Sau Fong Chan’s lecture is based on her book, Chinese Dress in Detail, published by Thames & Hudson in partnership with the V&A in autumn 2023. The lecture will be followed by a question and answer session.

The Victoria and Albert Museum has been acquiring examples of Chinese dress since 1863, and now holds one of the most important collections outside China. This book brings together nearly 100 items of clothing, from as early as the Shang dynasty to the present day, showcasing some of the finest pieces in the V&A’s dress collection.

The garments featured include those worn by the various ethnic populations of China, and across a broad social stratum. They are arranged thematically, from headwear to footwear, with accompanying photographs that illustrate both the beauty and variety of the garment. Sau Fong Chan will reveal valuable insights into the concepts of her book, such as criteria in objects’ selection and target audiences. She will also disclose some exciting new discoveries uncovered through examining the exquisite detail of the garments. The talk will be illustrated with a selection of stunning imagery from Chinese Dress in Detail.

Sau Fong Chan is a curator in the Asia Department at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London and a specialist in Chinese textiles and dress. She co-curated the exhibitions Rabindranath Tagore: Poet and Painter and Silver from the Malay World, and has contributed to several V&A publications. Her latest book is Chinese Dress in Detail (London and New York 2023).

This is one of the events in the on-going China Forum Seminar series, hosted by the China Forum, Jesus College. The seminars, given by eminent speakers, cover a broad range of topics and disciplines.

This is a virtual seminar. Attendance is free. Advance booking is required by emailing: Priority will be given to members of Jesus College and the University of Cambridge.