Qipao — An Oriental Heritage of Beauty Blooming at the Heart of Europe
Friday, 22 June 2018
For centuries, oriental women are considered to be epitome of grace and charm. Their elegance stands out through every aspect of the life, for instance, their taste of dressing, particularly. Among numerous types of costumes, Qipao is undoubtedly one of the most influential dresses. Originated from the bannerman’s gowns in the Qing Dynasty and developed in Shanghai in the 1920s, Qipao combines the traditional cultural codes of China with international fashion trends, and has been listed as China’s intangible cultural heritage.
Group photo of the female diplomats, Chinese students and European friends acting as models during the show Group photo of all the performers with Ambassador Zhang Ming and the distinguished guests
An exhibition named“Century-old Qipao: From Shanghai to Brussels”was held from April 26 to May 18 at the China Cultural Center in Brussels next to the European Union headquarters. As part of the celebrations of the China-EU Tourism Year, the exhibition showcases not only the charm of Chinese culture, but also the determination of China to further open up and embrace the world.
Traditional and modernized Qipao gowns displayed during the exhibition
“Fashion mirrors social movements,” remarked Ambassador Zhang Ming, Head of the Chinese Mission to the EU, emphasizing that the history of modern Qipao’s design and the way it became an iconic dress for Chinese women result from the huge change in terms of economy, social life, culture and sense of beauty, thanks to the opening up process of Shanghai and China as a whole. A pleasant surprise was also given to the audience during the opening ceremony: the female diplomats and spouses of diplomats from the Chinese Mission to the EU, Chinese students in Belgium as well as European friends turned into models, presented a fashion show featuring traditional and modernized Qipao.
European models wearing different kinds of Qipao during the show
During the 28-day exhibition, a range of qipao gowns, old photographs and traditional illustrated calendars have been put on display, telling the history of Qipao’s birth, growth, decline, revival as well as its development and showcasing its magic power that merged the fashions of East and West.