Chinese Traditional Costume : Qipao
The cheongsam is a traditional dress worn by Chinese women, typified by a high collar, long length (mid-calf usually) and button or frog closures near the shoulder. This fitted dress is often made up in shimmering silk, embroidered satin or other sensual fabrics. Best on athletic or slim figures, the cheongsam is an acceptable alternative to the little black dress for special occasions.
Cheongsam(Qipao) is a chinese female dress with distinctive Chinese features and enjoys a growing popularity in the international world of fashion. This body-hugging dress for women in China originating from the Manchus in the early 17th century, modernized and improved in Shanghai around 1900.
The name "cheongsam," stands for "long dress," comes from the dialect of China's Guangdong Province (Cantonese). In other parts of the country including Beijing, however, it is known as "qipao".
Easy and comfortable to wear, cheongsam fits well the Chinese female figure. Its high neck, closed collar, and its sleeves may be either short, medium or full length, depending mainly on season and taste. The dress is buttoned on the right or lefr side, with a loose chest, a fitting waist, and slits up from the sides, all of which combine to set off the beauty of the female shape.
The cheongsam is not too complicated to make. Not only it calls for little material, but also for there are no accessories like belts, scarves, sashes or frills. Besides its simplicity, Qipao provides designers with vast and creative space: some short, some long, with low, high, or even no collars at all.
Today, with its variety of styles, more and more women in China appreciate its beauty. In many occasions, cheongsam is their first choice among dresses. Actually, lots of influential people have suggested that this kind of dress should become the national dress for women in China. This shows that it remains an important part of Chinese culture.