What is a Qipao?

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A poster of women wearing Qipao in the 1920s/30s.

 The Cheongsam (known as Qipao in Mandarin, previously called the Ch’ipao in the West) is the dress that most westerners associate with China. It originated from a type of Manchurian female garment and has a rich history, but has undergone a lot of change over time. The Qipao dress is supposed to represent the interior elegance of the woman wearing it.

The main characteristics of Qipao are; the mandarin collar, fitted waist, Chinese “frog” (knotted) buttons, hemmed slits on two sides, and a tailored form fit. Usually, Qipaos are made from satin brocade, silk, or cotton. With their impressive embroideries, Qipaos can be regarded as exquisite works of art that embody a great deal of beauty, passion, resilience and love. On the other hand, the Qipao also represents an old art that is at risk of dying out. Nowadays, Qipaos display a mix of Chinese and Western clothing styles.

Over 300 years ago, Qipaos were custom made by tailors for ladies of noble birth or wealthy families as a garment symbolic of high status. They became the outfit of choice for important social gatherings, including Chinese traditional weddings, and even today, for some, to wear a Qipao is to act like an elegant lady of status. In some ways, the Qipao can be said to reflect a woman’s inner self, personality, style and vision. For the Chinese New Year, Chinese girls often wear a Qipao, because they consider the Qipao as a positive sign that the year ahead will be better than the last!

 

 

by Hannah hannah@interactchina.com

 

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!

 

The Chinese First Lady’s wardrobe

This year, the eyes of the Chinese fashion world have been attracted by the ‘Liyuan Style’, which means the fashion style of Peng Liyuan, who is the first lady of China.

Peng Liyuan is considered to be a style icon, and well positioned to be the focus of media. Let’s see some of the lovely clothing the first lady wore in 2014.

 
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Peng Liyuan seems to be an epitome of Oriental chic at a state dinner at the Elysee Palace in Paris in March. Her black cheongsam-style gown featuring a sheer floral-patterned top makes her overall look modern and elegant.

 
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For her final stop on the European trip in Belgium, Peng Liyuan opted for a lovely traditional embroidered Chinese outfit. The fabric, fine embroidery and soft colors all add up to an elegant style.

 
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In May 2014, during the 4th Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia summit in Shanghai, Peng Liyuan wore a black tailcoat style jacket, and a graphic batik print, white and navy floor length dress, enhancing her style-icon image.

 
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At the welcoming ceremony for the Congolese President in Beijing in June, Peng Liyuan opted a blue-and-white printed jacket, with a long blue skirt and dark blue heels, giving her a Chinese style that looks modern.

 
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In July 2014, during her visit to Seoul, Peng Liyuan amazed Korean media with her lovely clothing choices featuring white and green, with details such as the exquisite flower brooch, cute little handbag and elegant heels.

 
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In August 2014, Peng Liyuan accompanied her husband Xi Jinping to the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing. She wore an embroidered blue Cheongsam, with a matching small purse, displaying lovely traditional Chinese style.

 
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When Peng Liyuan landed in Ahmedabad in September, she wore a pretty pink dress, with a flowing scarf stitched to one side. She accessorized her look with a white clutch, cream pearl studs and beige suede heels.

 
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In October 2014, Peng Liyuan was named WHO ambassador for the fight against HIV/AIDS in Beijing. She attended the event in a formal long jacket accented with the red ribbon symbolizing support for the fight against HIV/AIDS.

 
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In November 2014, Peng Liyuan wowed all with her delicately embroidered Cheongsam when she showed up at the APEC in Beijing.

 
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In December 2014, Peng Liyuan opted for a formal grey jacket and a knee-length polka dot skirt with a chic pin when the South African President Jacob Zuma paid a state visit to China, showing her graceful style as the Chinese first lady.

by Xiao Xiao xiaoxiao@interactchina.com

About Interact China

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

We 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 2000+ goods covering Ladies Fashion, Tailor Shop, 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!

Ornament for Chinese Clothing

The Chinese dress sense is one of the most intriguing elements of their culture. The Chinese have paid great attention to their attire throughout their history. With the passage of time however Chinese clothing has undergone many changes and the modern Chinese clothing that has evolved seems to have a much larger appeal to the masses.

