Imperial – 漢來大飯店 (The Grand Hi Lai Hotel)

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The imperial robe’s material is of silks and satins. Despite being unfinished, the robe has shows its embryonic form.  [The origin of imperial dragon robes] In reign of East Han’s Emperor Ming (59 A.D.), long robes became the official costume. Since then, long robes were a general style for official clothes for many years. The term “imperial dragon robe” (lungpao) started being used in the Qing Dynasty. The dragon was regrded as a symbol of the son of heaven. On the robe are many patterns of dragons.  [Making imperial dragon robes] These imperial robes were elaborately and attentively designed by the Qing Dynasty’s top designers in Ruyi House which is today’s Huafangzhai (literal meaning: ‘picturesque boat house’) of Beihai Park. Next, the imperial robe needed to be examined and permitted by the emperors. Then, special messengers delivered the design drafts to manufacturers in Nanking, Soochow or Hangchow to consider the involved materials and techniques and supervise and measure every step of making the imperial robes.  [Characteristics of the imperial dragon robe] The bright yellow-coloured robe has collars and sleeves. After the Qing Dynasty, the robe sleeves became smaller. Emperors are regarded as the highest nobility. Thus their robes are decorated with the patterns of nine gold dragons: dragons were on the chest, back, right sleeve, left sleeve, four junctions of two fronts and two backs and inside the robe. Viewed from the imperial robe’s front and back sides, the nine dragons can be seen. The emperors’ highest nobility was thus clearly visible.

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