In the Mood for Love: Qipaos in Storytelling

By Rinto Fujimoto

Wong Kar Wai’s masterpiece In the Mood for Love presents us with an impressive collection of qipaos which may remind some of us of a bygone era. The movie is set in 1962, based on the lives of the Shanghai diaspora of Hong Kong who fled from the terror of revolution present in mainland China at that time. It follows the peculiar relationship developed by two neighbours, Mr Chow (Tony Leung) and Mrs Chan (Maggie Cheung) who bond over the infidelity of their respective partners. The movie is beautifully shot with each scene having its own unique charm but inevitably, our eyes are drawn towards one element: Mrs Chan’s stunning qipaos.

In this article, I am going to explore the role played by qipaos in storytelling and share with you some photos of my favourite scenes.

 

Mrs Chow’s Emotions and Her Qipaos

The feelings that transpire the most from the main characters are melancholy and loneliness. It is somewhat ironic that despite seeing the two characters often surrounded by neighbours and co-workers, we feel as if there is a barrier separating them from the others. This feeling of isolation is beautifully captured by a scene in which Mrs Chan orders noodles at an eatery which she regularly frequents: her elegant qipao makes her seem out of place, in contrast with the grey and dim surroundings of the street eatery.

In fact, her wardrobe of more than 20 qipaos reveals more about her than the emotions she lets out: the floral patterns emphasize her vulnerability, the colour green her jealousy, red her love for Mr Chow …

 

Qipaos Throughout the Course of the Movie

Besides love, the passing of time is another central theme in the movie. Despite the apparent continuity between some scenes, Mrs Chan’s qipaos are often the only indicator that two similar scenes take place at different points in time and that their relationship evolves over several months. For example, she wears a charming light blue qipao with a daffodil pattern in one restaurant scene and a more elegant, black and white qipao with elegantly designed colour gradation in the following scene.

This repetition of similar scenes suggests that Mr Chow and Mrs Chan have, on several occasions, been out together. Yet, we feel a deep sense of frustration when we observe that despite the passing of time, they are unable to fall fully in love with each other. In fact, both characters are only able to express their feelings for each other through the re-enactment of their partners’ affairs, denying that they too are in love. As Mrs Chan puts it: “We will never be like them.”

 

One Frame, One Painting

In addition to the plot, the beauty of each shot is perhaps what makes In the Mood for Love such an exceptional movie. Critics have often noted the frequent use of a frame within a frame by Wong Kar Wai to add depth to his shots, and it is not uncommon to see a scene that is filmed through a window or a doorway. From the viewer’s perspective, this creates the feeling that we are examining a painting, with our sight fixated on one element: the qipao worn by Maggie Leung. Here, one particular scene that comes to my mind is the moment when Mrs Chan thoughtfully stares towards the camera in her daffodil qipao, surrounded on both sides by flowery curtains.

To me, the colours and composition of the scenes are reminiscent of an impressionist painting. The aesthetics of the movie might explain why so many people watched In the Mood for Love multiple times, as there are always more details to discover with each viewing.

Did this article arouse your curiosity? If you haven’t yet watched In the Mood for Love, here is the film’s trailer to give you an overview:

Also, if you felt inspired by Maggie Leung’s elegant style, you may want to check out our store at InteractChina.com! Here, we offer a large collection of handmade high-quality qipaos that will bring a touch of oriental elegance to your wardrobe.

 

About Interact China


“A Social Enterprise in E-commerce Promoting Oriental Aesthetic Worldwide”

Aileen & Norman co-founded Interact China in 2004 with specialization in fine Oriental Aesthetic products handmade by ethnic minorities & Han Chinese. Having direct partnerships with artisans, designers, craft masters and tailors, along with 13 years of solid experience in e-commerce via InteractChina.com, we are well positioned to bridge talented artisans in the East with the rest of the world, and directly bring you finely selected products that are of good quality and aesthetic taste.

So far we carry 3000+ goods covering Ladies Fashion via ChineseFashionStyle.com, Kungfu Fashion, Home Furnishings, Babies & Kids, Painting Arts, Textile Arts, Carving Arts, Tribal Jewelry Art, Wall Masks and Musical Instruments. Our team speak English, French, German, Spanish and Italian, and serve customers worldwide with passion and hearts.


P.S. We Need People with Similar Passion to Join Our Blogging Team!
If you have passion to write about Oriental Aesthetic in Fashion, Home Decor, Art & Crafts, Culture, Music, Books, and Charity, please contact us at bloggers@interactchina.com, we would love to hear from you!

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Wedding Dresses of Chinese Ethnic Minorities

Written by Sabrina Bennis

China is home to 56 different ethnic groups, giving place to a great variety of different wedding customs and rituals. Although nowadays it is frequent that couples decide to wear modern Western wedding clothes, many preserve their tradition and cultural background. Let us look at some of the most beautiful wedding gowns of five Chinese ethnic minorities.

The Miao

The main feature of the Miao’s wedding attire is the finely embroidered dress and the intricate silver ornaments.  Embroidery is a traditional Miao skill that girls are taught by their mothers since a young age. The first work of embroidery that a girl undertakes, at the age of seven or eight, is her wedding dress, which she will finish the day of her marriage. In the Miao culture, the ability of a woman to produce beautiful embroidery is as important a marriageable asset.