Archeological discoveries from many years ago reveal the Chinese passion for decorating their clothing. They would make use of shells, beads and other ornaments to decorate their clothing. The remains from the early days also show the interesting use of color that the Chinese would make with regards to their clothing.

Chinese clothing had a system of matching and contrasting colors when it came to giving character to their dresses. Traditionally we find the Chinese to favor the use of darker colors as the base with light and contrasting colored accessories.

Contemporary Chinese clothing draws upon ancient elements of Chinese clothing traditions and seeks to reintroduce them in a revolutionary new way. Since symbolism has been a main feature of the Chinese culture you will find many modern Chinese fashion designers to make use of classic Chinese symbols in combination with modern trends.

 
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Chinese fashion designers have taken to the task of developing clothes for children and young people using classic Chinese symbols. You will be able to find a wide variety of modern Chinese clothing with symbols like good fortune, images of deities, opera characters, masks and dragons. The use of appliqué bronzes and designs from ancient times have come into popular use amongst the Chinese fashion designers of today. The incorporation of ancient motifs, embroidery patterns and weaving styles with modern fabrics has produced an interesting array of contemporary Chinese clothing.

 
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Amongst the most popularly found designs is the classic dragon and clouds image. This would often be used on robes worn by emperors of the time. Today the world wide public has the privilege to wear this symbol of royalty on modernized clothing.

 
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The classic Chinese symbols used in modern Chinese clothing have two distinct qualities. They are highly elegant and creative in terms of their aesthetics. On the other side they carry a deep innate meaning that adds even more value to them.

The use of the traditional macramé is also prevalent in modern Chinese clothing. This unique element is used for ornamental purposes. You will find modern Chinese clothing to be featuring the macramé on bodices, seams, pockets, borders and shoulders.

 
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Another modern introduction of a traditional Chinese trend can be witnessed in the bridal tiara. Taking its inspiration from the Sung Dynasty the modern bridal tiara is the ultimate example of modern Chinese clothing. It features the traditional sash and pendants in the classic colors of blue, green and red. The original version of this dress is still worn in some regions of the Hunan province in China.

by Xiao Xiao xiaoxiao@interactchina.com

About Interact China

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

We 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 2000+ goods covering Ladies Fashion, Tailor Shop, 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 fashion struts to the West

Hermès, Louis Vuitton, Prada, Chanel, even people who are not interested in buying luxury products can name a few brands and recognize their logos in China now. Chinese consumers have become so powerful and obsessed with luxury items that many of the brands view the Chinese market as a cash cow. However, luxury fashion lovers elsewhere in the world may not be familiar with any Chinese brands.

Though not widely recognized, some domestic luxury brands are seeing healthy growth and showing potential to become well-known luxury lines.

Hong Huang, creator of Brand New China (a business dedicated to promoting local designers), wrote in her blog earlier this week that in the past decades, Chinese aesthetics and values used to be at the edge of mainstream fashion. But as brands like Exception de Mixmind, Ziggy Chen, Chictopia and ZUCZUG have emerged, Chinese fashion has begun to make some noise.

Brands with potential

For most Chinese consumers just learning the “luxury” concept, the items they want and have become familiar with are fashion products. Clothes, shoes, bags, watches and jewelry are on most wish lists.

But designing and producing these items are not China’s strong suit. Due to differences in culture and custom, a typical list of luxury items in China is vastly different: liquor, tobacco, porcelain, furniture and tea. As a result, many firms that intend to create luxury fashion items fail to compete with brands from France and Italy and resort to copying their ideas.

 
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“I am not producing a Chinese Cartier but a jewelry brand that belongs to China and speaks an international language,” Wang Yunhe, president of Zhaoyi Jewelry, said on sina.com. Emerald with traditional Chinese handicrafts sounds a bit old-fashioned. But putting it into a modernized design and package can turn the “antique” into a fashionable luxury item with Chinese style. More importantly, it imbues the product with the Chinese culture of the emerald.

 
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Qeelin, also a jewelry brand, provides China with another possibility of selling luxury items to the world. Its approach is to open a store in Paris targeting the foreign market firstly and directly. After seeing so many top luxury brands’ stores in Paris, Chen Ruilin, the founder and designer of Qeelin, decided to become neighbors with them. Chen’s shop is decorated with a bit of Buddhist style and each item purchased is boxed in the shop’s signature look.

