Elegance rediscovered
New Chinese style takes center stage among young people
Published: Jan 24, 2024 06:20 PM
A traditional Chinese courtyard Photo: VCG

A traditional Chinese courtyard Photo: VCG

Traditional Chinese dim sum Photo: VCG

Traditional Chinese dim sum Photo: VCG

The new Chinese style takes center stage in terms of 2023's fashion trends, and it undeniably stole the spotlight. As an integral part of "guochao," or China-chic, this contemporary blend of traditional Chinese culture with modern elements has left its mark on various aspects of life, including makeup, attire, wellness, and home decoration.

Characterized by a modern aesthetic infused with classical elements, the new Chinese style is gaining momentum: A search for "new Chinese style" on the life-sharing platform Xiaohongshu, yields over 6.95 million related posts,and data from's 2023 new Chinese style trend lifestyle report shows that over the past year there has been a 390 percent increase in new Chinese style-related posts on Xiaohongshu, with a 188 percent overall interaction growth. 

Return of beauty standards

The emergence of the new Chinese-style makeup as mainstream aesthetic marks a significant cultural shift. Features such as finely arched eyebrows, lower eyeliner, and embellished lips have become the hallmark of this trend. 

Its popularity and videos have also increased as celebrities showcasing this trend on the red carpet have received praise, and beauty influencers demonstrate how to achieve a new Chinese style look.

This makeup trend is more than just a change in aesthetics, it symbolizes a return to and the evolution of Chinese beauty standards, encouraging individuals to embrace their unique facial features, steering away from standardized ideals.

Traditional attire refound

The 2023 runways witnessed a resurgence of new Chinese style in fashion, extending beyond the classic Hanfu (the traditional clothing of the Han ethnic group) and Qipao, women's garment originating from the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), this trend encompassed shirts, accessories, shoes, and more. 

Wang, 28, told the Global Times that her company has encouraged everyone to wear Hanfu to attend 2024's year-end party. 

She has chosen a pink Hanfu featuring the Tang Dynasty (618-907) style and learned new Chinese-style makeup online for the occasion. 

"Although wearing a Hanfu can be a bit intricate, it really looks stunning when you put it on," she said.

The focus also shifted towards elements, fabrics, and craftsmanship, with pearls, embroidery, traditional fasteners, and ink wash patterns gaining popularity. Fabrics such as silk, yarn, and cotton are highly esteemed, while techniques like jacquard, tie-dye, three-dimensional cutting, and traditional silk weaving have garnered attention."

Traditional garments underwent transformations, finding a place in daily life with a modern twist and contributing to a blend of an international fashion with an Eastern interpretation.

New wellness style

The influence of the new Chinese style extends to the realms of gastronomy and wellness, with innovative beverages and a surge in popularity for wellness ingredients such as black sesame, red dates, fish maw, lily, cranberry, and Chinese yam. 

Culinary innovations, like tofu milk tea, wine coffee and rice coffee, showcase a fusion of traditional and modern elements. 

Wellness practices such as traditional Chinese workouts (like Baduanjin, or traditional aerobics) and TCM shops, have also become a trend among contemporary young people. 

Additionally, activities associated with new Chinese-style wellness, such as exploring tea houses, and communal cooking experiences are receiving heightened attention. 

The gathering around a communal pot has diversified into experiences like tea brewing, wine brewing, coffee brewing, and milk roasting, transforming friend gatherings into wellness-themed events.

Home decor aesthetics

The new Chinese style decor, blending with modern influences like contemporary, minimalist, and creamy aesthetics, provides individuals with a plethora of choices and imaginative spaces.

The new Chinese style decors break away from dullness, introducing a more vibrant palette that transitions from static to dynamic, not only offering elegance but also catering to the diverse preferences of individuals. 

In terms of color patterns, apart from the traditional black, white, and gray, colors such as the sky blue, peacock blue, peach pink, ash purple, and moonlight white have gained significant popularity. 

Elements such as greenery, artifacts, and traditional Chinese paintings have become instrumental in shaping the ambiance of these interiors. 

Landscapes, artifacts, and artworks traditionally hold significant positions in Chinese architecture and residences. 

These items serve various purposes, ranging from showcasing literary elegance to conveying symbolic meanings and self-expression or displaying a yearning for nature. 

In essence, the new Chinese lifestyle reflects a harmonious blend of tradition and modernity, creating a unique and captivating narrative in the fashion landscape of 2023.