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The bride’s finely embroidered wedding dress is complemented by silver jewelry. It is comprised of silver tiara hairpins, combs and earrings, a silver collar and chains, silver chaplets and necklaces, as well as rings and bangles worn on the wrist and the ankles. Parents start collecting silver jewelry for their daughter’s wedding as infants. On the day she gets married, a Miao woman can wear up to 10 kg of exquisitely fashioned silver. The more the merrier, as these ornaments are not only a symbol of feminine beauty but also a sign of social status representing the bride’s family wealth.

 

The Hmong

The Hmong people are a sub-group of the Miao ethnic group. Wedding attires of this minority are very colorful and are usually made of pleated batik with appliqué decorations. Women typically wear a skirt and a jacket, both of which are covered with an apron that is worn in front of them and tied at the back. The jacket and the apron are decorated with multicolored beads. The bride also wears a big embroidered headdress that is also adorned with colorful beads hanging from it.

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The Qiang

The Qiang people mainly live in mountainous regions in the northwestern part of Sichuan province. The female wedding attire is an ankle-long red dress and an apron tied around the waist. Embroidery has a deep cultural value for the Qiang people, and just as it is the case with the Miao, women get taught this skill from a young age. Therefore, the wedding dresses are decorated with rich embroidery, usually flowery patterns. The colors most used are red, blue, yellow, green, and pink.

qiang2qiang 2qiang

Brides also wear a vertically-inclined embroidered headdress with plum blossom ornamentation. Qiang people wear YunYun shoes, a kind of handmade cloth shoe that has the shape of a boat and has cloud pattern on it.

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The Bai

Just as in the Western culture, Bai brides wear white at their wedding.  However, instead of a long dress, they wear a top and pants. White is the favorite color of this ethnic minority, representing dignity and a high social status. The other dominant color of the Bai wedding attire is red. Over these garments, Bai women wear a delicate and finely embroidered waistcoat and apron, which tend to be red, green, light blue and rose; and are adorned with camellia flowers because they are believed to symbolize beauty.

 

Depending on the area, Bai women also wear charming headdresses that nicely match with their clothes. Although the traditional Bai wedding attire has some colorful touches, it maintains a simple yet elegant style.

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The Mongols

Mongolian couples wear traditional clothing called Del which is made from cotton and silk with patterns. Typically, the groom wears dark colored Del and the bride lighter colors such as red and pink. The female tunic is long-sleeved and is decorated with intricate appliqué brocade.

Mongols2

 

Brides also wear elaborated traditional jewelry around their neck and hanging from their hair. Gemstones and semi-precious stones such as Turquoise and Sapphires are favorites of the Mongolian people. A headdress is worn by both the groom and the bride, but its shape and adornments vary from place to place.

 

 

About Interact China


“A Social Enterprise in E-commerce Promoting Oriental Aesthetic Worldwide” 

Aileen & Norman co-founded Interact China in 2004 with specialization in fine Oriental Aesthetic products handmade by ethnic minorities & Han Chinese. Having direct partnerships with artisans, designers, craft masters and tailors, along with 10 years solid experience in e-commerce via InteractChina.com, we position well to bridge talented artisans in the East with the rest of the world, and bring you direct finely selected products that are of good quality and aesthetic taste.

So far we carry 3000+ goods covering Ladies Fashion, Kungfu Clothing, Home Furnishings, Babies & Kids, Painting Arts, Textile Arts, Carving Arts, Tribal Jewelry Art, Wall Masks and Musical Instruments. Our team speak English, French, German, Spanish and Italian, and serve customers worldwide with passion and hearts.


P.S. We Need People with Similar Passion to Join Our Blogging Team!

If you have passion to write about Oriental Aesthetic in Fashion, Home Decor, Art & Crafts, Culture, Music, Books, and Charity, please contact us at bloggers@interactchina.com, we would love to hear from you!

CHINESE LADY LINGERIE IN ANCIENT CHINA (6) Time-Travel Dudou

Written by Gioia Zhang

 

In recent years,oriental beauty has been increasingly favored by designers all over the world. Dudou is considered as one of the most classic elements on both domestic and international fashion show stages.

In 2015, Taiwan’s leading lingerie brand, Wacoal, held a grand 45th Anniversary feast in Taipei (the capital of Taiwan). They made a special display of antique Dudou that have been collected over the years.

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Beginning with six sets of antique Dudous,the event then featured ten sets of creative Dudous. Wacoal used modern technology of papercut, 3D print, and LED to present ancient Dudous to audience.

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In the same year, a fashion designer brought Chinese style to the London Fashion Week. He combined traditional Chinese embroidery with western-style tailoring. This changed westerners’ impression of the Chinese Dudou. Styling it on a western male model showed another interpretation of the Chinese Dudou to the world.

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In the 2015 Shenzhen Fashion Week of Original Design, fashion designer Sun Haitao designed a collection of creative children’s clothing using the element of Dudou.

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https://v.qq.com/x/cover/dsse9apufg03h8x/b017607nki9.html

Not only on the stage, but also in the deep alleys of Beijing there are Dudou brands. One example is Pillowbook, a lingerie brand studio. It differs from the traditional design of the souvenir shop which have large red embroidered pattern. Pillowbook uses simple lines. The use of traditional pane element on the neckline design shows us a different Chinese style. This brand creates their product exclusively with silk cloth. They pack their products with rice paper and there is a handwritten washing label and a rope tie. The Dudou of Pillowbook can be worn both inside and outside. The designer Irene looks forward to adding more modern elements to Dudou and integrating them naturally into daily life.

