Oriental Cheongsam is the traditional Chinese costume and also known as “Qipao” which is more formal term. The “Qipao” is translated from Chinese word called “Banner Dress” and origin from China’s Manchu Nationality. During Dynasty Ching (1644-1911AD), Manchu people who were from Northern China ruled the China and among them organized a group was called Banner People (qiren). The Manchu women normally wore a one pieces dress therefore came to be known as Qipao or Banner Dress. This Chinese costumes “Qipao” became popular among ladies of loyal family in the Qing Dynasty. The traditional Qipao was just a baggy dress and long loosely fitted which covered most of the woman’s body except the head, hands, and the tips of the toes.
In 1920’s, Cheongsam was underwent the change with the influence of Beijing style and Western style. The modern version which slender, formed fitting with high cut of Cheongsam was first developed at Shanghai. The cuff of the Qipao changed to become narrower and trimmed with lace. Moreover, the length of Cheongsam was shorter and it showed the beauty of female body shape to be fully displayed. The Cheongsam was under the transformed from old Qipao style to suit the modernized style of dress and it continue became more popular among the Chinese women at the whole China. In the 1930s and 1940s, Cheongsam designed in various styles and with variety of fabrics. The design style of Cheongsam changed to high-necked collar or even no collars, sleeveless design, short or medium sleeve and bell-like sleeves. These new design was changed the original basic Qipao style and was popular become a dress for high level society.
Cheongsam popularity was curtailed during the Communist Revolution 1949. Shanghai refugees brought the Cheongsam fashion to Hong Kong but it continuing became the favourites among the women because of the unique and elegance style. By 1950s, Cheongsam wore with jackets and in wool materials type as be more functional because the workforce environment for women. These changed of Cheongsam are the fusion among Chinese tradition and western style which become more formal wear for important occasions. The charming and the beauty design style of Cheongsam are the first choice for women to attending the diplomatic function and social gathering. During 1960s, the Oriental Cheongsam was brought aboard to be more popular at Western countries when the movie of The World of Suzie Wong. The character of Suzie Wong showed the elegant of Cheongsam as the essence of profound Chinese traditional culture which attracting foreigners. During Halloween festival, the Cheongsam will be used as one of the costume at Western countries too.
In the business field, the Cheongsam playing the important role where it choose to be a formal uniform for women. You may see the many Chinese restaurant waitress wearing the closed collar, long foot length, high slits to the hip and short or medium sleeve design style. Usually, the design’s fabric is satin and brightly colored silk with Chinese embroidery. Moreover, many airlines company at Mainland China and Taiwan also wearing the similar Cheongsam as uniforms for their stewardess and ladies ground workers such as the uniform of China Airlines, Hainan Airlines and China Eastern Airlines. Due to the working environment are different and for safety purpose, they are wearing in the length of knee and more plain color design. Some of the Cheongsam uniform for flight attendees is not only one pieces dress like the original Qipao style but only the top blouse design Cheongsam style with skirt and some with jacket to suit for the airplane working environment but it is a symbol of Chinese traditional costume and rich with Chinese culture. Following by the International Chinese Films, In the Mood of Love and Lust Caution, Qipao become a famous Chinese costume neither in local China nor abroad international.
During the occasion for diplomatic, many wives of the Chinese’s diplomats and ministers will also wearing the Cheongsam to attend it. Cheongsam in white silk material, short sleeves and embroidered shawl in green color was designed as uniform for the medal bearers in 2008 Beijing Olympics. This charming uniforms design represents the beauty, healthy and softening of Chinese ladies which it is Chinese traditional custom taken from several centuries ago. Furthermore, during the opening ceremony, the female members of the Swedish team and of the Spanish team also wearing the Cheongsam with the national colors blue and yellow. Therefore, Cheongsam is not only became the favorite dress for Chinese ladies but also attracting the ladies from foreigners interested in this Chinese traditional costume.
Nowadays, more and more Chinese brides choose the Cheongsam as their wedding dress which not because Chinese culture influence but the beauty and elegant designs of Cheongsam show perfectly the brides figure on their wedding days. Usually, the brides will wear in the red colour of Cheongsam and embroidered with gold dragon and phoenix symbol which related with Chinese belief that will bring good luck for the couples. This similar Cheongsam also will choose for ladies as festival dress during Chinese New Year. Besides that, any social function party such as birthday party, wedding party, annual dinner party, full moon party, festival celebrities’ party, ladies can choose this Cheongsam dress to attend as formal or informal dress.
The everlasting of elegant Cheongsam are the main reason that helping the growth of Oriental Cheongsam. The variety and unique designs of Cheongsam turned into vogue now. Many of the Western designers also will include the elements of Cheongsam into their designs. You may search from online boutique to discover the latest designs and different variety design of collar, sleeves, length, slits, colours and materials. Some of the online fashion store will provide the customized service but of course the price will be must higher with the ready stock online boutique. The most important is you need to find a suitable design of Cheongsam to fit right your body.