Bamboo Zhujun Ding: The Exquisiteness of Traditional Chinese Costumes

Photography and Text by Bamboo Zhujun Ding.



Inspired by “China: Through the Looking Glass,” a 2015 exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in the Anna Wintour Costume Center curated by Andrew Bolton, I decided to focus my Assignment Two on Chinese traditional dress Qipao, also known as cheongsam and the underwear garment Dudou.

These traditional costumes celebrate the female bodies through a moderate and conservative way and manifesting the Chinese elegance and femininity.

The photographs are presented through a fictional but plausible scenario for a Chinese bride and her bridesmaid.


Getting Ready for the Traditional Chinese Wedding


Wenxiao as the Bride

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Becca as the Bridesmaid


Becca: Good morning, Wenxiao! Are you ready for your big day?

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Wenxiao: Morning Becca! Thank you so much for coming this early! I just woke up and am enjoying the sunshine a little bit.


Becca: Do you need help with dressing up?
Wenxiao: Hold on a second! On top of everything, let me stretch a little bit.

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Wenxiao: By the way, do you like my traditional red Dudou? Dudou is a simple, usually diamond or square-cut piece of cloth draped over a woman’s chest with strings to tie at the neck and back. It is often made of brightly colored silk, like mine, or crepe and sometimes embellished with embroidered flowers. This is the traditional underwear women wore in China in the past to keep their chest and belly warm.

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Becca: Absolutely! I love it so much! Additionally, thank you so much for choosing this blue-and- white porcelain Qipao for me. It is so elegant and fits me well.

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Wenxiao: Of course! You are my bridesmaid and you look stunning this Qipao, which is also known as Cheongsam. Qipao is a body-hugging one-piece dress for women in China since Qing Dynasty (1644-1911).  The stylish and often tight-gitting Qipao that is best known today was created in the 1920’s in Shaghai and made fashionable by upper-class women.  It is featured by a stand collar, right side or both sides opening, fitting waist and slip bottom, which can fully set off the beauty of the female shape by exhibiting posture and curves of females, giving an elegant and graceful impression.  Moreover, the blue and white porcelain print for your piece was first developed in Jingdezhen during he Yuan dynasty (1271-1368). And luckily, your Dolce & Gabbana heels fit perfectly with your Qipao and earrings.


Becca: Thanks, my knowledgeable and gorgeous bride! Now, let me help you with putting on your beautiful floral Qipao!

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Wenxiao: Thank you, my dear! Can you also check if my makeup is okay and my Miu Miu earrings fit with my outfit?


Becca: You look glamorous and the earrings fit perfectly!

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Photography and Text by Bamboo Zhujun Ding, Copyright 2015


About The Author: “BamBoo” Zhujun Ding is a student of Bryn Mawr College, class of 2016. She majors in History of Art and believes it is a way for her to cultivate her aesthetic as well as understand the conceptual intuition of artists & designers. She wants to pursue a career in either the media or fashion (or both) industry’s after graduation.


To read more articles by Bamboo Zhujun Ding, go here

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