Monday, September 10, 2012

Character Portraits and Speculation on Rank of Colors in Female Prime Minister

A drought has once again descended upon my land of dramas and I have nothing substantive to post besides the occasional picture spurts. My eagerness for October 1 has all but dissipated. I highly doubt Female Prime Minister will get to air next month. It seems the unspoken ban on costume series from September to November during prime time hours (7 pm to 10pm) is taking effect. For the past two months and will probably continue till November, Hunan TV has been airing nothing but modern series and idol dramas. I'm soooo sick of them. I want to see pretty people in pretty costumes with a good storyline. After Turbulence of the Mu Clan, I'm back on the hunt for series that can hold my interest.

In the meantime, enjoy these lovely portraits from the costume fitting session during production.

Lu Zhen
 Everytime I see Chen Xiao in his Female Prime Minister costumes, I can't help myself but just stare. The whole styling for his character Gao Zhan is just PERFECT PERFECT!
Gao Zhan, Prince of Changguang
Gao Yin, Emperor of Northern Qi
Xiao Guanyin, Noble Consort of Gao Yin
Lou Qingqiang, niece of the Empress Dowager and cousin to the emperor
Empress Dowager Lou
Shen Bi, Lu Zhen's nemesis and love rival
He Danniang, Lu Zhen's best friend
Shen Jiayan, military officer and Gao Zhan's love rival

Court Robe Color Code
Throughout the series, the color of Lu Zhen's official robes changes dramatically. I know each color represents a specific rank within the imperial bureaucracy.  During the Song Dynasty, lowest ranks wore blue, then green for those below 6th rank. If you attained 5th rank or higher, then you wore red. Deep purple was reserved for the highest court officials who attained 3rd or higher ranks. Since the Song Dynasty existed more than 400 years after Northern Qi, it wouldn't make sense to apply Song Dynasty's court robe color designation in Northern Qi. Lu Zhen's era followed more closely to Han Dynasty code of dress than the later Tang or Song Dynasties when the green/red/purple color coded court robe reached full maturity in its implementation. But it seems the costume designer for this drama decided to roughly follow this color code with a few creative tweaks.

I speculate the order of court robes to be (lowest to highest):
I'm not certain about the order of the orange and golden beige robes, or which one actually comes first. Do any of you have a clue?
Lu Zhen with her mentor, Madam Du

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