traditional chinese dress qipao

Chinese traditional dress: Qipao(Cheongsam)

The cheongsam(qipao) is a very typical Chinese traditional dress, which was popular in the 1920s and is also a favorite dress of many women in contemporary society. cheongsam(qipao) brings out the beauty of oriental women, either reserved and gentle, or mysterious and cold. In today’s society, women are on par with men in life and career. In addition to having good working ability, women should also have corresponding temperament and image, and dress is an important factor to improve women’s image and temperament. In addition to wearing professional clothes, formal wear, women can also wear cheongsam(qipao) on formal occasions, dinner parties and grand events to show a charming style and attract many eyes with unique oriental rhythmic beauty.

First, the origin and development of cheongsam(qipao) overview

cheongsam(qipao)originated in the Qing dynasty, the Qing emperor Nurhachi unification of the female Zhen tribe after the establishment of the “eight banners”, and the eight banners people used to wear robes, so they wear the traditional dress belonging to the Manchu robe will be called “cheongsam(qipao)”. cheongsam(qipao) is a Manchu women’s clothing crafts, but also Manchu people wear clothing throughout the year. Initially the Cheongsam(qipao) cutting is very simple, the slit is relatively long, with right overlapping large lapel as the main feature, decorated with a variety of tab buckle, waist upright, robe body is wide, there is a universal Yuan Bao collar(mandarin collar).

Development to the 1920s, cheongsam(qipao) came from the Qing dynasty Manchu women’s clothing, and combinated with Han Chinese women’s clothing, and draw on the style of Western clothing, modify the shape. In the late 1920s, under the influence of Western dresses, cheongsam(qipao) styles changed significantly, such as waist tightening, length shortening, etc. cheongsam(qipao) gradually showed waist-hugging curves, thus bringing out the concave and convex features of women. At this stage, the cheongsam took the shape of high collar, short sleeves, waist, high slit, the robe was long and short, and the shape and cut reflected the characteristics of western dresses, and the lines were more smooth.

On the eve of liberation, cheongsam(qipao) was already very common in China, basically every woman had a few pieces of cheongsam(qipao)), after which the leisurely, soft and comfortable image contained in cheongsam(qipao) was gradually replaced by the plain military uniform and Lenin suit, thus reflecting the great enthusiasm of people for work at that time. After 1949, with the slogan of “everyone wears flowery clothes”, cheongsam also presented a new connotation, at this time the cheongsam was adding a natural, simple, healthy temperament, and more emphasis on practicality and generosity in design. Subsequently, the qipao fashion designers continued to improve the Chinese cheongsam, making it not only contains oriental characteristics, but also fits the world’s popular fashion trends, with the elegant temperament of the cheongsam by international recognition.

Second, the unique features of cheongsam(qipao)

(I) graceful beauty

After women wear cheongsam(qipao), they can reflect their graceful beauty. Chinese traditional cheongsam(qipao) dress wrapped in the body, women can not take big steps, can only walk in small steps, coupled with elegant gestures, walking, like a water snake dance, will be a woman’s beauty, gentle, introverted performance. It is often said that women are made of water. Whether it is soft outside or inside, soft inside or outside, are the description of women “soft”, soft can be said to be a woman’s patent, and cheongsam(qipao) is a good tool to show women soft, women wear cheongsam(qipao) or delicate, or pure, or classical, or sexy, in short, the beauty of cheongsam(qipao) is obvious to all.

(II) curve beauty

Wearing Chinese traditional cheongsam(qipao) dress requires a woman’s body shape, too fat or too thin are not suitable for wearing cheongsam(qipao), which also makes cheongsam(qipao) especially suitable for oriental women figure. Because oriental women are relatively petite and delicate in stature, we see western women wearing cheongsam(qipao), either the shoulders are too wide, then the arms are too thick, or the legs are too long to look very abrupt, bringing a feeling of incongruity, unable to show the beauty of cheongsam(qipao) well. Oriental people like thin waist, petite and graceful women has been the aesthetic tendency of the East, cheongsam(qipao)(qipao) can make women more curvy and exquisite. The cheongsam(qipao) has the feature of being tight at the top and loose at the bottom, which can show the beauty of oriental women’s physique and make up for their lack of body shape, while the high tight stand-up collar can show the exquisite face of oriental women, and the waist fit hides the slightly narrow shoulders of oriental women, reflecting the unique rounded beauty of oriental women.

(III) Implicit beauty

Women wearing Chinese traditional cheongsam(qipao), with the light pace of swaying, plus the high slit characteristics of cheongsam(qipao), bring a kind of hidden visual feeling, elegant, let people produce a variety of wonderful imagination. The cheongsam(qipao) brings the oriental introversion and subtlety into full play, showing the elegant, delicate, gentle and indistinct temperament everywhere, looking very mysterious and noble. The cheongsam(qipao) looks loose, but it is dense, wrapped with what should be concealed, and at the same time the cheongsam(qipao) is sexy, its inadvertent display of femininity.


The cultural connotation contained in cheongsam(qipao)

Traditional Chinese Dress qipao is a symbol of classical costume and a kind of symbol, which is the external embodiment of social psychology and social aesthetics under continuous change. As a cultural carrier of special era, cheongsam(qipao) itself contains very long-standing national aesthetic connotation and cultural connotation.

