costumes ( 戏衣 )”, the term is called “ 行头 ”. “Costumes” in accordance with the Ming Dynasty started making replica clothing, with the Jin(金), Yuan(元) and Qing(清) costumes gradually absorbed, the Peking Opera “ 行头 ” to be constantly enriched and gradually enriched up.

Traditional Peking Opera repertoire, although belonging to different dynasties in history, but all actors are worn the same time “ 行头 ”. Peking Opera costumes, and is not too much emphasis on the times, but stressed that the stage of. As long as these costumes can represent the history of traditional costumes, the stage unified style, beautiful to watch, they can become opera “ 行头(hang tou)”.

“Python(蟒)” is abbreviation of embroidered robe, traditional play in the royal robes, there are “male python(男蟒)” and “female python(女蟒)”. The color of yellow is dressed by emperor and empress; the color of red is dressed by high capacity people; the color of green is dressed by loyal people who are red face; the color of white is dressed by honest, dedicated quiet man; the color of black is dressed by upright and outspoken people who are black face.

 “Cape(帔)” is the traditional play in the royal uniform. A man and a female of the points; “Female cape(女帔)” short to the knee; “male cape(男帔)” long to the foot. “Yellow cape(黄帔) ” for the emperoe, empress and concubines casual; “Red cape(红帔)” mostly wealthy family, courtiers people at the wedding dress. Other colors of the “cape” were gentry and officials at home when casual.

 “Official clothing(官衣)” is a traditional Chinese opera official robes, men and women apart. “Official clothing” has four colors; they are purple, red, blue, and black, followed by the size of distinction grade.


“Folds(褶子)” is the traditional wear in a wide range of uniforms, there are men and women of the points. “Blue fold(蓝褶子)” more for the middle-aged scholar; “Black fold(黑褶子)” more for the poor person.

  “Fortune clothing(富贵衣)” is the “black folds” on many variegated patch “patch”, to indicate ragged. In the traditional repertoire of Peking Opera, who wear this costumes characters, usually being impoverished, this “rags” to take a nice “fortune clothing” name.

“The Eight Diagrams clothing(八卦衣)” is the traditional military show in order to use the clothing worn by the characters. Colors are black and purple, sapphire blue and white.

  “He Mao(鹤髦)” is worn by people who have military strategy, understand yin(阴) and yang(阳) in traditional drama. “Kai Mao(开髦)” is the informal dress of traditional drama to grow old and return home, senior civilian and military commanders. There are many colors, such as red, green, yellow, white, black, purple, blue and bronze and so on.


“Gong Zhuang(宫装)” is the grande toilette which dressed by empress who play in the traditional drama.  

 “Lao Dou clothing(老斗衣)” is also called “labor clothes(劳动衣)”, a treat men and women. In traditional opera, the costumes are worn by civilians.

“Pian Shan(偏衫)” is a Buddhist Converting clothes to wear outside, is oblong.


“Vestments(法衣)” is wearing when Taoist practice.

“Daovest(道背心)” is a Taoist figures, priests, nuns wear a vest in the folds outside. White and blue plaid fabric, the length of the calf.

“Monk vest(僧背心)” is a Buddhist figure, monks, nuns wear a vest in the folds outside. Yellow and green fabric, the length of the calf.

“Cheongsam(旗袍)” is the clothing worn by young women in Qing Dynasty.

“Kao(靠)” is the armor dressed by traditional male-female generals wearing armor. There are “Ying Kao(硬靠)”, “Ruan Kao(软靠)” and “Gai Liang Kao(改良靠)” three types. There “male Kao(男靠)” and “female Kao(女靠)” points. “改良靠” is a reform to create new costumes. The style is tight and the waist. Further close the style of the soldiers of ancient armor. “靠” has variety of colors, what role should wear which color “靠”, according to the role of age, personality, identity, facial type and stage to differentiate use. In general, red, blue, purple with a comparison of three-color “Hua Lian(花脸)” used more; white used for handsome “Wu Sheng(武生)”; green as “Hong Sheng(红生)” and “Hong Jing(红净)”; black is the bad guy characters wear; pink color are more dressed by “Xiao Sheng(小生)”; bronze is special used by “Lao Dan(老旦)”; Other variegation is to be worn by supporting role.

“Jian Yi(箭衣)” play a versatile, long journey, the role of idle wear the uniforms. “Long Jian(龙箭)” mostly worn by emperor when they hold court, military commanders are also useful. It is embroidered dragon and the sea. “Hua Jian(花箭)” mostly worn by samurai warrior. “Su Jian(素箭)” worn by the old army, a hero and others.