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Different people have different interpretations of traditional Chinese lingerie. We hope that more and more people would be willing to spend time in appreciating those beautiful handcrafted products and Chinese culture. At the same time, it would be great if more and more designers give Dudou new interpretations to preserve and spread the artistic and skillful design over the world.

 

About Interact China


“A Social Enterprise in E-commerce Promoting Oriental Aesthetic Worldwide” 

Aileen & Norman co-founded Interact China in 2004 with specialization in fine Oriental Aesthetic products handmade by ethnic minorities & Han Chinese. Having direct partnerships with artisans, designers, craft masters and tailors, along with 10 years solid experience in e-commerce via InteractChina.com, we position well to bridge talented artisans in the East with the rest of the world, and bring you direct finely selected products that are of good quality and aesthetic taste.

So far we carry 3000+ goods covering Ladies Fashion, Kungfu Clothing, Home Furnishings, Babies & Kids, Painting Arts, Textile Arts, Carving Arts, Tribal Jewelry Art, Wall Masks and Musical Instruments. Our team speak English, French, German, Spanish and Italian, and serve customers worldwide with passion and hearts.


P.S. We Need People with Similar Passion to Join Our Blogging Team!

If you have passion to write about Oriental Aesthetic in Fashion, Home Decor, Art & Crafts, Culture, Music, Books, and Charity, please contact us at bloggers@interactchina.com, we would love to hear from you!

CHINESE LADY LINGERIE IN ANCIENT CHINA (4) – Exquisite Techniques

Written by Gioia Zhang

 

A variety of techniques are used in the decoration of traditional Chinese women’s lingerie such as embroidery, inlay, appliqué, patch and more. Those techniques have distinctive processes and fine degree.

“Embroidery” is divided into four major categories, satin stitch, coil stitch, hand sewn stitch, and braid stitch.

  • Satin stitch is also called painting embroidery. The embroidery patterns are mainly in small size, and the stitches are parallel and arranged neatly. It was used more common in the Song and Yuan dynasties.

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Part Dudou: Period – The Late Qing Dynasty

 

  • Among all kinds of coil stitches, seed stitch is the most distinctive one. Though the stitching process is simple, it produces a solid aesthetic effect.

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Part Dudou: Period – The Late Qing Dynasty

 

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  • Hand sewn stitches are hand sewn sequins and appliqués used to decorate lady lingerie.

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Part Dudou: Period – The Republic of China Era

 

  • Braid stitch was not used very much in traditional Chinese lingerie. In general, the ancient people in China used “cross-stitch embroidery”.

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Part Corset: Period – The Republic of China Era

 

The ancient people of China were good at decorating lingerie with golden line embroidery.

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Part Dudou: Period – The Middle Qing Dynasty

 

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Part Dudou: Period – The Republic of China Era

 

 

“Inlay” refers to the use of a decorative strip of cloth /lace /embroidery sewn on the edge of underwear to form a decoration. This brocade (a type of tightly woven fabric) shows the idea of trimming the edge with exquisite silk.

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Part Corset: Period – The Middle Qing Dynasty

 

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Part Corset: Period – The Republic of China Era ·

 

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Part Corset: Period – The Early Qing Dynasty

 

“Trimming”/ “rolling off” is the process of wrapping the edges with cloth.

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Part Corset: Period – The Middle Qing Dynasty

 

“Appliqué” is a quick stitching decoration technique, an integration of embroidery and other processes to form a flat or semi perspective effect.

 

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Dudou: Period – The Late Qing Dynasty

 

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Dudou: Period – The Late Qing Dynasty

 

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Dudou: Period – The Late Qing Dynasty

 

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Dudou: Period – The Late Qing Dynasty

This Dudou is appliquéd with pre-cut patterns and decorated with satin stitch.

 

The “patching” is a process of sewing different pieces of cloth together. It has the meaning of “mending the deficiency” and is the icing on the cake for the Dudou.

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Paddy Field Dudou: Period – The Late Qing Dynasty

 

Exquisite craftsmanship is also reflected in the arrangement of layers and the refinement of the decorations. Decorating the connected parts with frog buttons make the underwear more attractive.

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Dudou: Period – The Late Qing Dynasty

 

The garment technique of Chinese traditional underwear is in line with the concept of “harmony between man and nature” and, in particular, the “round sky and square earth” theory. The lower part of the garment is “the circle shape in the front and the square shape in the back”. Putting the pattern of the Ruyi and butterfly in front of the chest is a metaphor of “lucky arrival ”.

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Part Nashao: Period – The Late Qing Dynasty

 

The ancient Chinese people also use batik, hand-painting and other techniques to enrich the style and effect of women lingerie.

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Underwear Cloth: Period – The Republic of China era

 

They not only use silk, brocade and other premium quality fabric, they also use homespun cotton, cambric and fine bamboo to create lingerie.

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Hollowed Out Clothes: Period – The Late Qing Dynasty

 

To connect each part with bead is also one of the most ingenious techniques.

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Dudou: Period – Late Qing Dynasty

 

The spinning technique weaves and wraps fabric into different kinds of tassels. This is very imaginative.

 

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Part Dudou: Period – The Late Qing Dynasty

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Dudou: Period – The Late Qing Dynasty

 

The beautiful lingerie was made simply by a small piece of cloth and with different stitching methods. The lingerie had infinite possibilities of design, full of imagination and creativity. The wisdom of ancient people in China has amazed the world!