Shanghai Tang Store
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Franz Store
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These brands along with Shanghai Tang, born in Hong Kong and now has dozens of stores around the world; and Franz Collection, originally from Taiwan and now selling fine porcelain in 56 countries, are all examples of companies profiting from China’s well-established reputation for certain specialties.

However, as relative newcomers in the global luxury industry, Chinese brands are unable to speak of long-held traditions or legendary stories. Still there are ways to add a soul to the name.

Not built in a day

Wang Yuexin, editor-in-chief of Fashion Weekly told the Global Times that although there are a few relatively successful high-end Chinese brands in fashion, they are not on a scale to be qualified as “luxury brand,” especially in women’s and men’s wear. While Chinese names are appearing more often in international magazines as designers, and dresses worn by Chinese actresses are catching attention on the red carpets of the world, the fame and reputation of a person or a dress cannot represent an entire brand.

NE-Tiger
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Guo Pei’s Works
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Zhang Zhifeng’s NE-Tiger and Rose Studio by Guo Pei are the most famous Chinese fashion brands in the world; both started with haute couture but now also produce ready-to-wear items. Cathy Horyn from The New York Times has reported on Guo and highly praised her designs. However, the two brands are largely based on the designers’ personal reputations and have not become chain businesses like the best luxury brands in the global market.

Wang explained that many entrepreneurs and enterprises are aiming high but few have the resources and courage to achieve their goal. They understand building up a solid and reputable brand is not a one-day task. “The top luxury brands all started with a designer and developed for a century to turn a fashion studio into a real global business. Only time can solve many of the problems we have at the moment,” said Wang.

Cai Sujian, the president of China Luxury Institute, a Hong Kong registered association, said the difference between top Chinese fashion brands and the world-class luxury brands mainly exists in the brand content, taking into account its originality, popularity, quality of services and cultural meaning.

“It is why NE-Tiger and Rose Studio products keep pace with the world standard in terms of craft and quality, but the brand as a whole still keeps a distance,” said Cai.

Culture is key

In an article by Michel Gutsatz published in Forbes last year, Qeelin was described as a brand that successfully combines traditional Chinese culture with French techniques. He emphasized that this is an advantage of the brand management but does not necessary lead to a real luxury brand. And it’s the same for the rest of the Chinese high-end fashion brands.

“The soul of a brand and fashion industry is its culture. Without culture, great investments and extremely high prices do not define the brand as luxury,” said Wang.

Cai pointed out that a key issue here is that China does not have a clear modern culture. Modernism or postmodernism, contemporary culture in China is hugely influenced by the West so developing an original culture is at the issue’s core.

For Wang, the culture we are talking about does not necessarily refer to any symbolic figure: “China today is within the globalized context. As long as the products are designed and made in China, they represent China, with or without looking Chinese.”

by Xiao Xiao xiaoxiao@interactchina.com

About Interact China

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

We 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 2000+ goods covering Ladies Fashion, Tailor Shop, 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 Designers Embrace Global Fashion Stage(2)

For Chinese fashion icon Mark Cheung, an outstanding Chinese designer must have a deep understanding of his own culture and land to be able to make beautiful designs.

 
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Cheung is regarded as representing of the first generation of Chinese designers and his annual fashion show is seen as the most important event in Chinese fashion circles. The 45-year-old wears many hats, including vice-chairman of the China Association of Fashion Design and chairman of the China Fashion Committee of Asia Fashion Union.

Whereas Zhang’s collections incorporate underlying ethnic tones, Cheung’s work has widely recognized landscapes and patterns of China as its crucial motifs.

Since 2000, the veteran designer has held fashion shows every year featuring Chinese landscapes and ethnic culture. For instance, The Soul of the Nations collection expresses the splendid and varied styles of 56 minorities; Royal Flavor radiates the glory and luxury of royal courts of the different dynasties of the past; Forbidden City reproduces the beauty and grandeur of the old buildings, and South China captures the striking scenery of ancient water towns and gardens.

 
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All of Cheung’s collections are known for their rich palette, which includes pure whites, darker tones of brown and jade, bright red and the shining yellow of the imperial Forbidden City. Cheung’s fascination with ancient building styles can be seen in the lavish use of symmetry, bias cutting, pleating, carving lace-trimming, fagoting, sequining and beading. These techniques, combined with pure innovation, have enabled Cheung to fuse traditional culture with cutting-edge fashion.

