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Chinese costume Qipao

Posted November. 11, 2017 07:53,   

Updated November. 11, 2017 08:17


“The old good time is already gone and nothing is left there now.” These lines are from a scene in the Chinese movie “The Most Beautiful Moment in Life” by director Wang Ga Yi. In the movie, which presents a sad story of lost love, actress Maggie Cheung appears in different scenes, changing traditional Chinese costume Qipao dozens of times to display fatal seduction.

Qipao is characterized by the rising collar, slit on the skirt and tight style. The costume originated from the Eight Banner Army of the Manchurian tribe, who ruled the Qing Dynasty, and developed into traditional costume for both males and females. A remodeled Qipao, which emphasized seductive looks, started to be in vogue primarily around Shanghai in the 1920s. The attire is so sensual that former U.S. First Lady Pat Nixon even reportedly said, “I now know why China has so large a population.” In the award ceremony at the 2010 Guangzhou Asian Games and the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics, ceremonial helpers showcased Qipao that even revealed their underwear lines, sparking controversy.


New Qipao fashion icons to succeed Maggie Cheung have emerged. U.S. and Chinese first ladies made public appearance, wearing black Qipao dresses, side by side at the state visit dinner in China on Thursday. U.S. First Lady Melania Trump was seen wearing highly colorful dress decorated with needlework, with fur attached on the sleeves, while Chinese First Lady Peng Liyuan was seen wearing see-through dress, which lightly revealed her skin under the sleeve. The model-turned U.S. first lady was wearing modern a Qipao dress, which was boldly open up to half of her thigh, in combination with kill heels from Manolo Blahnik. Her clothing is ready-made attire that Italian luxury brand Gucci introduced in the Fall/Winter season in 2016. The Chinese first lady picked a relatively mature Qipao dress that is open up to the knees.

Irrespective of their duel, the ultimate winner of the competition was Qipao. China widely promoted Qipao as attire for feminine diplomacy that exudes the beauty of tidiness, elegance and intellectuality. Thanks to the U.S. first lady, China has effectively promoted the nice appearance of its traditional Chinese costume. Fashion is important from the perspective of both culture and industry. We wonder when Korea will come to see world-renowned fashion designers fall in love with traditional Korean costume “hanbok,” design and sell clothing that features the aesthetic of uniquely Korean tradition. Korean costume has a long way to go to be globalized when compared with Qipao, which has made great strides.