China’s Miao embroidery dresses shine at Milan Fashion Week

China’s Miao embroidery dresses shine at Milan Fashion Week

BEIJING, Sept. 25, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — A news report from

A Chinese Miao art exhibition, showcasing Miao embroidery clothing from Southwest China’s Guizhou province, was held on Sunday during Milan Fashion Week in Italy.

Co-hosted by the Chinese Consulate General in Milan and the Guizhou Provincial Government, the exhibition displayed traditional pieces from local cultural centers, Miao embroidery inheritors and private collectors in Milan’s historic Clerici Palace, where other international brands also presented their 2024 spring/summer collections.

Miao embroidery is a national intangible cultural heritage in China. The Miao ethnic people, who live mainly in Guizhou province, are well-known for the exquisite embroidery on their costumes. Working with needle and thread, embroiderers adorn clothes with designs of mythical animals such as dragons and phoenixes, and insects like fish and flowers, all of which reflect the world views, values and aesthetics of Miao people. Therefore, Miao embroidery is often known as “the Miao epic worn on the body”.

“For the Milan exhibition, we firstly chose items with patterns that can best represent the spiritual world of Miao people,” exhibition curator Zhao Huizhou told local media.

As an example, Zhao cited clothing with a typical Mother Butterfly pattern that featured in the exhibition. Miao legend has it that of the 12 eggs laid by a butterfly, one hatched into Jiangyang, the ancestor of the Miao people. Consequently, the Mother Butterfly is worshiped as the Miao’s most venerated god.

Besides highlighting symbolic patterns, the carefully selected dresses also include characteristic costumes of various counties in Guizhou to demonstrate the full picture of the mesmerizing culture of the Miao ethnic group.

“Miao embroidery’s landing in Milan is not only the pride of Guizhou, but also an embodiment of China’s cultural soft power,” said Zhao.

Zhao’s newest boutique collections inspired by Miao embroidery art’s four-seal-shaped pattern also made a runway debut on Sunday, as one of the 62 physical fashion shows at Milan Fashion Week.

Alongside the exhibition, an event promoting Guizhou tourism and celebrating the 74th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China was held, with more than 200 representatives from the Chinese and Italian political, business and cultural communities being present.

Zhang Kaibin, acting consul-general at China’s Consulate-General in Milan, said he is glad to see that Sino-Italian bilateral cooperation has been deepened in diverse fields with notable outcomes being achieved over the years.

Cai Chaolin, vice-governor of Guizhou province, said the enhanced strategic partnership between China and Italy has brought new opportunities to Guizhou. “I hope to take advantage of the trip to Italy to improve the cooperation between my city and Italy in trade investment, digital economy, tourism, cultural exchanges and green transition,” Cai said.

Barbara Mazzali, councilor for tourism, fashion and territorial marketing of Italy’s Lombardy region, said she was pleased to learn about Guizhou’s splendid natural landscapes and exquisite Miao embroidery, which shows the charm of China and the wisdom of Chinese people.


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