The controversy surrounding Dior began when the brand released a promotional video featuring a model wearing a skirt that closely resembled the traditional Chinese “mamianqun.”
Many people accused Dior of cultural appropriation, claiming that the brand had copied the design without giving proper credit or recognition to the Chinese culture.
The mamianqun is an important part of Chinese cultural heritage and has deep historical significance.
What is Mamian Skirt?
The Mamian Skirt, also known as the horse-faced skirt, has its origins dating back to the Song dynasty.
It was initially worn by high-class courtesans who were considered fashion icons and celebrities of their time.
Made of colorful pleated silk, the skirt got its name due to its resemblance to the Mamian fortress, featuring stairs on either side and doors in the front and back, much like the fortress doors.
The sides of the fortress that functioned as doors were known as “horse faces” or mamian/馬面, as these were the faces through which the horses would pass.
The Mamianqun gained immense popularity during the Ming dynasty and remained fashionable during the Qing dynasty through Manchurian rule.
It offers a unique silhouette and a regal, classy aesthetic while being convenient for movement.
Even Princess Diana was seen wearing one!
Similar Look to Buy ⭐Song Dynasty Hanfu Mamian Skirt
💗The color red is a timeless and essential choice for mamianqun.
💗The dress design is similar to Princess Diana’s style, but with a different pattern that features clouds and rabbits, representing peace and happiness in Chinese culture.
💗It offers a range of color options, including blue, which is another classic color for mamian.
In 2014, Chinese President Xi Jinping and his wife Peng Liyuan visited the Netherlands.
Peng Liyuan wore a black jacket with peony flower embroidery and decorative borders, paired with a modified horse-faced skirt in light blue with pleats on both sides, exuding an air of nobility and elegance.
Similar Look to Buy⭐Ming Dynasty Style Mamian Skirt
💗The horse face skirt has a simple yet expensive and elegant appearance, representing the typical Ming Dynasty mamian style.
💗The gold embroidery design on the skirt adds a touch of low-profile luxury, exuding a sophisticated charm.
💗Choosing the gold color for the horse face skirt is a classic and timeless option, ensuring a chic and stylish look.
How to Wear Mamianqun?
1️⃣ Pair it with a simple white button-down shirt: This classic look allows the attention to be on the colorful and intricate designs of the skirt.
The simple top also complements the more fitted silhouette of the mamianqun, giving it maximum mobility.
2️⃣ Wear it with a Hanfu top: This traditional look is a great way to showcase the cultural significance of the mamianqun.
Pair it with a matching Hanfu top to complete the outfit and add an extra touch of elegance.
3️⃣ Pair it with a fitted turtleneck sweater: This is a modern twist on the traditional hanfu look.
The fitted sweater complements the more flowy silhouette of the mamianqun and adds an extra layer of warmth for colder weather.
Choose a neutral color for the sweater to let the vibrant colors and patterns of the mamianqun stand out.
To achieve the best look in Chinese dress, it is recommended to pair it with Chinese-style makeup.
For more inspiring look and style, check here! ✨✨✨
The Mamianqun often appears in a complex and luxurious image, and it closely combines the Mamianqun with the weaving and gold-plating process.
The skirt style is simple and unstructured, with beautiful colors that give an overall fresh and elegant feeling.
The patterns are diverse and carry rich meanings.
- Animal patterns such as dragons and phoenixes symbolize good luck and happy marriages.
- Plant patterns such as peonies represent wealth and chrysanthemums represent longevity.
- Women from wealthy families would choose more exquisite patterns such as dragon or cloud patterns.
In the Qing dynasty, blue horse-faced skirts were quite common and were a popular color at the time, often paired with black and yellow.
My Top Pick⭐Qing style Blue Woven Gold
💗The blue color used in the horse face skirt was a favorite of the Qing Dynasty’s royal family members, adding a touch of regal elegance to the outfit.
💗The horse face skirt has a luxurious appearance and high-quality fabric, ensuring that the wearer looks and feels their best.
💗Although the horse face skirt may be slightly pricey, its excellent quality and sophisticated design make it a worthwhile investment.
Budget Option⭐National MaMian Skirt Chinese Traditional
💗The horse face skirt features a delicate and modern design in a light blue color, giving it a contemporary touch that is both fashionable and unique.
💗Despite being affordable, the horse face skirt boasts excellent quality, making it an excellent option for budget-conscious buyers.
💗With 3 color options available, ensuring that there is a perfect shade to suit every individual’s taste and style.
The patterns on the horse-faced skirt can be divided into individual embroidery patterns and large-scale embroidered patterns, with individual embroidery patterns being the majority.
The Qing dynasty’s horse-faced skirts emphasized the decoration of the skirt doors and edges, with exquisite floral patterns on every pleat and hem, using techniques such as seed embroidery, gold embroidery, appliqué embroidery, and painting.
The decoration on the skirt doors was even more rich, with various auspicious patterns such as sea, water, mountains, dragons, phoenixes, eight treasures, flowers, birds, insects, and butterflies being the most popular.
Why is Mamian skirt black popular?
The Mamian skirt itself is a classic Chinese garment that has been popular for centuries, and the black color adds a modern touch to this traditional style.
The recent debate over Dior of cultural appropriation on Mamianqun makes the black skirt more popular as the Dior one is also Black.
Black Mamian skirt is versatile and can be worn by people of all ages and body types, making it a universally popular choice.