One is the embroidery culture and inlay characteristics, in the Chinese traditional culture, Confucianism culture throughout the process, Confucianism’s emphasis on rank, emphasis on nobility has also become a specific culture, in the clothing this feature is very obvious. The cheongsam(qipao) is a typical representative of China’s traditional dress, and its design places more emphasis on the moral code and values of the feudal ruling class. From a certain point of view, it was under the oppressive policies of the ruling class that the ancient working people created different clothing styles through their own wisdom. The focus of cheongsam(qipao) is on embroidery, rolling, inlay and panelling, and its exquisite embroidery work and complex inlay techniques are breathtaking to this day. In the development of cheongsam(qipao), there used to be a complex process of 18 inlays, which reflected the development of dyeing and embroidery techniques at that time. To this day, the cheongsam(qipao) contains the characteristics of Chinese embroidery culture and inlay technology, and has become an important carrier of this culture.

The second is the Chinese aesthetic concept of the middle, in Confucianism culture, the middle way is the most significant feature, in ancient times by the influence of the middle thought, people in the dress especially value harmony, moderation, traditional cheongsam(qipao) has the characteristics of simple shape, smooth lines, but simple does not mean simple, a simple cheongsam(qipao) contains a rich universe of laws. In traditional Chinese aesthetics, it is advocated that the object should be “not too big, not too heavy, not too light, not too heavy”, and the thickness and smoothness of the cheongsam(qipao) fits this “harmony” requirement, thus meeting the aesthetic needs of the Chinese. In the traditional cheongsam(qipao), the shape is relatively loose and does not seem to have prominent angles, which can cover the person well and bring a visual feeling of “harmony” to others. Influenced by the Confucian culture, Chinese women have been adhering to the concept of “three obedience and four virtues”, and they wear the cheongsam(qipao) in a calm and peaceful way to teach their husbands and children.

The third is to highlight the national style, in the traditional Chinese aesthetic concept, elegance, quiet is the most ideal pursuit of women, under the influence of Confucianism, oriental women value inner cultivation, such as solemn, elegant, gentle, subtle, etc., appropriate movement, light pace, showing a neutral, so as to show a kind of lady of the house style. In order to meet this requirement, cheongsam(qipao) is designed with strict structure, beautiful lines, and elegant and quiet fabrics, such as velvet satin, embroidered with plum, orchid, bamboo and chrysanthemum patterns, with a strong national flavor, showing the unique character of the East.

Fourth, the spirit meaning of the times of cheongsam(qipao)

Under the new era, cheongsam(qipao) has been favored by the international fashion industry, while the style of cheongsam(qipao) has also changed greatly, such as high slit, low-cut, bare back, etc. Sequins, embroidery, fabric printing and other decorative techniques are also in the international arena, their colors are bright, soft and jumping, breaking through the original model of cheongsam(qipao), injecting the new spirit of the times, giving it youthful vitality, and showing the beauty of the rhythm of the East with new ideas. For example, Miss China Model will perform in cheongsam(qipao) dresses in the talent contest, and many singers and stars will also wear cheongsam(qipao) to show their figures.


At the closing ceremony of the Athens Olympic Games, as the next Olympic host country, the Chinese delegation sent 14 girls in short cheongsam(qipao) to perform the Chinese piece “Jasmine Flower” with traditional erhu, pipa and other national instruments, blowing the Chinese wind to the world and fully interpreting the unique rhythm of the East. At the Beijing Olympic Games, Miss Ceremonial wore five-color traditional dresses, which were full of contemporary atmosphere and rich in traditional Chinese culture. Such as the pink series of “pink treasure flower”, through the traditional pan gold embroidery process, produced a treasure flower pattern waist ornament, the body proportion of the perfect division; another example is the fresh and elegant jade fat white series, in the jade pendant, color embroidery waistband design, performance of traditional Chinese jade culture innovation, silk fabric through the green, tooth white collocation, highlighting the Chinese women The “acacia green” series contains a vibrant vitality and the concept of life environment, reflecting the harmony between man and nature, and also expressing the good wishes of the Green Olympics. The three-dimensional silver thread embroidery of auspicious peony and curling pattern in the cheongsam(qipao) brings out the graceful and curvaceous figure of women and the unique softness and serenity of oriental women.

In the new era, cheongsam(qipao) has not only been loved by the nation, but also become a fashion that sets off the good figure and temperament of Chinese women. In addition, there are many international masters of clothing design, taking cheongsam(qipao) as inspiration, and designing many cheongsam(qipao)s with international characteristics, realizing the good inheritance and development of Chinese cheongsam(qipao) costumes.

V. Conclusion

In a word, cheongsam(qipao) has a noble and elegant beauty, and its poetry, flowing rhythm, and rich tenderness will show the gentle, virtuous, charming, and clear temperament of oriental women, and this beauty is determined by the cultural connotation quality contained in cheongsam(qipao). cheongsam(qipao) has high requirements for body, connotation and temperament, and also has certain requirements for atmosphere, which limits its popularization to a certain extent, even so, cheongsam(qipao) is still the favorite dress of oriental women, which carries the excellent Chinese costume culture and embodies Chinese virtues, and has become a splendid scenery in the costume world.

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