…Musings of a modern day qipao (or cheongsam) addict…
Reviving stories and history of the traditional Chinese dress;
sharing inspiration & ideas for a qipao wardrobe today.
I’m Miranda. Born in China and grew up in Australia, moved all around the world a little and for the moment call Shanghai home.
I have always loved dresses, and had always been a little bit infatuated with these dresses called qipaos (or in Cantonese, cheongsams). But it was not until I saw Maggie Cheung in In the Mood for Love that I became quite obsessed.
To me, qipaos are elegant yet seductive; demure but provocative; timeless, ageless, and simply beautiful.
The pankou is the traditional Chinese knot button that holds qipaos together, and the namesake of this website. I started thepankou in part selfishly to indulge in this obsession, but also in part because I could find few very good resources in English about these dresses. So I wanted to create a place to learn, share and uncover things about the qipao, without being bound by the Chinese language. Of course I also could not resist sharing a little bit of my vintage collection, and a little bit about my life.
Please, enjoy my journey and my stories. And please also accomodate my self indulgence a little – I do it for the love of the dresses.
A few other facts about me –
one: I almost always wear dresses and heels, even in winter. The reason is simple – I look better in dresses than trousers or shorts. I believe in wearing things that I look good in.
two: People always ask me about the size of my wardrobe because they are under the impression that I have an enormous collection of clothes. But my wardrobe really is not that big. Based on my observation over the years from visiting friends and family homes, the size of an average person’s total wardrobe does not really vary too much (in a gross generalisation, most people I know do not live in a tiny home or an enormous home, which is the main driving factor behind wardrobe size). So it really is not the size of the wardrobe that matters, but what proportion of clothes are actually worn from the wardrobe. I think in a good year, I wear 90% of my wardrobe.
three: In our Shanghai apartment, we house two adults, two dogs (Rocky the French Bull and Pippa the adopted shaggy terrior-mix-of-kinds), one cat (Kirin) and a recently added baby (Celine). Oh, how I miss my single life.
four: In a former life I was a strategy consultant with the Boston Consulting Group, but in my more recent life I worked in fashion. I did my MBA at Harvard Business School.
Well, that’s about it. Email me – miranda(at)thepankou.com