Shopping in Shanghai

Updated: 2013-08-29

2. Special products

Cheongsam in Shanghai

The cheongsam is a body-hugging (modified in Shanghai ) one-piece Chinese dress for women. It is known in Chinese as the qípáo, qípáor and is also known in English as a mandarin gown. The modern cheongsam is a modernized version of the qipao of the Manchurians who ruled China in the 17-19th cengrayry (Qing Dynasty).

The English loanword cheongsam comes from chèuhngsàam, the Cantonese pronunciation of the Shanghainese term zǎnze or zansae (long shirt/dress'), by which the original tight-fitting form was first known. The Shanghainese name was somewhat at odds with usage in Mandarin and other Chinese dialects, where chángshān refers to an exclusively male dress and the female version is known as a qipao.

In Hong Kong, where many Shanghai tailors moved to after 1949, the word chèuhngsàam may refer to either male or female garments. The word keipo (qipao) is either a more formal term for the female chèuhngsàam, or is used for the two-piece cheongsam variant that is popular in China. Western countries mostly follow the original Shanghainese usage and apply the name cheongsam to a garment worn by women.

Yangjing Woolen Embroidery

Yangjing Woolen embroidery originated from Europe and was introduced into Shanghai at the beginning of the 20th century. Its embroidery style had 20,000 processors in Pudong district, Shanghai in the 1920s. In 1954, the Supply and Marketing Cooperatives, namely, Oriental (Hongwei) Woolen Embroidery Plant and Red Star Woolen Embroidery Plant, were successively founded in Gaoqiao of Pudong and Dongchang.

The Red Star Woolen Embroidery Plant began to produce woolen embroidery in 1958. The original design studio of Shanghai Embroidery Master, which was affiliated with Shanghai Li Hui Tapestry Art in Yangjing community implemented fabrication. Yangjing community has one Shanghai (embroidery) crafts and artisan master who is unique in China and more than 10 craftsmen who have been engaged in embroidery for over three decades.

For Yangjing Woolen embroidery, pure cotton mesh fabric and various New Zealand pure woolen color threads dyed in high temperature are used as raw materials and processed by hand to form a distinctive Shanghai artistic style. The images can reach relatively high artistic standards in all aspects through multiple stitching methods. Recently, a large-scaled woolen embroidery wall painting measuring 170 square meters was created and displayed in Beijing Hunna Plaza, the Yingbin Hotel on the Yellow River in Henan, the Henan Art Center, the head office of the People’s Bank of China, the Daqing Petroleum Command Center, the People’s Education Press, the Yunnan Stone Forest scenic spot, Chen Yun Memorial Hall, the Taiwan Affairs Office in Shanghai, the people’s government of Pudong New District, the Nanjing East Road subdistrict office of Huangpu, and the Xuhui district office among others. The Autumn Scenery of Songshan Mountain displayed in Yingbin Hotel on the Yellow River in Henan exhibits unprecedented woolen embroidery skills.

The woolen embroidery creators continuously improved their original design, developing modern wall-hanging styles and obtaining 291 total appearance design patents and one utility model patent. Media such as Xinmin Evening News, Labor Daily and Wenhui News reported on the master studio and their work. Many works were shown in exhibitions and as propaganda. Western Story and Night View of Shanghai Bund were awarded as the first place Shanghai Industrial Arts Works and the second Shanghai Industrial Arts Works, respectively.

The Portrait of Chen Yun was honored by the International Art Museum. Yangjing Woolen embroidery applied to be a Pudong New District intangible cultural heritage in 2006. It was formally named and declared in 2007 and elected as a world cultural heritage on June 14, 2008. It applied for Shanghai intangible cultural heritage status in 2008. In 2010, five embroidery works, including the Potala Palace, Pingyao Ancient City, Ancient Town of Lijiang, the Temple of Heaven and the Ancient Village in Southern Anhui—Hong Village from Yangjing community appeared at the World Expo.

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