Oriental Cheongsam, also known as qipao, is a traditional Chinese costume. During 1644-1911AD, Manchu people ruled the China, and Manchu women typically wore a one-piece dress that retrospectively came to be known as qipao. In the Qing Dynasty, almost all women wear qipao. It is a baggy and long loosely fitted dress. It covered most of the woman’s body except the head, hands and the tips of the toes.
In 1920’s, influenced of Beijing style and Western style, shanghai first developed slender, formed fitting with high cut of Cheongsam. Qipao’s cuffs became narrower and trimmed with lace. Qipao became shorter and showed the beauty of female body shape to be fully displayed.
The Cheongsam was under the transformed from old qipao style, suiting the modernized style of dress. And it became more popular among the Chinese women. Cheongsam designed in various styles and with variety of fabrics in the 1930s and 1940s. Cheongsam changed to high-necked collar or even no collars, sleeveless design, short or medium sleeve and bell-like sleeves, which was popular for high level society.
During the Communist Revolution 1949, Cheongsam popularity was curtailed. Shanghai refugees brought the Cheongsam fashion to Hong Kong. And then, Cheongsam was popular among women for its unique and elegance style. By 1950s, women wore Cheongsam with jackets and in wool materials due to the workforce environment. Cheongsam become more formal wear for important occasions. Women who are planning to attend the diplomatic function and social gathering prefer the charming and the beauty design style of Cheongsam. Oriental Cheongsam was brought to Western countries during 1960s. For instance, Suzie Wong showed the elegant of Cheongsam as the essence of profound Chinese traditional culture in the movie of The World of Suzie Wong, which attracting foreigners. Cheongsam will be used as one of the costume at Western countries during Halloween festival.
In the business field, women will choose Cheongsam first to attend a formal occasion. In China, many waitresses wear the closed collar, long foot length, high slits to the hip and short or medium sleeve design style. The design’s fabric usually is satin and brightly colored silk with Chinese embroidery. Besides, many airlines company at Mainland China and Taiwan such as the China Airlines, Hainan Airlines and China Eastern Airlines wear the similar Cheongsam as uniforms for their stewardess and ladies ground workers. For safety purpose, they are wearing in the length of knee and more plain color design because the working environment is different. In general, some of the Cheongsam uniforms for flight attendees is not only one pieces dress like the original Qipao style but also the top blouse design Cheongsam style with skirt and some with jacket to suit for the airplane working environment. It is a symbol of Chinese traditional costume and rich Chinese culture. No doubt, qipao is a famous Chinese costume at home and abroad.
Many wives of the Chinese’s diplomats and ministers will wear the Cheongsam during the occasion for diplomatic. The uniform for the medal bearers in 2008 Beijing Olympics is Cheongsam in white silk material, short sleeves and embroidered shawl in green color. Cheongsam, Chinese traditional custom taken from several centuries ago, represents the beauty, healthy and softening of Chinese ladies. Besides, the female members of the Swedish team and of the Spanish team wear the Cheongsam with the national colors blue and yellow during the opening ceremony. In a word, Cheongsam is popular throughout the world.
Now, more and more girls wear Cheongsam at their weddings, because the beauty and elegant designs of Cheongsam show perfectly the brides figure on their wedding days. They usually wear red color of Cheongsam and embroidered with gold dragon and phoenix symbol which are considered good luck. Ladies also wear this similar Cheongsam during Chinese New Year. Besides, you can wear Cheongsam dress to attend social function party such as birthday party, wedding party, annual dinner party, full moon party, and festival celebrities’ party.
The everlasting of elegant Cheongsam helps the growth of Oriental Cheongsam. Nowadays, the variety and unique designs of Cheongsam turned into vogue. Many Western designers include the elements of Cheongsam into their designs.
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