The Origin of Cheongsam and Chinese Women Is the Memory of Stunning Times

01 The cheongsam loved by women

Eileen Chang once said, "Clothes are a language", and every heroine in her novels would use the style of cheongsam to interpret the sorrow and happiness of love, and the prosperity of silk to lament the impermanence of fate.

And Eileen Chang's love for cheongsam can be described as close to crazy.

Eileen Chang's love for cheongsam

Cheongsam is not only an important prop in her novels, but also an indispensable costume in her life, and it is an expression of her views on life, aesthetics and women.

The cheongsam maker who made her cheongsam recalled that he couldn't remember how many pieces of cheongsam he made for Eileen Chang, but he remembered that each piece of cheongsam was made "according to the drawing", and the design came from Eileen Chang herself.

Not only Eileen Chang, but also Chinese women in the 1930s and 1940s seemed to be very fond of cheongsams.

Soong Mei-ling was no less fond of cheongsams than Eileen Chang, and she had hundreds of cheongsams in her closet.

The Origin of Cheongsam and Chinese Women Is the Memory of Stunning Times

Film and television stars such as Hu Die, Ruan Lingyu, and Zhou Xuan are also fans of cheongsam, they not only wear cheongsam out of their own style, under their drive, cheongsam also became a popular fashion.

Especially in Shanghai, Nanjing, and other cities, cheongsam has even become a gorgeous dress for rich wives and ladies.

 

02 Why cheongsam is popular among women

The reason why cheongsam is loved by so many women is not because it can show the beauty of women, but because it has a great relationship with the change of women's thinking and status.

The Origin of Cheongsam and Chinese Women Is the Memory of Stunning Times

Since the Han Dynasty, Chinese Han women gradually wore only the "upper garment and lower dress" type of clothing, wearing robes almost became the patent of men, it is a symbol of the oppression of women in the feudal rituals.

At the beginning of the Republic of China, due to the influx of Western culture and ideas, young people with advanced ideas actively studied the West, and women began to follow the example of men wearing robes in order to seek independence of thought and liberation of women's rights.

It can be said that "cheongsam" is a product of Chinese women on the road to gender equality.

The Origin of Cheongsam and Chinese Women Is the Memory of Stunning Times

However, Oriental women absorbed the aesthetic interest of the West, boldly reflecting the curves of the female physique, the wide, straight characteristics of the cheongsam, waist design, and improvement, to fit the curves of the female body.

The modified cheongsam can not only highlight the body curve, but also make the Chinese people who are used to seeing robes, lapel shirts and Aoqun, have a bright feeling, so it is deeply welcomed by women.

The Origin of Cheongsam and Chinese Women Is the Memory of Stunning Times

 

03 The evolution of cheongsam

The style of cheongsam in the early years of the Republic of China changed extremely fast, the hemline, waist, neckline, and sleeves of cheongsam were constantly being made.

For example, the length of the hem of the cheongsam would be long or short according to the needs of the women's group.

The long cheongsam was started by the Soong Mei-ling and Soong Ching-ling sisters, covering feet with the edge of cheongsam when walking.

This is their own style and did not advocate, but caused everyone to follow suit. So, for a while, long cheongsams became a popular trend.

The Origin of Cheongsam and Chinese Women Is the Memory of Stunning Times

Short cheongsam has short to an inch below the knee, and later there is to above the knee, compared with long cheongsam, short cheongsam which shows beautiful legs is more daring and more popular among young open-minded women group.

Such as the 50s Hong Kong actresses Xia Meng, Lin Dai, etc. are very fond of wearing a short cheongsam.

The Origin of Cheongsam and Chinese Women Is the Memory of Stunning Times

Then there is the change of cheongsam neckline, a reasonable collar type is available and the body perfectly fit, and cheongsam overall with up, will make the overall style of cheongsam into more exquisite aesthetic temperament.

The first cheongsam popular is the low neckline, followed by the popular high neckline, even in the summer heat, thin as cicada wings cheongsam still must be paired with a high and ear hard collar.

The Origin of Cheongsam and Chinese Women Is the Memory of Stunning Times

In addition, there are cheongsam buckles, not only a variety of styles and deep learning, generally speaking, buckles to coordinate with the clothes, color, style, material are to match the different buckles.

In the late 1930s, there was a modified cheongsam that drew on the cutting methods of Western-style clothing to make the shoulders and armpits fit.

The Origin of Cheongsam and Chinese Women Is the Memory of Stunning Times

The biggest feature of this kind of cheongsam, which is a fusion of western style, is that it can be matched with all kinds of clothing.

For example, in winter outside the cheongsam can be set fur coat, in the cheongsam collar, sleeves also with fur trim, these are then a more fashionable way to wear.

The Origin of Cheongsam and Chinese Women Is the Memory of Stunning Times

 

04 The faction of cheongsam

At that time, with the development of cheongsam, two major factions of thought emerged in the production of Jing style cheongsam and Hai style cheongsam.

The two factions are mainly distinguished by style, not simply by geographical division.

Jing style with official style, looks reserved and condensed, compared to the openness and innovation of the "sea school", the "Beijing school" appears to be a royal style, especially in the craft of wrapping and rolling.

The Hai style cheongsam is characterized by the absorption of Western art, flexible and diverse forms, and a strong commercial flavor.

The Origin of Cheongsam and Chinese Women Is the Memory of Stunning Times

The biggest feature is that it is anti-traditional, it makes the cheongsam have a chest dart, waist dart and inset sleeve, shoulder seam, and even add shoulder pad to pursue the perfect line of the human body.

Not only that, at one time, it was also popular to use openwork fabric and translucent silk as fabric to show women's sexiness and elegance.

The Origin of Cheongsam and Chinese Women Is the Memory of Stunning Times

In the movie "Lust, Caution", Tang Wei wore more than 20 pieces of cheongsam, each with strong characteristics of the Hai style, the Shanghai woman's elegance, delicate, and other styles to show the best.

The Origin of Cheongsam and Chinese Women Is the Memory of Stunning Times

 

05 cheongsam, stunning the time

The cheongsam is a successful example of innovation in the transformation of traditional Chinese clothing.

It is the absorption of Western aesthetic interest, such as the euphemism of the Song dynasty classical poetry, the exquisite curves of women, with a lustful way to perfectly embody, but also to retain the dignified style of Chinese clothing.

The Origin of Cheongsam and Chinese Women Is the Memory of Stunning Times

The loose and easy cheongsam allows women to move freely, changing the previous weak image of women, showing the power that cannot be underestimated in the social change.

Slim and improved cheongsam shows women's independent thinking in pursuit of fashionable beauty, breaking the inherent aesthetic standards of men to women in traditional society, and women do not have to shape themselves according to men's preferences and expectations.

The Origin of Cheongsam and Chinese Women Is the Memory of Stunning Times

Cheongsam, which can be said to express the traditional beauty and toughness of oriental women's temperament just right, is the art of Chinese beauty that stuns time and is also the memory and reminiscence of an era.

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