All posts by Robes

Robes Rouge, Qipao big fan, also working in the First online Shop of Qipao, Cheongsam, Chinese dresses - Elegente.com, now the First editor of SenseofChina.com.

Mandarin Dresses in New York

A clothing store named Shanghai Hongxiang recently caught media attention in New York. What’s special about the store is that it takes custom orders to make Mandarin dresses, also known as cheongsam or qipao.

Red wedding qipao with embroidery
Red wedding qipao with embroidery

Mr. Zhu, the master tailor of Shanghai Hongxiang, has more than 30 years of Mandarin dress making experience since he was 18.

“To make a classic Mandarin dress, it requires measuring dozens of the body parts,” said Mr. Zhu. “When we make the dress, we must hand-sew the key areas needle by needle to ensure the right shape and a perfect fit.”

Chinese qipao dress store in New York
Chinese qipao dress store in New York

Hongxiang offers more than 300 types of fabrics for customers to choose. The way Mandarin dresses are custom made here is reminiscent of the first Hongxiang store, established in Shanghai in 1917, named after its owner. The owner’s family name was Jin. Hongxiang was his given name.

Mr. Jin was the first tailor to apply the silhouettes of Western dresses to Mandarin dresses, so Hongxiang quickly attracted many fashion lovers. Later, in 1935, Hongxiang earned national fame by custom-making the movie star Hu Diay’s wedding gown. Since Hu Diay means “butterfly” in Chinese, Mr. Jin embroidered 100 butterflies onto her wedding gown. That caused a sensation.

Movie star Hu Diay's wedding photo
Movie star Hu Diay’s wedding photo

It’s a pity that we cannot see the embroidered butterflies in the black-and-white wedding picture. However, if you like butterflies, here are two Mandarin dresses with beautiful butterfly prints.

Floral Qipao with Butterfly Print Red Long Length Delicate Trims
Floral Qipao with Butterfly Print Red Long Length Delicate Trims
Butterfly Print Silk Cheongsam
Butterfly Print Silk Cheongsam

Today the old Hongxiang still enjoys great popularity in Shanghai while the new Hongxiang is alluring American customers in New York. For a store like Hongxiang to survive and thrive in America’s fashion capital, it’s definitely no coincidence. It means there is an increasing demand for custom-made Mandarin dresses in New York.

As a matter of fact, Mandarin dresses are more and more popular with women of all races worldwide, since numerous Hollywood stars such as Nicole Kidman and Emma Watson have come out in stunning Mandarin dresses. However, Mandarin dresses require detailed tailoring. If you covet the graceful looks and figure flattering cuts of Mandarin dresses, a ready made Mandarin dress from mass production will disappoint you. Only an exclusively tailored Mandarin dress can deliver your dreams.

What if you don’t live in Shanghai or New York? Fortunately, there are on-line stores that let you submit your measurements and custom make Mandarin dresses for you. Elegente.com is the most renowned one of them.

Elegente.com offers more than 1,000 styles and fabric choices. No matter what your preferences are, you should be able to find something you like among Elegente dresses.

Below are some red Mandarin dresses with gold patterns which somewhat resemble the one from Shanghai Hongxiang in New York and can work for a Chinese-style wedding reception or formal Chinese New Year’s celebrations.

Red Wedding Cheongsam With Embroidered Golden Phoenix
Red Wedding Cheongsam With Embroidered Golden Phoenix
Red Brocade Chinese Wedding Qipao
Red Brocade Chinese Wedding Qipao
Embroidered Chinese Wedding Qipao with Dragon & Phoenix Pattern
Embroidered Chinese Wedding Qipao with Dragon & Phoenix Pattern
Red & Gold Chinese Wedding Gown With Triangle Cutout
Red & Gold Chinese Wedding Gown With Triangle Cutout
Wedding Cheongsam Fishtail Long Dress Brocade
Wedding Cheongsam Fishtail Long Dress Brocade

Pageant-Appropriate Mandarin Dresses

If you think you are too old for a beauty pageant because you are no longer 21, think again. The contestants of the 2014 Mrs. Global Chinese Pageant are all over 25, and the oldest one is 63!

Group photo of contestants of the 2014 Mrs. Global Chinese Pageant in Mandarin dress
Group photo of contestants of the 2014 Mrs. Global Chinese Pageant in Mandarin dress

The Vancouver-based pageant, scheduled to take place on Nov 10, is a fund-raising event for a children’s hospital. Given “Mrs.” in the title of the pageant, all the contestants are married women.
At a pre-event press conference, the 12 finalists all came out in ankle-length Mandarin dresses to pose for photo shoots.

Among the finalists, the youngest and the oldest were both wearing red, but different shades of red.

Bright Red to Match the Youthful Skin

The scarlet Mandarin dress on the 25-year-old contestant makes her young face look more radiant. Since bright red is eye-catching, it will bring a lot of attention to your face. That’s why your skin must be very smooth to pull off this color.