Unlike Mark Cheung and Zhang Zhifeng, young designer Ma Ke has taken a different route.

 
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Ma caused a sensation in February last year with her debut during the Paris ready-to-wear season. More performance art than fashion show, her models appeared on the catwalk with their clothes and skin caked in mud, like warriors from the terracotta army of Emperor Qinshihuang.

 
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Buoyed by the success of her Exception label, which is sold in around 50 boutiques across China, she has recently launched her couture line Wuyong (“useless” in Chinese.)

And at the recent Paris Fashion Week, her invitation to show on the sidelines of the collections presented by the grand couture houses is a first for China, which has already marked a presence in the ready-to-wear segment in Paris since 2006.

The Chinese designer is also the only newcomer this season among the 20 or so would-be couturiers invited to show their collections alongside the houses officially deemed worthy of the “haute couture” designation.

Ma has given up the stereotyped Chinese elements such as stand collars and embroideries in her designs. A naturalist, she uses cotton and flax in all her collections and focuses on simple and natural styles in white, brown, grey and blue.

 
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“Promoting Chinese fashion doesn’t mean you have to stick to Chinese icons. Heavily Chinese designs are not trendy and can hardly be accepted by international fashion circles,” says Ma. A believer in the philosophy of Lao Zi that sees clothes as the servant of the wearer’s soul, Ma Ke is recognized for her silent, organic and reflexive clothing that is creative and experimental. She has been praised by Le Monde and Vogue as a genius and her collection lauded as everlasting artwork.

by Xiao Xiao xiaoxiao@interactchina.com

About Interact China

—————————————————————————————————————————–

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

We 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 the industry via InteractChina.com, we position well to bring you direct finely selected products that are of good quality and aesthetic taste.

So far we carry 2000+ goods covering areas in Ladies Fashion, Tailor Shop, 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 and artisans with 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!

Rainbows from the East– NE●TIGER shines at 2013 German-China Culture Festival

Modern Chic

Top fashion brand NE TIGER attended the 2013 German-Chinese Culture Festival at the Chinese Culture Center in Berlin from May 24 to June 16. The event coincided with Premier Li Keqiang’ s visit to Germany.

Titled “Rainbows from the East Inherit Classics” NE TIGER’s collection of luxury garments exemplified the pinnacle of China’s fashion culture – a 5,000-year evolution that incorporates the art of 56 ethnicities.

Modern Chic

Distinguished guests from political and business circles were stunned by NE TIGER’s splendid Chinese garments. Among its models was Hu Bing, an international male fashion model and actor who has long cooperated with the brand.

NE TIGER’s designs draw on history and blend Chinese elements with Western styles. The garments frequently incorporate minority ethnic elements in ways that suit modern styles and appeal to Chinese tastes.

Chinese Traditional Clothing

It makes frequent use of Yun embroidery, where one inch is considered as valuable as a pound of gold, as well as precious and colorful silk needlework, knots, papercuts and paintings. Each garment radiates Chinese flavor and NE TIGER luxury.

Chinese Traditional Clothing

China has a long history of producing luxury goods such as silk, porcelain, gold, silver, jade and tea, all of which met with incredible worldwide demand. Today, Chinese luxury brands are emerging again to compete with the world’s best, and NE TIGER is at the forefront.

Chinese Traditional Clothing

The brand remains dedicated to competing with Western luxury brands on the world market and reviving Chinese luxury culture.

“Chinese garments represent the spirit of China’s nationalities,” said Zhang Zhifeng, creator and art supervisor of NE TIGER. “In a globalized world, the 5,000-year history of Chinese fashion is an important element of shared culture. China is leading world fashion trends together with European and American culture, and will open a new era of splendid civilization and fashion!”

NE TIGER’s latest collection is more than an assortment of Chinese emblems: it is a symbol of national strength and rich history. The brand sees itself as personally responsible for reviving Chinese fashion culture and bringing traditional Chinese garments to the world.

by Xiao Xiao @ InteractChina.com

P.S. We need people with similar passion to join or partner with us in promoting ethnic handicrafts! Please contact us at interact@interactchina.com to make any suggestions that you may have in co-operating with us, or join as Affiliate.