In Search Of Cheongsam: Exquisite Inspirations
The traditional Chinese dress, the Qipao, also known as Cheongsam, has evolved through the years since the 1920s, and has been worn by Chinese women around the world. It’s symbolism might have changed – from a symbol of modernity in the 20’s in China, the showcase of the Chinese roots for overseas Chinese women in the 30’s and 40’s, to an everyday trendy working dress for the Singapore women in the 50’s and 60’s, to it’s present day versatility of a formal dress as well as a subject of reinterpretation by designers.
We visited the exhibition, In The Mood For Cheongsam (which ran from 28 Mar 2012 – 27 June 2012) at the National Museum of Singapore to view the collection of beautiful pieces. Here are some highlights.
In the 1930s, the burn-out effect of using chemicals to create a floral pattern on silk and velvet was extremely popular. We like to think that it still is now!
If you were inspired and want a bespoke Cheongsam for yourself, pay a visit to these Singaporean designers:
328 North Bridge Road, #02-10, Raffles Hotel Arcade, Singapore 119719
Tel: +65 6338 4806
Amor Meus Design Studio
36 Purvis Street, #02-01 Talib Centre, Singapore 118613
Tel: +65 6336 6930
Tailoring a cheongsam is not as easy as one thinks, with the tailors studying for years for master the perfect cut and fit. If you don’t have the opportunity to go to a tailor, a ready-to-wear version may be the next best thing, but you’ll need to have it altered (by an experienced tailor) to nip in with the curves of your body.
You can also explore the collection at Shanghai Tang, which has a selection of Cheongsams which can be purchased off the rack.