 

This article refers to 《Fantasy Beyond Body: The Civilization of Chinese Underwear in Ancient Times》

 

About Interact China


“A Social Enterprise in E-commerce Promoting Oriental Aesthetic Worldwide” 

Aileen & Norman co-founded Interact China in 2004 with specialization in fine Oriental Aesthetic products handmade by ethnic minorities & Han Chinese. Having direct partnerships with artisans, designers, craft masters and tailors, along with 10 years solid experience in e-commerce via InteractChina.com, we position well to bridge talented artisans in the East with the rest of the world, and bring you direct finely selected products that are of good quality and aesthetic taste.

So far we carry 3000+ goods covering Ladies Fashion, Kungfu Clothing, Home Furnishings, Babies & Kids, Painting Arts, Textile Arts, Carving Arts, Tribal Jewelry Art, Wall Masks and Musical Instruments. Our team speak English, French, German, Spanish and Italian, and serve customers worldwide with passion and hearts.


P.S. We Need People with Similar Passion to Join Our Blogging Team!

If you have passion to write about Oriental Aesthetic in Fashion, Home Decor, Art & Crafts, Culture, Music, Books, and Charity, please contact us at bloggers@interactchina.com, we would love to hear from you!

Chinese Shoe Culture(IV)The Multi-Layer Sole

Written by Gioia Zhang

 

The craft of multi-layer-sole cloth shoes was a remarkable achievement in Chinese shoe making history, carrying tremendous history, culture and craft value. It has been listed on China’s second intangible cultural heritage list since 2008. The shoe sole is made of many layers of cloth stitched together under fine processes.

The earliest shoes with sewn soles began in the Zhou dynasty. According to archeological research, these stitched soles were first used in the army because of the requirement for abrasion-resistant shoes. Then, these shoes with sewn soles become popular among the public. This was the first time that friction theory was used in shoe design in China.

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In the Qing dynasty, sewn sole shoes evolved into multi-layer-sole shoes which is famous around the world. There is a set of strict procedures for the making of multi-layer-sole shoes. The shoes are good at heat releasing in summer, and can keep feet warm in winter. The modern multi-layer-sole shoes are quite different from the traditional ones. Whether in design or in material, modern multi-layer shoes align with the current aesthetic trend of returning to nature.

4 内联升大鱼海棠系列女鞋.jpgNeiLianSheng Women’s Shoes Series with Big Fish and Begonia Design

(NeiLianSheng is a brand)

4 内联升西瓜圆口布鞋.pngNeiLianSheng’s Watermelon Round-Opening Sewn Shoes

4 内联升千彩女鞋.jpgNeiLianSheng’s Colorful Women’s Shoes

4 内联升织锦婚鞋.pngNeiLianSheng’s Brocade Wedding Shoes

4 内联升蓝印花布方口女鞋.jpgNeiLianSheng’s Indigo Printed Square-Opening Women’s Shoes

4 内联升花卉女鞋.jpgNeiLianSheng’s Floral Women’s Shoes

4 内联升纯手工僧侣凉鞋.jpgNeiLianSheng’s Handmade Monk Sandals

4 内联升锦衣卫手绘工作鞋.jpgNeiLianSheng’s Imperial Guards’ Working Shoes

About Interact China


“A Social Enterprise in E-commerce Promoting Oriental Aesthetic Worldwide” 

Aileen & Norman co-founded Interact China in 2004 with specialization in fine Oriental Aesthetic products handmade by ethnic minorities & Han Chinese. Having direct partnerships with artisans, designers, craft masters and tailors, along with 10 years solid experience in e-commerce via InteractChina.com, we position well to bridge talented artisans in the East with the rest of the world, and bring you direct finely selected products that are of good quality and aesthetic taste.

So far we carry 3000+ goods covering Ladies Fashion, Kungfu Clothing, Home Furnishings, Babies & Kids, Painting Arts, Textile Arts, Carving Arts, Tribal Jewelry Art, Wall Masks and Musical Instruments. Our team speak English, French, German, Spanish and Italian, and serve customers worldwide with passion and hearts.


P.S. We Need People with Similar Passion to Join Our Blogging Team!

If you have passion to write about Oriental Aesthetic in Fashion, Home Decor, Art & Crafts, Culture, Music, Books, and Charity, please contact us at bloggers@interactchina.com, we would love to hear from you!

Chinese Shoe Culture(V)Colorful Tribal Shoes

Written by Gioia Zhang

 

The vast and fertile land of China gives birth to multi-ethnic cultures. Footwear also shows astonishing changes with civilizations from different geographical circumstances.

5满族黑贡呢云纹双梁花鞋.jpgManchu Black Tribute Flower Shoes with Double Beams · The Late Qing Dynasty and Early Period of the Republic of China

Manchu women wore flag shoes, and Manchu men wore boots. Most of the flag shoes were embedded with double beams, but some were sewed in cloud patterns with brocade, called “cloud shoes”. Manchu women’s shoes were divided into flat sole types and high sole types. Some of the high-sole shoes had the design of a “horse hoof”.

5藏族红黑毛呢绣花长靴.jpgTibetan Thigh Wool Boots with Red and Black Embroidery · Contemporary

There are many kinds of Tibetan boots, which can be roughly divided into 3 types: cow leather boots, corduroy boots, and woolen cotton boots. However, there is no difference between men and women’s boots. They were only different in height and thickness.

