More Than a cheongsam vs qipao Dress A Brief History of the Cheongsam – Pearl River Mart
More Than a cheongsam vs qipao Dress A Brief History of the Cheongsam – Pearl River Mart
Thank you for visiting our online store. Please sign up to get exclusive news, offers — plus  10% OFF  your next purchase! The Manchus, an ethnic minority in China, and anyone living under the Eight Banner System distinguished themselves from ordinary citizens by wearing different clothing. These “Banner People” wore changpao or “long robes” for men and qipao for women. Want more? Check out Pearl River’s own selection of qipaos and other dresses . At first women wore qipaos with trousers, much the way men did with changpaos. However, with the introduction stockings and high heels, trousers were done away with and the side slit lengthened. At the same time, again perhaps influenced by Western style, the dresses became tighter. Soon everyone from famous singers to were wearing qipaos, further heightening its popularity. Let’s start with the basics. While the terms cheongsam and qipao are often used interchangeably , they actually have different origins. Cheongsam is from Cantonese and translates as “long gown” while qipao is from Mandarin and literally means “banner robe.” It all started with the Manchus. During the Qing Dynasty in the early 16th century a chieftain named Nurhaci created the Eight Banner System. Warriors were organized into what would eventually be eight different companies, each with its own flag or banner. This powerful military organization would be used to conquer all of China and secure Manchu rule for the next 250 years. More Than a cheongsam vs qipao Dress A Brief History of the Cheongsam – Pearl River Mart
More Than a cheongsam vs qipao Dress A Brief History of the Cheongsam – Pearl River Mart
The Qing Dynasty finally came to an end in 1911. After that came the Republic of China and along with it, reform and increased education for women. Female students ditched the heavy “banner robes” cheongsam vs qipao and began wearing a modified version, often including wide trousers. While “long gown” is understandable, what about “banner robe”? This form-fitting fashion statement is far from a robe, and what the heck do banners have to do with it? Of course nothing lasts forever. After the Communist Revolution in 1949, the qipao fell out of favor. Perhaps seen as a symbol of both feudal times and Western influence, anyone caught wearing a qipao was deemed “counter-revolutionary.” However, the tradition of the qipao continued when, it’s said, tailors in Shanghai escaped to Hong Kong . That would explain all the fabulous dresses worn by Maggie Cheung in Wong Kar-Wai’s In the Mood for Love which focuses on the lives of the exiled Shanghainese community in early 1960s Hong Kong.
By the 1920s, long gowns were back in style again, perhaps influenced by Western below-the-knee flapper dresses , and an even further slimmed down version of the original qipao emerged. However, these qipao looked very different from what we know today. They were loose, fully covered the arms and legs, and could be quite heavy with many layers. So how did it transform into its far slinkier modern version? When stockings were introduced in Shanghai in the 1930s, things changed again.  While an ancient city, Shanghai only gained international attention in the mid-19th century when the Treaty of Nanking opened it as a treaty port. By the 1920s and ‘30s, it had become a hotbed of fashion and style. The cheongsam  — also known as the qipao   — might be considered the epitome of Chinese fashion. You can see the elegant, body-hugging dress in art and advertising, male cheongsam malaysia