Why do I love the Qi Pao?
|Maggie Cheung (In the Mood for Love ~ set in Hong Kong 1962)|
|Fan Bing Bing (Last night of Madam Chin ~ set in Shanghai 1930s-1940s)|
|As Shanghai singing girls......|
|Drama: The Last Night of Madam Chin|
The Qi Pao is certainly a timeless piece and a reminder of female liberation through the ages, but it is also one of the reasons that attracted me to the historically glamorous 1930s to 1940s Shanghai. The golden combination of fur, pearls, high heels, Marcel waved hair and Qi Pao is still my favourite look. I can easily understand how women spent whatever they could in order to get a new Qi Pao custom made by their favourite tailor or dressmaker, and just had to be seen in a new Qi Pao at different parties! As the make and style of the Qi Pao often told the stories of the women's lives; whether one was a Shanghai dancing girl or a Beijing high society maiden, all could be told from the Qi Pao. At the height of its popularity in the 1940s, Qi Pao loving ladies across China were jolted into a world of war and the Qi Pao became an icon for one of the most painful periods of history.
How can I not love such a beautiful garment that represents so much, gives so much and has inspired designers like Issey Miyaki, Valentino and Pierre Cardin? It is art, it is history and it is beauty....it is the Qi Pao! Finally, I leave you with a visual taster of what it was like to waltz the night away in a glamorous Qi Pao during 1929, and the sounds from one of the most famous stars of 1930s to 1940s Shanghai......Zhou Xuan:
Shanghai video link: www.youtube.com/watch?v=mSsX44whmng&feature=related
Zhou Xuan video link: www.youtube.com/watch?v=bL5IdK7XVB0
More recent movies and adaptations of the Golden Shanghai period as well as the Qi Pao:
|Gong Li in 'Shanghai' (movie 2011).|
Note: Some of the photos are my own, but some of the photos have been borrowed from other websites or blogs. For more new and updated posts on Qi Pao, please click here => Label~QiPao