5侗族挽针绣翘头绣花鞋.jpgDong Tribe’s Warped Head Shoes with Double Chain Stitch Embroidery · Contemporary.

5侗族马尾绣翘头绣花鞋.jpgDong Tribe’s Warped Head Shoes with Horsetail Embroidery · Contemporary

The Dong tribe’s embroidered warped head shoes, also called “hook shoes,” had a pointed end like a ship’s bow or an ox’s horn, a symbol that payed respect to nature and animals. Many Chinese ethnic groups make symmetrical shoes. This simplifies the shoe-making process, and also reduces the difference in abrasion between the two sides caused by constant wearing.

5鄂温克族犴皮靴.jpgEwenki Tribe’s Dog Skin Boots · Contemporary

Before the late Qing dynasty, the Ewenki people made all their clothes from animal skin, as they lived in a cold region and made use of animal husbandry. Their hide boots were warm, portable, and resilient. Walking with Ewenkian hide boots in snow and in mountains made only tiny sounds, which was helpful for hunting.

5鄂温克族犴腿皮靴.jpgEwenki Tribe’s Dog Skin Boots · Contemporary

Ewenki people wear dog skin boots all year round. Generally the summer’s boots are hairless. In winter, people put wula grass, one of the three treasures of Dongbei province, in their shoes to keep their feet warm.

5青海互助土族绣花鞋.jpgEmbroidered Shoes of Tu Ethnic Group in Qinghai Province · Contemporary

5青海互助土族腰鞋.jpgThigh Boots of Tu Ethnic Group in Qinghai Province · Contemporary

Tu embroidery features delicate stitches, vibrant colors, compact woven structures, and is easy to preserve. Patterns on these shoes are mainly made by simple stiches using bright colors, and show the unique artistic attraction of the Tu people’s embroidery. Rainbow-patterned decoration is usually on Tu women’s clothing, and therefore the ethnic area in Qinghai province is known as the “rainbow town”.

5四川茂汶羌族花鞋.jpgEmbroidered Shoes and Hand-sewn Soles of Maowen Qiang Ethnic Group in Sichuan Province · Contemporary

The cloud shoes, often with embroidered soles, are homemade cotton shoes which the Qiang people wear on holidays. The shoes represent love in Qiang’s traditions.

5赫哲族鱼皮鞋.jpgFish Leather Shoes of the Hezhen Ethnic Group · Contemporary

The Hezhen ethnic group lives along the Songhua River, earning their livelihoods by fishing and hunting. Using fish skin to make clothing, including jackets, pants, bags, and shoes, is the Hezhen ethnic group’s distinct traditional skill.

5白族女花鞋.jpgEmbroidered Shoes of Bai Ethnic Group · Contemporary

Ladies from the Bai tribe also have handmade shoe traditions.

5保安族黑贡缎刺绣女夹袜.jpgBlack Sateen Embroidered Women’s Socks from Baoan Ethnic Group · Contemporary

The Baoan ethnic group’s traditional “shoe-socks,” also known as “worship shoes,” are usually taken off in mosques. Since the bottom of the socks are the hells are shown during worship service, the Baoan people sewed exquisite flower patterns to the bottom of the heel of the “shoe-socks.”

As we can see, there are countless achievements of Chinese handcrafted art.

 

About Interact China


“A Social Enterprise in E-commerce Promoting Oriental Aesthetic Worldwide” 

Aileen & Norman co-founded Interact China in 2004 with specialization in fine Oriental Aesthetic products handmade by ethnic minorities & Han Chinese. Having direct partnerships with artisans, designers, craft masters and tailors, along with 10 years solid experience in e-commerce via InteractChina.com, we position well to bridge talented artisans in the East with the rest of the world, and bring you direct finely selected products that are of good quality and aesthetic taste.

So far we carry 3000+ goods covering Ladies Fashion, Kungfu Clothing, Home Furnishings, Babies & Kids, Painting Arts, Textile Arts, Carving Arts, Tribal Jewelry Art, Wall Masks and Musical Instruments. Our team speak English, French, German, Spanish and Italian, and serve customers worldwide with passion and hearts.


P.S. We Need People with Similar Passion to Join Our Blogging Team!

If you have passion to write about Oriental Aesthetic in Fashion, Home Decor, Art & Crafts, Culture, Music, Books, and Charity, please contact us at bloggers@interactchina.com, we would love to hear from you!

Chinese Shoe Culture (VI) The Spirit Under Foot

Written by Gioia Zhang

 

In northern China, children often wear animal shoes. These animal shoes are a traditional type of embroidery made using the applique technique, where cotton, linen, and other materials are stitched into a variety of patterns.

Women found that children’s shoes were particularly vulnerable to breaking, so they cut clothes into many animal prints and sewed them on the shoes. This not only increased the wear resistance of children’s shoes but also made them have a very interesting aesthetic.

6虎纹婴儿靴 民国.jpgTiger Head Baby Boots · Republic of China

6虎纹婴儿鞋 民国.jpg

6虎纹婴儿鞋 民国2.jpgTiger Head Baby Shoes · Republic of China

Chinese people devote a particular care to wearing shoes. They traditionally believed that wearing tiger head or lion head shoes could dispel evil spirits and bring peace, as tigers and lions are the kings of animals.

