Monday, February 24, 2014

Traveling Tuesday: Hong Kong History Museum's Cheongsam Exhibit

I traveled down to Tsim Sha Tsui this week.  In the lobby of the Hong Kong History Museum there was a free exhibit called A Century of Fashion:  Hong Kong Cheongsam Story.  When I first walked in, I was drooling!  In front of me were the most beautiful cheongsams that I had ever seen.

When I first moved to China, I had gotten my first ever cheongsam made in Chengdu.  My second cheongsam was a gift upon leaving Guizhou.  And my third cheongsam was a touristy type from the Silk Market in Beijing before I left back to Seattle.  I just love the style and really think it makes every woman look so elegant.  So, when my wedding came around, I definitely jumped at the chance to make a special cheongsam for that occasion.

Going through this little exhibit was an eye opener.  I mean, that phrase:  "You learn something new everyday…" really stuck in my head.  It was awesome to learn that this style of dress emerged in Hong Kong during the 1920s and really exploded in popularity in the 50s and 60s.

There was also an amazing five-minute video on how the silk clasps and buttons were made.  Out of a silk strip of fabric, glue was added to stiffen the fabric, it was folded over three times to create a streamlined stiffer strip, it was then shaped, and then sealed.  This video was, perhaps, the highlight of the exhibit (besides seeing Miss Hong Kong's beautiful cheongsam).  This exhibit is free for the public until March 3, 2014.  It is definitely worth going down to Tsim Sha Tsui to check out these cheongsams from some of Hong Kong's most famous women:  from film actresses to Cantonese opera stars and more.

Miss Hong Kong 1977 Cheongsam