CHINA!

Big news, everyone – I’m going to China! I’ll be gone for almost 3 weeks! So please don’t think I’ve just forgotten my blog and my lovely readers. I’m going to Beijing, Xi’An, Chengdu, Shanghai, Hong Kong, and Macau.

I won’t be bringing any vintage clothes on my trip because I like to travel cheap and dirty – I’m actually having to dig into my very small collection of non-vintage clothes I have but don’t ever wear anymore! But I do have one vintage goal in China – I want to buy a custom-made qipao (cheongsam). These gorgeous silk dresses were popular in the 30s and 40s but are still worn for some formal occasions. The qipao goes back to the 1600s in a baggy form (brought in by the Manchus and forced upon the Han Chinese, actually) but the qipao as we now know it was designed in the 20s as a fashion statement. They faded in popularity in the 50s as a result of the Communist revolution and a need for more practical work clothes. Some airlines and luxury restaurants require qipao as their uniform but mostly they’re worn on rare occasions. Qipao are close-fitting and the way to go is to get one custom-made, with multiple fittings. And then I will wear it all the time, formality be darned.

So in honor of my China trip, here are some photos and paintings of gorgeous vintage Chinese women!

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In this advertisement from the 30s you can see the typical high collar, short sleeves, and long length of the qipao.

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In the Mood for Love features tons of gorgeous 60’s qipaos.

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The Flowers of War has really, really gorgeous qipaos and fantastic 40s fashion but I would not watch it just for that reason (it’s a really devastating movie about the rape of Nanking. Important stuff, but terrifying and sad).

I’ll see you in three weeks and hopefully I’ll have a beautiful custom-made vintage-style qipao of my own to show you!

 

 

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