6狮子纹童鞋  民国.pngChildren’s Lion Shoes · Republic of China

 6狮子纹婴儿鞋 民国.jpgBaby’s Lion Shoes · Republic of China

6平针绣狮子纹婴儿连脚裤 民国.jpgBaby’s Plain-stitched Lion Pattern Pantyhose · Republic of China

6猪纹婴儿鞋 民国.jpgBaby’s Pig Shoes · Republic of China

 These pig shoes carry parents’ best wishes for their babies to be healthy and grow strong, as pigs both eat well and sleep well.

6龙纹带须婴儿靴 民国.jpgBaby’s Dragon Boots · Republic of China

The dragon, an auspicious totem in Chinese culture, is a popular design in Chinese clothing and adornments.

6猫头鞋 民国.jpgBaby’s Cat Shoes · Republic of China

6兔紋婴儿鞋 民国2.jpg

6兔紋婴儿鞋 民国.jpgBaby’s Rabbit Shoes · Republic of China

Sewing animals on her children’s shoes not only shows a women’s gratitude for nature, but also expresses good wishes for her children’s feature, hoping they grow up to resemble these lovely spiritual animals.

About Interact China


“A Social Enterprise in E-commerce Promoting Oriental Aesthetic Worldwide” 

Aileen & Norman co-founded Interact China in 2004 with specialization in fine Oriental Aesthetic products handmade by ethnic minorities & Han Chinese. Having direct partnerships with artisans, designers, craft masters and tailors, along with 10 years solid experience in e-commerce via InteractChina.com, we position well to bridge talented artisans in the East with the rest of the world, and bring you direct finely selected products that are of good quality and aesthetic taste.

So far we carry 3000+ goods covering Ladies Fashion, Kungfu Clothing, Home Furnishings, Babies & Kids, Painting Arts, Textile Arts, Carving Arts, Tribal Jewelry Art, Wall Masks and Musical Instruments. Our team speak English, French, German, Spanish and Italian, and serve customers worldwide with passion and hearts.


P.S. We Need People with Similar Passion to Join Our Blogging Team!

If you have passion to write about Oriental Aesthetic in Fashion, Home Decor, Art & Crafts, Culture, Music, Books, and Charity, please contact us at bloggers@interactchina.com, we would love to hear from you!

 

 

Chinese Shoe Culture (III) Amazing Women’s Shoes of the Qing Dynasty

Written by Gioia Zhang

 

Handcrafted embroidery is one of China’s finest skills. It has a long history, and has become a respected tradition. This skill was significantly developed in the Qing dynasty. There were a number of traditional methods of stitching. The Suzhou, Hunan, Shu, and Yue types of stitches were known as the four most famous Chinese stitches. These four embroidery methods had a great influence on the embroidered shoes in the Qing dynasty.

 3 19世纪橙色地福寿纹绣花鞋 关键词-清代弓鞋;小脚鞋;三寸金.jpgOrange Embroidered Shoes for Bithday Celebration

3 标题-清代粉地绣花小脚鞋 关键词-清代弓鞋;小脚鞋;三寸金莲;.jpgPink Embroidered Bow Shoes

3 标题-清代黑色绣花底鞋 关键词-清代弓鞋;.jpgBlack Sole Embroidered Shoes

According to historical research, the Chinese foot binding tradition began at the end of the Five Dynasties period. It became popular during the Ming dynasty, the Qing dynasty, and the period of the Republic of China. The foot binding practice reached its peak in the Qing dynasty. Han Chinese women from every social class were expected to bind their feet. Little feet were widely appreciated in that time.

3 标题-清代花卉纹三寸金莲小脚鞋 关键词-清代弓鞋;小脚鞋;三寸金莲;花卉纹;.jpgFlower Embroidered Bow Shoes

3 标题-清代粉地绣花鞋 关键词-清代弓鞋;.jpgPink Embroidered Shoes

3 标题-19世纪紫地花卉纹绣花鞋 关键词-清代弓鞋;小脚鞋;.jpgPurple Flower Embroidered Shoes

3 标题-19世纪黑地花卉蝙蝠纹刺绣弓鞋 关键词-清代弓鞋;小脚鞋;三寸金莲;花卉纹;蝙蝠纹; 通用描述-清代弓鞋;.jpgBlack Bats and Flowers Embroidered Bow Shoes

3 标题-19世纪红地蝴蝶纹绣花弓鞋 关键词-清代弓鞋;.jpgRed Butterflies Embroidered Bow Shoes

The history of bound-feet shoes, also called “bow shoes”, is said to be a history of blood and tears for the Han Chinese women. These fancy looking shoes reflected the harsh foot binding ideology that was prevalent in China’s feudal society.

3 清末粉地花卉纹“三寸金莲”高跟,一般见客时套在小脚鞋上,以增加鞋的高度,该类脚跟的使用不太普遍。面料是粉红刺绣花卉纹缎.jpgPink floral high heels

3 清代蓝地花草纹弓靴  标题-清代蓝地花草纹弓靴 关键词-清代弓鞋;小脚鞋;三寸金莲;花草纹.jpgBlue Bottom Floral Bow Shoes

3 标题-19世纪红地盘金绣弓鞋 关键词-清代弓鞋;小脚鞋;三寸金.jpgRed and Gold Thread Embroidered Bow Shoes

3 标题-19世纪花卉纹刺绣高跟小脚鞋 关键词-清代弓鞋;高跟小脚鞋;三寸金莲;花卉纹; 通用描述-清代弓鞋;.jpgFloral Embroidered High-Heeled Bow Shoes

Manchu women, however, didn’t have the foot-binding habit. Therefore their shoes were much larger than the Han Chinese women’s shoes.

