Chinese Style Dresses
The cheongsam first appeared shortly after the collapse of the Qing dynasty in 1911, which had ruled China since 1644. China, which had been isolated from the rest of the world during the Qing dynasty, began to modernize fairly quickly, both in its politics and its economy. Women especially began to have more freedom and wanted to modernize their clothing to allow more freedom of movement and comfort. But they didn't want to just adopt Western dress. The cheongsam represented a compromise. It used traditional Chinese fabrics like silk and included a traditional collar and fastening across the right side. But the form-fitting cut and the lack of binding ties were distinctly Western.