Fashion has become such an essential part of our daily lives that it is impossible to separate from it. Not only is it a guide to trends and style, but it also carries great historical and cultural meaning. Although the history of Qipao being the Chinese traditional costume is not as long as that of Hanfu, it has become the most representable and well-known Chinese clothing.
Many believed Qipao is something old-fashioned and not relatable nowadays. However, Qipao represents the women’s liberation then, it plays an important role in portraying the mixture of Eastern and Western ideologies. Writer, Eileen Chang, is one of the greatest representative of wearing Qipao at that time. Her confidence and determination to fight for gender quality added a touch of unyieldingness to the soft and elegant Qipao.
As time goes by, Qipao is slowly being replaced by Western formal wear in Shanghai, the craftsmanship was then being brought to Hong Kong to continue making a splash in the sixties.
Speaking of the most profound and recognisable Qipao, it is difficult not to mention the outfits shown in the film, “In the Mood for Love”. Wong Kar-wai, the director, and William Chang, the art director, their contribution to promoting Qipao cannot go unnoticed, as they have introduced Qipao to the younger generations and educated viewers on appreciating the art of qipao.
The film sets in the sixties, and Maggie Cheung, the female lead, has changed into more than 20 sets of Qipao. Every outfit symbolises and represents a different meaning as the plot changes, seemingly integrating Qipao with the character.
Cheung has brought out the distinctive charm of Qipao in the film.
If you are interested in Qipao, you also have the chance to have a taste of the tradition in Hong Kong. Just like Kimono or Hanbok experience, simply rent a set of Qipao and take a nice walk around Central, devour the amazing food from Dai Pai Dong, experiencing the life of Mrs Chan in the film.
Yan Shang Kee — Qipao Experience
Address: Flat C, 1/F, 16A Elgin Street, Central, Hong Kong
You can also visit bespoke tailors in Hong Kong to custom made a set of distinctive Qipao.
Mee Wah Qipao
Address: 76 Queen’s Road West, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong
Telephone: 2543 6889
Linva Tailor — Qipao
Address: G/F, 38 Cochrane Street, Central, Hong Kong
Telephone: 2544 2456
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