Saturday, October 29, 2005

Chi pao

Quotes from a no longer existent Web page: Japanese Variations on a Chinese Theme

Worn by movie stars and fashionistas, qipao has been adopted as a symbol of Chinese identity in the world of international fashion and no other style of dress is as versatile or possesses such a fascinating history.

'Qipao can display the modesty, softness, beauty and temperament of Chinese women,' says Mayumi, speaking fluent Chinese, at her rented French-style villa near Huaihai Road M. which is also her working studio. 'Any woman wearing a qipao has no other choice but to show off a graceful and refined manner because they have to hold in their stomach and keep their back and neck straight. You can't slouch in a qipao. It forces you to be graceful.'

"The qipao evolved from a loose, long robe worn by Manchu women in the late Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) into the fashionable dresses worn by stylish women in 1930s Shanghai."