If you are in your 20s or early 30s, here are some ankle-length Mandarin dresses in bright red, which you may consider for your Chinese-style wedding banquet, or the 2015 Mrs. Global Chinese Pageant.

Painted Peony Qipao Gown Mandarin Dress in Red
Painted Peony Qipao Gown Mandarin Dress in Red
Magnolia Embroidered Long Qipao Gown Mandarin Dress In Red
Magnolia Embroidered Long Qipao Gown Mandarin Dress In Red
Red Chinese Gown Mandarin Dress With Green Trims & Removable Peony Emboidery
Red Chinese Gown Mandarin Dress With Green Trims & Removable Peony Emboidery
Peony Embroidered Red Cheongsam For Wedding
Peony Embroidered Red Cheongsam For Wedding
Graceful Wedding Cheongsam Fishtail Long Dress Brocade
Graceful Wedding Cheongsam Fishtail Long Dress Brocade

Graceful Burgundy for Mature Ladies

For those who have aged out on bright red, burgundy is a nice alternative. It has the same warm tone that can bring out a little blush on your cheeks to make you look more energetic, but it won’t draw attention to the imperfections on your skin, if any.

In case you are in your 50s or 60s, here are some burgundy Mandarin dresses you can wear for your child’s wedding or the 2015 Mrs. Global Chinese Pageant.

Wine Red Cheongsam Dress Silk W/ White Magnolia Print
Wine Red Cheongsam Dress Silk W/ White Magnolia Print
Wine Red Mandarin Dress With White Floral Print
Wine Red Mandarin Dress With White Floral Print
Vintage Floral Watered Gauze Mandarin Dress
Vintage Floral Watered Gauze Mandarin Dress
Trumpet-Sleeve Brocade Mandarin Dress
Trumpet-Sleeve Brocade Mandarin Dress
New Classic Silk Qipao In Tea Length - Ode Of Chang'an
New Classic Silk Qipao In Tea Length – Ode Of Chang’an

Brilliant Sapphire Blue or Glorious Golden Yellow for those from Mid 30s to Early 40s

Although burgundy is a very flattering color, most women under 45 tend to stay away from it because it seems like older ladies’ favorite color. If you feel you are too young for burgundy but not young enough for bright red, go for sapphire blue or golden yellow. These two colors look elegant, so they actually work better with a little age than inexperienced youth, but they are vibrant in the meantime and therefore won’t make you look older.

Embroidery Lotus Cusoms Silk Qipao Gown Sapphire Blue
Embroidery Lotus Cusoms Silk Qipao Gown Sapphire Blue
Embroidery Lotus Cusoms Silk Qipao Gown Sapphire Blue
Embroidery Lotus Cusoms Silk Qipao Gown Sapphire Blue
Embroidered Dragon & Phoenix Pattern Fishtail Chinese Wedding Gown In Royal Blue
Embroidered Dragon & Phoenix Pattern Fishtail Chinese Wedding Gown In Royal Blue
Embroidered Dragon & Phoenix Pattern Fishtail Chinese Wedding Gown In Royal Blue
Embroidered Dragon & Phoenix Pattern Fishtail Chinese Wedding Gown In Royal Blue
Peony Print Cheongsam Dress -
Peony Print Cheongsam Dress – “A Spell Of Fragrance”
Peony Print Cheongsam Dress -
Peony Print Cheongsam Dress – “A Spell Of Fragrance”

Slimming Patterns for those from Mid to Late 40s

Women tend to gain excessive weight in their 40s. So, if you are in your mid to late 40s, you may want the slimming effect of black. However, all black may look dull on a middle-aged woman — all black works best with smooth fair skin for a nice contrast of color, but that’s usually not the case with middle-aged women.

Actually, for any age, it’s better to have some print or beading on black to make it look more lively. In addition, the print or beading can be arranged to create inward curves along the waistline, subsequently generating a slenderizing effect. Here are some black Mandarin dresses with really pretty and slimming print or beading.

Black & Gold Qipao Dress w/ Tapered Hem
Black & Gold Qipao Dress w/ Tapered Hem
Red-Trimmed Black Mandarin Dress With Floral Print
Red-Trimmed Black Mandarin Dress With Floral Print
Black Floral Long Mandarin Dress
Black Floral Long Mandarin Dress
Oil Painting Flowers On Classic Silk Cheongsam -
Oil Painting Flowers On Classic Silk Cheongsam – “The Song Of Nostalgia”
Fishtail Luxury Evening Gowns Black Long
Fishtail Luxury Evening Gowns Black Long

All the Mandarin dresses shown above are meant for formal occasions. You can definitely pick one for your next black-tie event. Or use it for the 2015 Mrs. Global Chinese Pageant!

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