3 清代满族蓝缎地梅花纹绣花鞋.jpgBlue Satin Manchu Embroidered Shoes with Plum Blossoms

3 清代满族浅粉地暗八仙.jpgManchu Women’s Light Pink Embroidered Shoes with Eight Immortals Design

3 清光绪 红色缎绣金鱼纹元宝底女棉鞋.jpgRed Silk Cotton-Padded Shoes with Golden Fish Design

Because of the weather and other geographical causes, Manchu women wore shoes with thick soles, commonly known as “horse hoof shoes”. However, as they became older the height of their soles reduced gradually, and sometimes they even wore flat shoes.

3 标题-清乾隆黄缎彩绣皮里马蹄底鞋 关键词-清代旗鞋.jpgYellow Silk Embroidered “Horse Hoof Shoes”

3 标题-清代满族紫地花蝶动物纹刺绣高底鞋 关键词-清代旗鞋;.jpgManchu Purple Embroidered High Heeled Shoes with Animal Design

3 标题-清康熙绿色缎缉米珠珊瑚珠凤纹头尖底鞋 关键词-清代旗鞋.jpgGreensilk Satin Crested Thick-Soled Shoes

3 清代湖色缎绣盘长纹花盆底鞋.jpgEmbroidered “Horse Hoof Shoes” with Lake Blue Silk Strings of Beads

3 清代黄色缎绣花卉纹花盆底鞋.jpgYellow Satin Floral Embroidered “Horse Hoof Shoes”

3 清代蓝缎彩绣暗八仙钉.jpgBlue Satin Embroidered Horse Hoof Shoes with Design of Covert Eight Immortals

3 清代蓝地绣花元宝底棉鞋.jpgBlue Satin Ingot-Shaped Cotton Padded Shoes

3 清代满族白缎地马蹄底鞋.jpgManchu Women’s White Satin Horse Hoof Shoes

3 清代湖色缎绣人物纹元宝底鞋.jpgLake Blue Satin Embroidered Ingot-Shaped Shoes with Character Designs

3 清代蓝地金鱼荷花纹刺绣高底鞋.jpgBlue Satin Ingot-Shaped Cotton Padded Shoes

3 清光绪 红色缎緝线绣花卉纹元宝底棉鞋副本.jpgRed Floral Ingot-Shaped Cotton Padded Shoes

The Manchu women’s shoes became more exquisite and luxurious after hundreds of years of development. These shoes are a landmark of the Qing dynasty’s footwear. People from all over the world have been amazed at the extraordinariness of Qing footwear.

 

About Interact China


“A Social Enterprise in E-commerce Promoting Oriental Aesthetic Worldwide” 

Aileen & Norman co-founded Interact China in 2004 with specialization in fine Oriental Aesthetic products handmade by ethnic minorities & Han Chinese. Having direct partnerships with artisans, designers, craft masters and tailors, along with 10 years solid experience in e-commerce via InteractChina.com, we position well to bridge talented artisans in the East with the rest of the world, and bring you direct finely selected products that are of good quality and aesthetic taste.

So far we carry 3000+ goods covering Ladies Fashion, Kungfu Clothing, Home Furnishings, Babies & Kids, Painting Arts, Textile Arts, Carving Arts, Tribal Jewelry Art, Wall Masks and Musical Instruments. Our team speak English, French, German, Spanish and Italian, and serve customers worldwide with passion and hearts.


P.S. We Need People with Similar Passion to Join Our Blogging Team!

If you have passion to write about Oriental Aesthetic in Fashion, Home Decor, Art & Crafts, Culture, Music, Books, and Charity, please contact us at bloggers@interactchina.com, we would love to hear from you!

 

Chinese Shoe Culture (II) Why Were Toes Upturned?

Written by Gioia Zhang

 

Upturned toecap shoes are the most typical kind of ancient Chinese shoe. Yet if we look at the global history of shoes, we find that an upturned toecap is a common feature of ancient shoes from many different cultures. Shoes with upturned toecaps began in the Qin Dynasty. During the Spring and Autumn Period, these shoes were highly valued by people. In the Tang dynasty, people made many colorful upturned toecap shoes.

 2 唐 赤舄.jpgRed Shoes · The Shang Dynasty

2 宝相花锦履 唐.jpgFlower Brocade Shoes · The Tang Dynasty

2 翘头兰绢鞋.pngUpturned Blue Silk Shoes

2 翘头绮鞋.pngUpturned Damask Shoes

2 唐代履头款式.jpgUpturned Toecap Style in the Tang Dynasty

Pointed shoes and “three-inch lotus” shoes originated in the Five Dynasties period and developed into “tip of the small feet” shoes in the Song dynasty.

2 江西明墓出土的明代翘尖弓鞋(三寸金莲裹脚女性用鞋).jpgUpturned Pointed Shoes · The Ming Dynasty

After the Qing dynasty, women generally wore shoes with thick soles, which were called “lotus” shoes and round head shoes. Except for boots, Men wore similar styles of shoes to what people wear today. A new trend of “flat shoes” was formed in the Qing dynasty. However, ethnic groups in southwest and northwest China still make and wear beautiful upturned toecap shoes.

