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100 cheongsams display Chinese female charm in past 100 years

(People's Daily Online)

16:51, June 15, 2012

Visitors watch the cheongsams displayed at an exhibition held in China Silk Museum in Hangzhou, capital city of east China’s Zhejiang Province on June 13, 2012.(Xinhua/Jv Huanzong)

Edited and translated by Ye Xin, People's Daily Online

More than 110 cheongsams from the late Qing Dynasty to the present day were displayed at an exhibition held in China Silk Museum in Hangzhou, capital city of east China’s Zhejiang Province. Some of these cheongsams were donated by the social celebrities.

The exhibition, opened on June 11, was divided into five units and introduced the cultural background, shell fabric, manufacture process and pattern style. It presents the evolution process of Chinese cheongsam in the past 100 years.

The cheongsam is a body-hugging one-piece Chinese dress for women. It is known in English as a mandarin gown. The stylish and often tight-fitting cheongsam that is most often associated with today was created in the 1920s in Shanghai and was made fashionable by socialites and upper-class women. This close-fitting dress with a high neck and the slits on the sides, comes from China's Manchu Nationality.

In the 1920s, the cheongsam became popular throughout China. With the influence of Western dress styles, the Cheongsam underwent a change. The cuffs grew narrower and were usually trimmed with thin lace. The length of the dress was shortened as well. This new adaptation allowed the beauty of female body to be fully displayed.

The cheongsam became standard female attire until the 1960s. Following Western fashion, the tailors raised the hem, even to above the knee, so that the "long" was no longer long.

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