Chinese singer-songwriter Deng Chaoyu made a fashion statement on the red carpet at this year's Cannes Film Festival on May 28.
Deng Chaoyu clad in an embroidered gown on the red carpet of the Cannes film festival in May. [Photo provided to China Daily]
Instead of Western gowns that are seen on most female celebrities at the annual event, she wore a red dress with exquisite embroidery and silver jewelry handmade by members of her Tujia ethnic group.
The dress employed the 2,000-year-old weaving skill of the community, xi lan ka pu, which means "flowery blanket" in the Tujia language.
"This traditional skill is still used by the Tujia people. I just love everything about the place where I come from. It deserves a wide exposure," says Deng, who participated in the Belt and Road International Film Week Conference held during the festival in Cannes.
The dress also combines traditional elements in Tujia clothing, such as pleated skirts and colorful sequins.
In her early 30s, Deng grew up in Yichang in Central China's Hubei province, where the Tujia people live.
She learned guzheng at age 7 after being introduced to the Chinese zither by her mother. Both her mother and grandmother sing Tujia folk songs.
Since she graduated from the Central China Normal University in Wuhan in 2007, with majors in Chinese language and folk singing, Deng has been promoting the Tujia culture at home and abroad.
"I didn't feel the uniqueness of the Tujia community until I entered university, where students from around the country live and study together," Deng says. "I wore traditional clothes and accessories, and my classmates were very curious about my culture."