Chaoxianzu’s Traditions of Dress: An Exploration of Identity Within Contemporary Fashion Contexts
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This practice-based research uses a personal narrative, that of a member of the Chaoxianzu people from an independent province in China, to interrogate the complexities of the historic local clothing in which is embedded influences from both its Chinese and Korean histories. The study works from the starting point of a collection of Hanbok which, though being worn in China, is the predominant style of traditional clothing from Korea. The aim of this study is to use the individual garments which form the Hanbok style to create a collection of garments which incorporate a memory of myself through links with my ethnic identity, but which can be read as modern fashion design. To create the collection, it is necessary to analyse my cultural elements through garment design and also express my thoughts and feelings into the designs. In this research, I work as a designer. I will use my garment collection to narrate emotions and reconstructed personal stories. This thesis is a journey to find personal identity as Chaoxianzu of China and a process of explaining the complex culture of Chaoxianzu through garment design.