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Outreach Exhibitions



A Century of Fashion: Hong Kong Cheongsam Story

The exhibition period is from 8 Sep (Fri) until
10 Dec (Sun).

The traditional Chinese women's gown, or a qipao as it is known in mainland China, is called a "cheongsam" (literally "lengthened clothing") in Hong Kong. Women's cheongsams emerged in the 1920s as a variation of the long gown worn by men, but women's innate love for things beautiful meant feminine elements were soon added to the straight, loose-cut unisex gown.
Until the late 1940s, most cheongsams were two-dimensional in terms of cut; from the 1950s onwards, however, cheongsams in Hong Kong were made with Western three-dimensional tailoring techniques to highlight women's curves. The style exemplified the simplicity that was popular in the West at the time. Hong Kong cheongsam was at a low ebb in the 1970s and 1980s, but was revived in the 1990s. Even though people no longer wear cheongsams on a day-to-day basis, many still wear them to ceremonious occasions. In this light, the cheongsam receives extra attention, as designers strive to produce more sophisticated and elegant designs.
Since 2010, the Hong Kong Museum of History has organised cheongsam exhibitions of various scales. We also took the cheongsams in our collection to Singapore, Taipei and New York among other places. We are delighted to stage the latest exhibition in the series in Ningbo, where we will share with mainland visitors Hong Kong's cheongsam culture, as well as how the art of cheongsam production has been perpetuated in the city. The exhibits will include about 230 Hong Kong cheongsams, as well as tailoring equipment and fashionable merchandise items featuring women dressed in cheongsams from the late Qing dynasty to the present. Rare historical images and videos will also be used to tell the story of Hong Kong cheongsam.
Mid-sleeved cheongsam with stripes on grey ground
1930s to 1940s
Sleeveless cheongsam with yellow and blue print on black ground
Mid to late 1960s
Lined black sleeveless off-shoulder chiffon cheongsam with train, adorned with dual-colour floral pattern and crystals
Lined cap-sleeved ivory cheongsam with see-through lace top

Special Exhibition Hall, Ningbo Museum,
No.1000 Shounan Middle Road, Yinzhou District, Ningbo, Zhejiang Province, China

Jointly presented by
Ningbo Municipal Bureau of Culture, Radio, Film, Television, Press and Publication
Leisure and Cultural Services Department, HKSARG

Jointly organised by
Ningbo Museum
Hong Kong Museum of History

(86) 574-82815588

Opening Hours
8/9/2017 (12nn – 5pm)
9/9 – 10/12/2017 (9am – 5pm)
Closed on Mondays

Free Admission