Christine Avenarius

Department of Anthropology
Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences
East Carolina University

Silk brocade jacket from China


Story of the block

This jacket was commissioned in 1991 in Beijing, mainland China from material bought at the Friendship store. The Friendship store was once the only store in Beijing that offered a large range of western style goods and specific Chinese goods for western clients. Among these specific goods were also special quality silks. The lining of the silk brocade is made of silk as well. Silk brocade in similar style used to be associated with the dress of high male officials working for the then Chinese emperor. The shape of the jacket is not traditionally Chinese but was specified by the customer to be used as a evening jacket. The simple design was meant to emphasize the elaborate patterns of the brocade itself.