Qi's Pao Analysis

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during the Qing dynasty, the Qi’s pao was worn primarily by Manchu woman and did not become a fashionable item for Han Chinese woman (with the exception of Han Chinese under the banner system) until the 1920s. The female pao of the Qing dynasty, typically made of silk, satin, or brocade, was a long one-piece ankle-length robe with long narrow sleeves (decorated with trims, piping, and patterned borders) and a rounded neckline and an opening curved asymmetrically that stretched all the way down to the hem. Qi’s pao contrasted distinctly to the Han pao in its lack of a stand collar and the shape of the neckline (the Han neckline was more V-shaped) (Yang, 2007, p. 19-20). The Manchu people separated themselves from the wider robes of the Han of…show more content…
Han woman in Beijing were the first to adopt the qipao, consisting of “wide sleeves, loose silhouette, and lower calf-length.” The qipao lacked the trimming and fancy embroidery of Qi’s pao (Yang, 2007). Following western fashion, the qipao gradually shortened in length to just under the knee in 1929 and the lack of silhouette reflected the trend towards a boyish figure at the time (Wang, 1975). The androgynous nature of the qipao serves to echo emerging female thoughts of gender equality and liberation from gender norms. Thus, the unisexual qipao of the 1920s was not just a reflection of China’s changing economic and political climate toward modernity but also transformations in the social climate where woman emerged as icons of fashion and symbols of the developing national and social

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