black silk brocade short cheongsam with plum blossom motif
High quality silk brocade
Dry clean only
The famous chinese silk brocade (called there "Brocard") is perhaps one of the most opulent and luxurious products of the orient. Extraordinary richness and thickness of this fabric, intense colors of natural dyes, intricate, centuries-old patterns, and fantastic quality of workmanship, combine to create a product without parallel. The overall quality is far superior to any known silks from other countries, and we know for a fact that a certain top French designer salon sells it at around $300 US Dollars per meter of the fabric!
Qipao, the classic dress for Chinese women, combines the elaborate elegance of Chinese tradition with unique elements of style. The high-necked, closed-collar Qipao / Cheongsam, with a loose chest, fitting waist, and the attractive slits, is one of the most versatile costumes in the world. It can be long or short, some with full, medium, short or even no sleeves at all - to suit different occasions, weather and individual tastes.
The Qipao / Cheongsam can display all women's modesty, softness and beauty. Like Chinese women's temperament, the Qipao / Cheongsam is elegant and gentle, its long-standing elegance and serenity makes wearers fascinating. Mature women in Qipao / Cheongsam can display their graceful refined manner. A Qipao / Cheongsam almost varies with a woman's figure.
What serves as a worthy testament to the beauty of the Qipao / Cheongsam is, however, it does not require the wearer to pep up the look with accessories like scarves and belts. Designed to show off the natural softness of the female form, it also creates the illusion of slender legs. The overall picture: practical, yet sexy.
Because of its particular charm Qipao / Cheongsam is like a wonderful flower in the Chinese colorful fashion scene. Another beauty of the Qipao / Cheongsam is that it is made of different materials and can be worn either on casual or formal occasions.
In either case, Qipao / Cheongsam creates an impression of simple and quiet charm, elegance and attraction. With distinctive Chinese features Qipao / Cheongsam enjoys a growing popularity in the international world of high fashion.
In Northern China, e.g. Beijing, the term "Qipao" is popular - for the term's origin please have a look at the history of Qipao. In Southern China the Qipao is also known as "Cheongsam". Cheongsam means "long dress", entered the English vocabulary from the dialect of China's Guangdong Province (Cantonese).
2.The history of Qipao / Cheongsam
Qipao / Cheongsam is an elegant type of Chinese dress. This closeŁfitting dress with a high neck and the slits on the sides, comes from China's Manchu Nationality.
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 workŁż She got down to sewing and produced a long multiŁloopedŁbutton 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 wasŁĄ So she became the queen, bringing her Cheongsam with her. Manchu women all followed suit and soon the Qipao became popular.
We do not know whether the story is true or not. But one thing is certain. The Cheongsam came from the Manchus who grew out of ancient Nuzhen tribes. In the early 17th century, Nurhachi, a great political and military strategist, unified the various Nuzhen tribes and set up the Eight Banners System. Over the years, a collarless, tubeŁshaped gown was developed, which was worn by both men and women. That is the embryo of the Qipao. The dress is called Qipao in Chinese or translated as "banner gown", for it came from the people who lived under the Banner System.
The Qipao became popular among ladies of the royal family in the Qing Dynasty. At that time, Qipaos were fitted loosely and were so long that they would reach the insteps. Usually, they were made of silk and the whole dress was embroidered, with broad lace trimmed at the collar, sleeves and edges.
In the 1920s, Qipao / Cheongsam became popular throughout China. With the influence of Western dress styles, the Cheongsam underwent a change. The cuffs grew narrower and were usually trimmed with thin lace. The length of the dress was shortened as well. This new adaptation allowed the beauty of female body to be fully displayed.
In the 1930s, wearing a Qipao / Cheongsam became a fashion among women in the whole of China. Various styles existed during this period. Some were short, some were long, with low, high or even no collars at all.
Starting from the 1940s, Cheongsams became closer-fitting and more practical. In summer, women wore sleeveless dresses. Qipaos of this period were seldom adorned with patterns.
