Monday, March 23, 2015

CHEONGSAM: In the Western Media

The Cheongsam is the embodiment of the Chinese Culture and it has served as an inspiration for both the Asian and Western designers all over the world. 

The Cheongsam is not only for the Chinese, but it has become relatively more prominent in the Western media. 
Anna Hathaway in a blue cheongsam from the movie "One Day"

Here we can see the American actress, Anna Hathaway wearing a blue Cheongsam in the movie "One Day". This is the authentic modern Cheongsam, and it is not being incorporated into other fashion outfit or neither was it changed to accommodate the taste of the West. It is the tight, body hugging one piece dress that accentuates the figure of a woman, and it is also has short sleeves and is very short in length. The collar is also kept unchanged from the original Cheongsam. 
Emma Watson Wimbledon UK Premiere of the Harry Potter Movie in 2004
Here, we can see UK actor Emma Watson wearing a less revealing version of the Cheongsam. White color in Cheongsam is not a common color in the past as it symbolized mourning for a dead family member, which is inauspicious. But as time passes and globalization occurs, fashion choices relating to the Cheongsam became less specific in terms of the color. Colors that were considered inauspicious were given a second life in Chinese fashion when designers saw that Western fashion were often dominated by black and white. 
Paris Hilton in her revealing Cheongsam
American socialist, actress, TV personality Paris Hilton is seen wearing what seems to be Cheongsam inspired outfit. Elements essential to the Cheongsam such as the body hugging and upright collar can be seen in this dress, but the material that is used is not used in Chinese Cheongsam. The sheer, see through material is overbearing and it reveals too much skin for a traditional or should we say standard Cheongsam. Here, it is a mix of East and West culture.

We can definitely see that Cheongsam is appearing in more western films, and celebrities of the west are seen wearing what the Chinese are wearing. This is only possible because of the vast globalization that can be found in fashion, if it weren't for globalization, the cheongsam will most probably be contain in Chinese dominated counties. 

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