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shoomlah's avatar

Who always speaks her mind

Sooooo Mulan. It's not that I didn't want to do Mulan (she's fantastic so far as the Disney "princesses" go), but pinning down her time period stopped being fun and rapidly became a headache- you have the original legend taking place in the Wei Dynasty, the Huns as an actual threat during the Western Han Dynasty, the Forbidden City of the Ming Dynasty, the hanfu fashion setting it earlier AGHGHGhjffjhfghgjhkh

On that note, I'll be the first to admit that this piece isn't tying Mulan down to a particular period, rather putting her in plausible historical textiles and hanfu. When I was asking around for references most of the stuff sent my way were from Chinese period films or other modern recreations, so I just threw up my hands and decided to have fun with it.

It's based on Mulan's finale/epilogue costume at the end of the film; she never seemed at home in either the matchmaker costume or the armor, so this seemed like the best "Mulan has come into her own" middle ground.


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uncontrolledeater's avatar
hi! i really love the outcome! it's fantastic ღ( ´・ᴗ・` )

i thought you would be interested by drawing mulan one day again so here's some sources about her time period (northern and southern dynasty)
- a great chinese fashion timeline here Evolution of Chinese Clothing and Cheongsam/Qipao (fig 2 to 5) 
- wei jin northern southern dynasties fashion :… (in chinese)
- some photos of northern and southern dynasties fashion (in chinese)

hope these links will be useful to you (or anyone interested in redrawing a historically correct mulan) 
AuroraExecutionchan's avatar
Agh, I have so much to sayyyyy.  I love Mulan, I love your art of her, and I'm also a costuming/historical fashion nerd, so. 

I know what people mean about the film having its problems, but I also loved it growing up as a little Chinese girl because it showed a badass female character who very specifically (at the time, at least) wasn't a princess, just some girl doing her best.  And on the one hand, I figure if it helps with representation or it helps people learn about her, her being an official Princess isn't the worst thing, I personally prefer as not-a-princess-just-badass.  So I love that you chose to portray her without all the frills and jewels that Disney sometimes does nowadays.

I also noticed Disney's lack of commitment to a specific time period, and the jumping around of the hanfu styles.  (This is what happens when I try to sew an actual hanfu version of her costume.  >.>)  I really appreciate that you /didn't/ tie it to the Tang dynasty, because that's always the most popular fashion style (and Disney transposed her there after she became a Princess TM), and I personally feel like it's a bit overused, plus nothing about either the film or the original source are Tang.  I get why you didn't go for a particular time period, but I'm kind of in love with the fact that her outfit is heavily N/S dynasties influenced.  *_*  And the fact that it's super well researched, and definitely an actual hanfu rather than just some fantasy "Asian-inspired" thing.  Basically I'm just super appreciative that you did your research.

You probably already know this, but the source poem was written in the Northern and Southern dynasties, specifically the Northern Wei.  Growing up as Chinese, my mom always told me she was from this era, although I guess there's no real info beyond the poem. 

As a side note, it's interesting to me that the poem was written in the /Northern/ kingdom, which was ruled over by nomadic invaders (the Xianbei) rather than Han Chinese.  The poem uses terminology specifically pointing to this (e.g. the "ke han" aka khan is drafting an army, rather than the traditional term for emperor), and ironically you get more of a sense of this in Mulan II, where she's going to the southern kingdom to create an alliance.  But then again, the emperor in the film is pretty traditional looking?  IDK Disney, this timeline is weird.  (It's like how I could never figure out what her family's class status was based on the original film.  What kind of clothes she'd wear and what kind of materials they'd be made of would probably be influenced by that.  I feel your timeline pain, bruh.)

...sorry, I talk too much.  I'm just really excited someone cared about hanfu and historical costuming enough to get this right.  <3 <3
shoomlah's avatar
thanks so much for the feedback and info, I love hearing this kind of stuff! Especially from someone who clearly knows what they're talking about and then some. :D
Zoelle07's avatar
RabidDrawing's avatar
I'll make good art.....
magic-of-imagination's avatar
Samurai mulan is best mulan
PiperInle's avatar
TomboyJessie13's avatar
I think the blue dress looks better in this style 
BumbleCat1's avatar
Gorgeous as always
MariaAthenaYu's avatar
At least you tried...
ScooterDracon's avatar
Favorite Disney character of all time right there!!!! Yeah, the movie pretty much got it right.
Lareponseest42's avatar
I LOVE this one... But in fact, i love them all, so i'll stop to spam you with comments x)
Just know you have a fan out there ^^
Ashruka-Krusnik's avatar
Convenient-Alias's avatar
I know you did this a while ago but I would just like to say that it's ridiculously amazingly gorgeous.
TheRainyAsian's avatar
Nice job on the jade pendent for Mulan. Looks exactly like one I have.
RebellingLemming's avatar
Li-flower's avatar
I really appreciate the effort you put into research, and I think it's cool that you didn't tie her down to a specific period.  It makes her timeless, like the legend.
ejcapulet's avatar
Wow - you really nailed it! From what I know about traditional Chinese attire, the placement of the sash and waist skirt (the black thing on her hips and middle) is the big indicator of time period.  It worked its way from waist level to over the breast then back down again.  From what I've seen (I'm a museum/history junkie who lived in China for quite a while), the sash seemed to spend most of its time right were you put it.  The one single and only criticism I could ever find is that the sash charm, if possible, was supposed to be tied under the waist skirt so only the charm and tassel could be seen.  A clinking sash charm was a major faux pas back then.  However, that would put this image totally out of balance and just wouldn't work.
Lady-Akeru's avatar
I would love have this in a print
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