People dressed in traditional Chinese apparel perform during a special event to celebrate Mid-Autumn Festival at the USC Asian Pacific Museum in Pasadena, Los Angeles County, California, the United States, on Sept. 20, 2021. Celebrating the traditional Mid-Autumn Festival, the Sino US Performing Arts Organization held the special event featuring a fashion show and performance event inspired by Hanfu, traditional Chinese apparel, and thousands of years of evolving Chinese fashion. (Xinhua)
by Julia Pierrepont III
LOS ANGELES, Sept. 21 (Xinhua) -- Celebrating the traditional Mid-Autumn Festival when families gather throughout China and Asia, the Sino US Performing Arts Organization held a special event featuring a fashion show and performance event inspired by Hanfu, traditional Chinese apparel, and thousands of years of evolving Chinese fashion.
The celebration was held Monday night at the USC Asian Pacific Museum in Pasadena, Los Angeles County, California, with the theme of "Under the Same Moon."
The Mid-Autumn Festival, also known as the Moon Festival, falls on Tuesday this year. The festival is generally regarded as one of the most important traditional festivals in China and is marked on the 15th day of the eighth month on the Chinese lunar calendar. Traditionally the Chinese believe that a full moon is the symbol for family reunion.
A range of Mid-Autumn Moon Festival celebrations were held in Southern California, which is home to thriving immigrant communities from China and Asia. The fashion show is one of the highlights of those celebrations.
Ancient and traditional Han costumes are coming back into fashion in China in recent years, especially with young people, but the United States hasn't been exposed to this trend yet, so the women, men and children from local Chinese American communities who volunteered to model for the Hanfu fashion show spent many weeks rehearsing to present their fashions just right.
The cheerful celebration, set beneath the harvest moon and strings of colorful, glowing lanterns decorated with delicate sprays of flowers, was held in the USC Asian Pacific Museum's traditional Oriental Garden courtyard, dotted with rockery stones and centered on a lovely Koi Pond populated with languid carp and overhung with vibrant evergreens.
The evening started off with a flourish of enchanting pipa musical piece and Chinese classical dance performance. A group of well-dressed American and Chinese VIP guests wore masks and practiced social distancing as they enjoyed the evening's delightful program.
The stage area, set against the far wall of the enclosed open-air courtyard, was flanked by matching staircases adorned with banisters with Chinese decorative motifs and guarded by carved imperial Fu dogs. These stairs allowed for dramatic entrances of the featured models dressed in exquisite reproductions of the flowing high-fashion robes from the Tang, Song and Ming dynasties.
It was easy to be charmed by the models in their elegant period robes whose graceful performances, stylized gestures and formal bows throughout the evening were enchanting and well-executed. The fashions worn by male models were equally alluring, ranging from fire-engine red silk robes with sinuous dragon designs in heavy gold-thread, a white silk-robed poet's tunic with black trim and red under-robe, to an impressive sword-wielding warrior in heavier, black, pleated robes with stunning sea dragon and wave designs on the arms, shoulders and across the skirt.
"It's a stunning achievement to see these traditional Chinese garments all together like this," an attendee, Michael Tiberi of Sunland, told Xinhua. "I think more Americans would love to see this kind of Chinese performance with such beautiful costumes."
Other attendees, Ainy Gu and Paul Cheng, told Xinhua, "We've never seen anything like this, we are very excited to be here."
"I dance so my son and young generation can feel and experience more Chinese culture," featured dancer Rongna Su told Xinhua. "My heart speaks through my body and I dance to connect with the audience and share my joy."
"The event was inspired to serve as a wonderful memory to bring you back home to your family," explained Susie Shu, director of the sponsoring Sino US Performing Arts Organization, noting it's "a way for us to express our love and best wishes for each other."
Shu concluded the festivities with the touching admission, "After tonight's performance I am not homesick or lonely anymore. These people standing beside me have the same shared dream: We are proud of our culture and we are proud of being Chinese."
She closed with the charming words, "May the moon in the water the moon in the sky, Wish the people in your heart the one by your side." Enditem