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Series is a fashion treat for viewers

By Xu Fan | China Daily | Updated: 2024-07-01 07:55

The Double, a hit Chinese costume drama that has garnered popularity overseas, stars actress Wu Jinyan as Xue Fangfei, the female protagonist, and actor Wang Xingyue as Xiao Heng, her romantic interest. CHINA DAILY

Elaborate costume drama serves up intrigue, style and a compelling storyline for global audiences, Xu Fan reports.

Pearls are typically used for jewelry such as necklaces, bracelets or rings. However, in the Song Dynasty (960-1279), high-society ladies adorned their faces with these precious orbs, not for any practical purpose, but simply to enhance their beauty with a unique charm.

The once-trendy fashion has been revived in the costume drama, The Double, marking actress Wu Jinyan's return to a revenge-themed tale after the phenomenal 2018 hit Story of Yanxi Palace.

In a standout episode, Wu, starring in the lead role of Xue Fangfei, partakes in a jili, or hair-pinning ceremony. Tracing its origins to the Western Zhou Dynasty (c. 11th century-771 BC), families would host this ritual for daughters reaching 15 years of age, or 20 if still unwed, elegantly coiling their hair into a bun and securing it with a hairpin.

The scene showcases the ceremony-participating female guests — mostly from high-ranking families — bedecked with pearls on their cheeks and foreheads, sparking a flurry of lively discussions online.

Since its debut on the streaming platform Youku in early June, the 40-episode series has quickly soared to become the most-watched show on the platform, emerging as one of the biggest dark horses of the summer.

Currently, hashtags related to The Double have amassed more than 3.8 billion views on Sina Weibo, a social media platform that serves as a barometer for popularity.

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