The Qipao became standard female attire until the 1960s. Following Western fashion, the tailors raised the hem, even to above the knee, so that the "long" was long no longer. In the West, during the sexual revolution of the 1960s the style was deemed something oppressive, like the Victorian bodice.
In Western popular culture, the qipao became synonymous with the 1960 movie character Suzie Wong and the sexual objectification of women.
Today, with its variety of styles, the Qipao / Cheongsam shows its charm at many markets. More and more women in China appreciate its beauty. For instance, when wives of China's diplomats attend important social gatherings, the Qipao is their first choice among dresses. In fact, quite a number of influential people have suggested that Qipao / Cheongsam should become the national dress for women in China. This shows that the Cheongsam remains a vibrant part of Chinese culture.
Wearing a Qipao nowadays has turned into something of a vogue, both at home and abroad. Due to its elegance and classical looks the Qipao becomes a source of inspiration for fashion designers. World-renowned brands like CD, Versace, and Ralph Lauren have all cited some Qipao elements in their designs. Many foreign women are eager to get themselves a Qipao should they visit China. Qipao is no longer a garment particular to Chinese women, but is adding to the vocabulary of beauty for women the world over.
3.Care of Qipao / Cheongsam
High Quality Qipao / Cheongsam are made of good, but sensitive fabrics. Therefore you generally should be careful when you wear a Qipao / Cheongsam. Stains can be difficult to remove and thats why you should try to avoid them. You also should avoid fabric coming in contact with rough or sharp objects, which can hook the fine weave and cause dulling or frayed threads. Rolling up sleaves can cause creasing / stretching.
2).Laundry / cleaning / iron:
Most Qipao / Cheongsam should be hand-washed or dry cleaned. In general dry cleaning is recommended, since laundering detergent and dyes in other clothes may affect fabric adversely. When washing a Chinese dress, always avoid strong detergents and gently wash by hand if possible. Chlorine bleach should never be used.
Ironing is fine regardless of fabric, but you should put a white damp cloth between the iron and the dress to avoid softening and color change. And if you dirty your Qipao / Cheongsam with incaution, you can cover the blot with a piece of moist cloth and then iron. The cloth can absorb some dust.
After washing and/or ironing, hang it (preferably in a well-ventilated area) to cool and dry fully before storing. Also fabric can be allowed to dry on a white towel.
Gently hand-wash with neutral detergent. Hang to dry where it is not too hot. Avoid to hang it under the sun. It is best to iron when almost dry, using a white cloth under the iron. You can use higher heat, but you should avoid squirting water on fabric (may leave water marks).
Should be dry cleaned - not washed in water or washing machine. If it is a bright-coloured fabric, the ironing temperature should be lowered moderately.
Qipao / Cheongsam should be hung on wide hanger and not folded while storing. So if you want to stow your Chinese dress for long, make sure that it is hung up by the clothes rack, especially, the shoulder is crutched properly.
Mothballs may be a good idea, but avoid the campher variety, which can cause yellowing of lighter fabrics.
Peony is a very common design for Chinese ladies' clothing. Chinese people love peony since more than 5000 years and it is the most favoured flower in China. So peony was choosed as Chinese National Flower. Peony symbolizes richness and prosperity.
Chinese people - and other people in the world too - love the Lotus flower. In Tibet even Lotus is a sacred flower. It is worshiped by the people of Tibet because it stands for purity and holiness. In China's culture there is a legend about a Lotus Fairy, an outstanding beautiful and charming lady who always gave a helping hand to people. Lotus symbolizes beauty and purity and so you can find the Lotus motive very often on Chinese clothes.
In Chinese culture Chrysanthemum symbolizes longevity. Therefore Chrysanthemum is another frequently used motive on Chinese clothes for ladies.
In ancient Chinese culture the fish is a symbol for prosperity: The pronunciation of the corresponding Chinese character sounds "Yu" and this means the same as prosperity. You often can find the fish motive on Chinese clothes to express someones wish for a future full of prosperity.