Qipao are amongst the most distinguished and elegant dresses ever made for women. They expose their sleek silhouette and embody the oriental exoticism that has fascinated Westerners for decades. In this book, private collector Beverley Jackson reviews the origin and evolution of this Chinese dress.
Equally a treat for mind and eye, the book is organized in three parts: Shanghai as an East-West meeting point; the history of the qipao; and the evolution of fashion correlated to womenís liberation. Shanghai Girl is both accessible and interesting, as Jackson manages to elaborate on the intricate relationships between Chinese dress, history, Western fashion influence, and custom and moral evolutions in Chinese Confucian society. True, the various parts are somewhat loosely connected; the authorís point isnít always clear and digressions are frequent. That said, the book does offer some fascinating insights into culture and fashion and looks very nice indeed on the coffee table.

(c) that's Shanghai Magazine
Chief editor: Steven Crane
Book courtesy Ten Speed Press
October 2005 issue