Qipao Dresses

By: Alexandra



These are Qipaos from a very long time ago!
These are Qipaos from a very long time ago!
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This is just one examples of Qipaos beautiful colored designs.
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This is what Qipaos look like in China today!





Do you have that perfect outfit that you love to wear to school or maybe even your friend’s birthday party? Well in China, the perfect party dress is the Qipao. The Qipao dress represents, elegance, beauty and honor. The Qipao is an important piece of Chinese fashion due to the history of the dress, unique design and because it is still worn by Chinese women today.
The Qipao was first made a very long time ago, almost 400 years! During that time, “ women typically wore one piece dresses that came to be known as the Qipao (Elite Dresses).” Qipao means “banner gown” in Chinese (Qipao). It was introduced by a powerful ruler who made all women wear them out everyday! But the way they were designed back then were very different from the way they are today.
When the gowns were first created, they were made to hide the woman’s body by fitting them loosely and they were a lot wider at the waist (Qipao). “ It covered most of the woman’s figure, showing only the head, hands and tips of her toes (Wikipedia).” Although they may not have been very figure flattering, the stunning details of the dress made up for it. Qipaos were made in a rainbow of colors and patterns, meant to catch the eyes of men and show a woman’s natural beauty (Elite Dresses). For example, the dressmakers made the Qipaos so each color represented a different emotion or trait. They used everything from red to represent good luck and blushing brides to blue, which stood for endless beauty, money, food and so on. (Elite Dresses). The most popular symbolism in the gowns was the color black. It was worn by young boys to represent the beginning of their lives, and also worn when others were celebrating the end of their lives (Elite Dresses). Different symbols were placed on the shiny and thin silk fabric to express the woman in the Qipao. The most popular designs were bamboo for strength, tigers for money and fish for plenty and good fortune (Elite Dresses).
Qipaos are still a popular fashion worn by Chinese women all across the world. They have been redesigned and modernized to fit the needs and life style of \ women of today. “ The new adaptation allowed the beauty of the female body to be fully displayed (Qipao).” Now, Qipaos consist of shorter skirts, usually touching the knee and larger slits to show the naturally beautiful legs of Asian women (Qipao). Current Qipaos have narrower sleeves and tighter busts as well (Qipao). The transformation of Qipaos only supports the fact that the dresses are truly timeless.
The Qipao is an influential design pulled directly from the streets of China. It is such an important and memorable dress due to the history behind the dress, the way they are made and the way it is worn today. Don’t you want a Qipao now?




Chinese Fan Paper
By: Rachel


Do you like to use fans in the summer when it is hot outside? If you do, you might like to hear about the fans in China. Chinese Fans are a very important part of Chinese culture. The fans in china have been around for many years, and have many useful things about them. Some really cool things are the history of fans, the different kinds of fans, and the many uses of fans.
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This is a picture of a Chinese silk dancing fan. It is often used in many dramas and authentic dance.

There is a lot of culture in the fans, and also a lot of history. Fans have been around for hundreds of years and started out in the Song dynasty.
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This is a Chinese fan umbrella was used thousands of years ago, as the first fan in the Song Dynasty.
Their main use was to be like an umbrella, and shelter people from the hot Asian sun and strong rain. The more common fan is called a folding fan which is what you would normally see in a Chinese restaurant or in Chinatown. This fan is mainly used because it is easy to carry around. The fans in china are useful in many ways, and have many different ways of using them. For example, fans are often used for decoration in homes or in art. “Partly because of its history and interesting shape, fans are often used as indoor decoration or gift items” (Chinese Fan Art & Fan Culture). This quote is useful because it tells many different ways you can use a Chinese fan. There are many different fans and many uses for each one. For example, there could be a fan that is only used for dance and drama.
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This is a fan that is used purely for decoration also known as a fan ornament.

In conclusion, there are many things that do into the process of a fan. There are many years of history and culture that go into it. And, there are also different uses and purposes for the fan that are very important to Chinese fashion.


CHINESE CLOISONNE
By Zoe
It is an art form that could be a piece of jewelry or a decorative plate or bowl. Cloisonné was a unique art that started in Beijing during the time of 1271-1368. The history of this magnificent art dates back hundreds of years and still continues to be significant in Chinese fashion today. The importance of cloisonné to the Chinese culture is evident when one examines its history, how it is made, and its importance on Chinese fashion today
The art of cloisonné originated during the Ming Dynasty in a region called the Near East. There was an emperor at the time that was very much interested in bronze-casting techniques. He worked to improve the brightly colored enamel fillings that were used.. Cloisonné is the art of forming drawings out of wire on pottery, jewelry or other objects and coloring the spaces with enamel. Once this art was discovered, it spread quickly. Different techniques in making cloisonné were shared between different parts of China by missionaries from central Asia. (Cloisonné.) The merging of all of these techniques developed into what we know as cloisonné today.
Cloisonné is made from copper wire and pinched and formed into complicated designs on pottery, plates, and jewelry. It combined techniques of making bronze and porcelain ware, as well as those traditional paintings and sculptures. (Cloisonné Process) The metal was then heated to a high temperatures so that the artist could mold the wire to its intricate shapes. Once cooled and dried colored enamels were poured into the spaces between the wire and the ceramic to complete the designs. This color process brought out many new colors, such as the bright blue that appealed to the culture of the time. With the growing the trend of cloisonné in China it also developed a great popularity and demand in western culture.
Ming Dynasty cloisonné is very valuable and can often be seen in museums today, but the art of cloisonné continues, and pieces can be found in a wide variety of quality and price ranges. (www.cnarts.net) Cloisonné beads are often sold at bead stores and can be used to make jewelry, while larger cloisonné pieces can be found at jewelry shops, at any stores carrying Chinese crafts, or through online vendors. Cloisonné is available in nearly any color imaginable, depicting a wide range of patterns and subjects.
Cloisonné has evolved to become a very popular hobby for artist and fashion for women. The history of this magnificent art can be traced back hundreds of years and from certain research one can find out about its magnificent historical background throughout the region of China, how its made, and it’s impact it has on the fashion world and China and then it's importance today. Cloisonné is a bright and different work of art that one will always dream to have in their possession.


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In this picture are bracelets with designs of cloisonné. The bracelets in china today are commonly sold and worn as a bright new jewelry and fashion in the Chinese culture.

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This picture is of plates with cloisonné designs on them. They each have multiple amounts of color in them and complex designs of wire placed on them.

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This picture shows a Chinese man molding cloisonné wire and enamel onto a vase to make decorative pottery.

Bibliography:
• “Cheongsam.” Wikipedia. 2009. 24 March, 2009. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qipao

• “Chinese dress Qipao /Cheongsam.” My- Qipaos. 2009. 24 March, 2009. http://www.my-qipao.com/qipaofct_engl/qipaofc2.html• “Chinese QiPao Cheongsam Dress History.” Elite Dresses. 2009. 24 March, 2009. http://www.elitedresses.com/Chinese_QiPao_Cheongsam_Dress_History_s/15.htm

· Design. (Online Image) Available: http://www.pages.drexel.edu/~xl25/qipao.jpg, 25 March, 2009.
· Modern Qipaos. (Online Image) Available: http://www.chinaassistor.com/FCKeditor/UserFiles/Image/20080624_160612_439.jpg, 25 March, 2009.
·Old Qipaos. (Online Image) Available: http://china-corner.com/images/pics/2006314141954.jpg, 25 March, 2009.