“Battle dress, Zhan ao(战裙,战袄)” is “Wu Dan(武旦)” actors dress. There are red, white, black and bright moon four colors.

“Cha Yi(茶衣)” is blue cloth made of breasted shirt, it is for child and “Xiao Hua Lian(小花脸)”.

“Eunuch clothing(太监衣)” is worn by a eunuch, it is large yellow collar clothing, black embroidered patterns in it.



The pictures are based on “the Peking Opera” by Zhou Jian Chao, published by the Shanghai publishing company CRC.

Peking Opera costumes making skills

19 Feb

Bao Wanrong created the costumes in 1951, inspired mainly from the overseas’ costumes. Bao Wanrong’s opera costumes unique style, not only has the atmosphere of contemporary culture, but also to maintain the traditional characteristics of technology, choice of materials stress, technology skills. Mainly in gold and silver foil line in accordance with design patterns to embroider clothing.

Bao Wanrong was born in Hu Zhou, Zhe Jiang, and his father is the name of Shang Hai traditional Chinese Medicine. Due to the influence and impact of the family, Bao Wanrong like Peking Opera when he is a child, 15-year-old, he studies with a teacher who plays opera. And then Bao Wanrong plays female roles in Peking Opera in stage. To the eighties, he can not continue to perform, and then he focuses on apparel production and collection. After ten years of effort, the collection has reached more than a thousand pieces. To the establishment of well-known Peking Opera costumes collectors.

In the collection museum of Bao Wanrong, people can enjoy the Peking Opera costumes, such as “生”, “净”, “旦”, “丑”, including “蟒袍”, “裙袄”, “斗篷” and so on.

Houseful of treasures can be performed simultaneously for three or four troupes, many of which are phenomenal. At here, except for some older artists donated, a large number of his reform design, selection of high-grade fabrics, to employ high-tech old artists, elaborate, and in some costumes, he also used the ancestral gold plate melt into gold wire, embroidery on the costumes.

Peking Opera’s charming, in addition to singing melodious, graceful dance movements, the gorgeous costumes are the important part of Peking Opera art, it has a distinctive national characteristics and rich artistic charm, it seen as the characteristics of Chinese Opera.


Reference: Jiang Xi Culture: Peking Opera costumes making skills


Bao Wanrong’s Peking Opera costume manufacture craft

19 Feb

Peking Opera is the quintessence art of a country, the unique design of their clothing ideas, pattern design, embroidery and other fabrication processing are classic. Peking Opera costumes are an indispensable part of culture, the history of its development is very long. Peking Opera costumes started in 1951, the inspiration mainly comes from overseas’ opera costumes, it is the expression of the reality of the traditional Peking Opera costumes; it is the continuation of their development and dissemination of context.

The Peking Opera costumes of 包畹蓉(Bao Wanrong)not only the aesthetics of artistic exaggeration, symbolism, distortion, and other means to learn the use of color is also very brilliant, especially in the garment making the production of large numbers to show the artistic charm of traditional embroidery. Its unique apparel production skills mainly in four aspects: the change of color, the change on the decorative patterns, the change of line stripes and the change on the decorative patterns.

1)      Value of historical heritage

Bao Wanrong’s Peking Opera costumes, combined with a form of creativity, embroidery and other craft and clothing means, to absorb the Western Painting, traditional Chinese Painting and other artistic means, which may include “ technical ” and “ art ” of two parts. Peking Opera repertoires are mostly historical drama; therefore, Bao Wanrong’s costumes styles are produced by the Chinese history stories, folk ales characters and the people loved the dragon, phoenix and flowers as a theme. These patterns popular among the wide masses have become the part of a beautiful living. Bao Wanrong refined the costumes, making the Peking Opera costumes more distinctive.

2)      Value of production process

The manufacture craft of Bao Wanrong’s Peking Opera costumes are very complexity, the detail of every process and demands are very high, other production process can not be compared. Such as making a full embroidered robe, by three years of uninterrupted production, and then completed the “seamless” embroidered robe.

3)      Aesthetic value to the collection

Most Peking Opera repertoire is chronicle play, take different periods and dynasties of the historical background and the plot ties together the historical. But the opera’s costumes do not just full of history; it is also a stage of exaggerated forms of art and aesthetic concepts.


Reference: Bao Wanrong with his Museum of Chines Opera costumes


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