31 August, 2010
What's On HK

Qi Pao Exhibition: A Blend of Fashion and History

31 August, 2010

Guest blogger Kylene Wu returns to tell us about the fabulous Qi Pao exhibition currently showing at the Hong Kong museum of history… A blend of fashion and history, it’s the perfect combination, even if you’re not usually a dedicated museum goer!

I’ve seen tourists wearing it and spotted them in history textbooks but I’ve never owned or worn a qipao (also known as cheongsam in Cantonese) myself! Originally worn by women during the Qing dynasty, they’ve evolved over the decades and are still present today in its modernised form.

It was really fun looking at how the qipao changed over the years and seeing them featured in old magazines and movies. I also caught snippets of conversations around me from both young and old. It was quite amusing to hear elderly visitors indignantly saying that the modern versions of qipaos could hardly be considered a qipao while the younger visitors oohed and aahed over them. As for me, I love them both!

Qi Paos featuring more patterns and colour from the ’50s and ’60s.

Fun fact: There has been a Qi Pao segment in the Miss Hong Kong pageant since it started in 1973!

There are also more modern interpretations of the Qi Pao on display, from the red gown (above left) that the 2008 Olympic hostesses wore, to deconstructed Qi Paos.

The exhibition is a fantastic combination of history and fashion and if you’re interested in either, it’s worth a visit! To see more photographs and for more interesting facts or tour details, click here.

Hong Kong Museum of History
100 Chatham Road South, Tsim Sha Tsui
Admission: HK$10

The exhibition runs till September 13.

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