Elements of traditional Chinese dress are being seen more and more on runways and red carpets. The Qipao or Cheongsam, which dates to 17th century China during the Manchu Dynasty, is favored by celebrities and their stylists for its form fitting silhouette and lush fabric. The enduring popularity of this garment is a testament to its classic lines and an affirmation that women can dress modestly and still have their beauty shine through.
Qipao were originally meant for daily wear. They were rather baggy and covered women from head to toe. Made from heavy silk brocade adorned with intricate embroidery, they serve to accentuate the natural beauty of Asian women.
Modern Asian Interpretations
Today’s traditional fashions for Chinese women are carefully tailored to their petite frames. They retain the lush silks and hand woven embroidery of the originals but add exotic details like gold trim and ivory fasteners.
Dresses may still be floor length but they incorporate high slits and are often worn with even higher stilettos rather than slippers. The dresses embody the elegance, class, sophistication, and grace that all Asian women should have.
Fabrics used in cheongsams, along with the iconic asymmetrical neckline, make regular appearances in fashion shows. To celebrate Fashion Week, a star studded event called Shanghai 1930 – First Annual Cheongsam Charity Gala was held at the Flatiron Hotel.
Vogue China covered the affair in which all female guests sported the classic dresses. It appears that no one can resist the appeal of such a beautiful cultural garment!
Some of Hollywood’s most beautiful women have been snapped wearing traditional Asian dresses. Elizabeth Taylor, Grace Kelly and Ingrid Bergman are just a few of the starlets who contributed their own unique takes on the classic.
The enduring popularity of these dresses is a testament to the philosophy that women can dress demurely while still projecting their beauty. We thank the women of China for setting the standard for delicate, beautiful silhouettes.