2 翘尖绣花布鞋 彝族传统布鞋,翘尖,绣彩色花纹,适宜在山区穿着行走.pngUpturned Embroidered Shoes · The Yi Ethic Group in China

 2 旧时西藏僧官所穿长筒船形靴。靴面为金丝花缎料,靴帮用多层白布纳制而成,厚实坚硬。靴尖呈船形,靴底为双层皮革,靴筒用紫红色氆氇制成。孜忠鞋.pngZi Zhong shoes, a pair of knee high boat boots from a Tibetan monk in old days

 2 Jin_Wu_Di.jpg

Why were ancient shoes upturned? There are 4 reasons:

 

  1. Ancient Chinese wore long coats and long dresses. These upturned toecap shoes could provide some support for those long clothes to prevent people from slipping and falling.
  2. Upturned toecap shoes could better prevent people from accidentally hitting dangerous objects, and protect them from some acute injuries.
  3. The upturned part is made with soles that are resilient. This design could extend the useful life of the shoes.
  4. Upturned toecap shoes share the same features as the apexes of ancient buildings. It could be explained that this design was to show respect to gods and supernatural beings.

 

About Interact China


“A Social Enterprise in E-commerce Promoting Oriental Aesthetic Worldwide” 

Aileen & Norman co-founded Interact China in 2004 with specialization in fine Oriental Aesthetic products handmade by ethnic minorities & Han Chinese. Having direct partnerships with artisans, designers, craft masters and tailors, along with 10 years solid experience in e-commerce via InteractChina.com, we position well to bridge talented artisans in the East with the rest of the world, and bring you direct finely selected products that are of good quality and aesthetic taste.

So far we carry 3000+ goods covering Ladies Fashion, Kungfu Clothing, Home Furnishings, Babies & Kids, Painting Arts, Textile Arts, Carving Arts, Tribal Jewelry Art, Wall Masks and Musical Instruments. Our team speak English, French, German, Spanish and Italian, and serve customers worldwide with passion and hearts.


P.S. We Need People with Similar Passion to Join Our Blogging Team!

If you have passion to write about Oriental Aesthetic in Fashion, Home Decor, Art & Crafts, Culture, Music, Books, and Charity, please contact us at bloggers@interactchina.com, we would love to hear from you!

 

Chinese Shoe Culture (I) Learning from Nature

Written by Gioia Zhang

 

It has been deduced that the earliest Chinese footwear was made of a hide called “foot-binding skin” or “hide socks”. Chinese ancestors learned not only to use animal skin to keep their feet warm, but also to use small leather straps and hairy hide to wrap their feet in for protection during their struggles against nature.

1 烧卖皮鞋

After a long time, the hide socks shaped like “Baozi” (a type of steamed, filled bun or bread-like item in various Chinese cuisines), evolved into leather shoes shaped like “Shao Mai” (a type of traditional Chinese dumpling), and are still popular today.

1 乌拉鞋和乌拉草

In modern times, the wula shoes of Northern China also retain the shape of the original Chinese shoes.

1 鱼皮鞋

The present-day fish shoes of the Nanai people from Northern China are also inspired by the original Chinese shoes.

It was a great leap for the original hide shoes when they evolved into more complicated straw shows. China has at least seven thousand years of history using the leaves and stems of plants as raw materials to weave clothing and accessories.

1 芦编童鞋3.jpg

1 草鞋.jpg

Straw sandals were popular in every region of ancient China. This is because it was extremely convenient to obtain the raw materials in order to make them, and they felt light and comfortable to wear.

1 芦编童鞋.jpg

Children’s Reed Woven Sandals

1 麻线鞋.jpgLinen Shoes

Linen can be made into thread by weaving and by spinning. As social production systems advanced, people found that clothes could be made more delicate, softer, and more resilient with the use of wild linens. The Chinese made a variety of woven shoes and shoe accessories.

 1 东晋编织履.jpg Woven Shoes · The Eastern Jin Dynasty

1 东晋织成履.jpgWoven Shoes · The Eastern Jin Dynasty

1 蒲草鞋 唐.jpgBulrush Shoes· Tang Dynasty

In this chapter, from hide shoes and woven straw shoes, to textile shoes, we see how Chinese people have presented the world with their splendid shoe culture, using only materials from nature.

 

About Interact China


“A Social Enterprise in E-commerce Promoting Oriental Aesthetic Worldwide” 

Aileen & Norman co-founded Interact China in 2004 with specialization in fine Oriental Aesthetic products handmade by ethnic minorities & Han Chinese. Having direct partnerships with artisans, designers, craft masters and tailors, along with 10 years solid experience in e-commerce via InteractChina.com, we position well to bridge talented artisans in the East with the rest of the world, and bring you direct finely selected products that are of good quality and aesthetic taste.

So far we carry 3000+ goods covering Ladies Fashion, Kungfu Clothing, Home Furnishings, Babies & Kids, Painting Arts, Textile Arts, Carving Arts, Tribal Jewelry Art, Wall Masks and Musical Instruments. Our team speak English, French, German, Spanish and Italian, and serve customers worldwide with passion and hearts.


P.S. We Need People with Similar Passion to Join Our Blogging Team!

If you have passion to write about Oriental Aesthetic in Fashion, Home Decor, Art & Crafts, Culture, Music, Books, and Charity, please contact us at bloggers@interactchina.com, we would love to hear from you!