"The Cheongsam, the first comprehensive account of the garment to be written in English, traces the garment's history from its origins in the robes of the rulers of the Manchu dynasty (1644-1911) to its popularity on the catwalks of today's major international fashion shows. Evolving from the classless, androgynous long robes traditionally worn by Chinese men, the cheongsam offered freedom from the layers of restrictive clothing traditionally worn by Chinese women. It came into its own in the 1930s in Shanghai, and its subsequent development in many ways paralleled the emergence of the 'modern' woman in China."
"This illustrated book provides an unprecedented insight into the cheongsam's social and cultural context, focussing particularly on Hong Kong, where the garment has had its greatest following. Based on oral histories, extensive interviews with cheongsam tailors, and Chinese and English written sources, The Cheongsam is at once a rich account of a unique fashion phenomenon and an intriguing commentary on the social history of China's dramatic twentieth century."--Jacket.