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Purple silk cheongsam, with cuff

Tags: clothing | Qing dynasty

This cheongsam is summer daily wear for females in Qing court. From the scale of its openings and the cutting style of its waist, we gather that its form is fashionable in late Qing Dynasty. This cheongsam is made with purple yarn and embroidered with hibiscus patterns; the petals of hibiscus are light pink, light purple, and light blue; the stems and leaves are light green. Among the hisbiscus patterns, we can see longevity patterns in golden floral lines, giving the entire clothes a rich and delicate beauty. On the edge of the collar, the end of the sleeves, and the two sides of the cheongsam, we can see three-layer hem decoration. The first layer is a continual swastika pattern, based in black and hemmed in golden lines. The second layer is flower and butterfly patterns, based in black and hemmed in colored lines. The third layer is based in pale pinkish gray. Three layers of decoration combine together and emit a wealthy yet delicate aura. In late Qing Dynasty the fashionable design emphasizes the hem decoration. From the hem decoration of this cheongsam we can understand the special aesthetics of Manchu.

National Museum of History