History and Legend of Qipao / Cheongsam2016-08-09 17:37:55Share:
History of Cheongsam
Cheongsam is one type of traditional Chinese female costumes. It is featured by stand collar, right side opening, fitting waist and slip bottom, which can fully set off the beauty of the female shape.
Derived from the garment of bannermen in the Qing Dynasty, cheongsam was the basal garment for the Manchus in Northeast China. It was modified in early 20th century to be more suitable and comfortable yet retained the craftwork of traditional ones. Cheongsam greeted its prime time in the 1930s when its irreplaceable role in female garment was established. It was extraordinarily popular with the women in Shanghai for the reason that its slimness and fitness had made it as a perfect choice for the slender and exquisite-stature women in South China. Soon afterwards, it swept the whole country as the favorite garment for Chinese women. Compared with old-style cheongsam, the modified style is more capable of popping out the beautiful curves of a woman and has stood out from the obsolete pattern as a typical representative of Chinese female garment.
Old Picture: Woman in Cheongsam
There is a legend that a young fisherwoman lived by the Jingbo Lake. She was not only beautiful, but also clever and skillful. But when fishing, she often felt hindered by her long and loose fitting dress. Then an idea struck her: why not make a more practical dress for work? She got down to sewing and produced a long multi-looped-button gown with slits, which enabled her to tuck in the front piece of her dress, thus making her job much easier. As a fisherwoman, she never dreamed that a fortune would befall on her.
The young emperor who ruled China at that time had a dream one night. In the dream, his dead father told him that a lovely fisherwoman in Qipao by the Jingbo Lake would become his queen. After awakening from his deep sleep, the emperor sent his men to look for her. Sure enough, there she was! So she became the queen, bringing her Cheongsam with her. Manchu women all followed suit and soon the Qipao became popular.
Cheongsam has been experiencing constant changes with the fashions in different ages. While inheriting the characteristics of traditional cheongsam in details, the new-style one is associated with new features and a great deal of modern design elements in color, cutting and match, which are mainly embodied in the change of the bottom (A-shape, asymmetrical type and picture puzzle type, etc.) as well as diversified materials. Other than meeting aesthetic requirements of young women in China, new-style cheongsam is of great vitality with its easy wearing.
As a special traditional garment, cheongsam is of unique aesthetic values and therefore acts as a spokesman of the art of Chinese garment.
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