30 August 2010

The Evergreen Classic: Transformation of the Qipao

Something to see in Hongkong: Hong Kong Museum of History special exhibition The Evergreen Classic: Transformation of the Qipao (on till September 13). Showcasing some 280 qipao, this exhibition illustrates the origins of the qipao and its transformation between the 1920s and 1960s. Despite retirement in the late 1960s from its role as daily garment for women, the qipao continued to exist in many different ways. This exhibition analyses how the qipao has constructed a cultural symbol from a piece of clothing.Photographs show Manchu women during the mid to late Qing dynasty in gowns that reflect the time. Loose, straight cut and with wide sleeves, the long gowns fall to their ankles. Embellishments and details were especially important in Qing dynasty attire. The gown of the period often featured complicated patterns with the body, collar, cuffs and front-flap adorned with extravagant embroidery.The early qipao of the 1920s has a loose body with straight cut, reminiscent of the long Manchurian gown. Yet, like other clothing worn daily, the hemline of the skirt has been shortened to the heels.1963: Bai Guang, the troubled diva (above). 1983: Maggie Cheung, in a look she wish you never to see!...And that's me when I go downstairs to buy wanton soup! Hey Tony!


  1. Still at HH logging in :P
    A pity girls these days are not wearing it. Even the loose comfy ones are nice for the office.

  2. Can't get mine to fit! QPs are not made for big-chested, thick-waisted, small-assed girls like me. I dun look pencil slim, more like those chunky olden-days fountain pens.

  3. Dear Anon: LOL. U are right I think having a waist is essential for wearing a QP. With your figure flaws, however, jeans and peasant top?