The Edinburgh Festival Fringe was lucky enough to play host to a stunning fashion show of the innovative design of Shanghai-style qipao dresses and amazed audiences.

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The event held by the Shanghai Promotion Centre for City of Fashion (SPCF) showcased the collaboration between the University of Edinburgh and Donghua University, featuring Qipao designs created from high tech materials.

The Shanghai-style Qipao is more than sparkling costumes but features the quintessence of Chinese culture. Over the years, Qipao designers have woven cultural heritage into modern designs.

The “2018 Edinburgh International Festival “Shanghai Season III” was divided into 4 sections showcasing collections from Classics of the Past, Fashion of the Present, Power of Innovation, and Technology of the Future. 

One series of this fashion show, “Tradition and Fashion – Exhibition of Modern Chinese Fashion” displayed 23 Chinese traditional costumes from late Qing Dynasty to the Republic period collected by Shanghai Museum of Textile and Costume.

The most interesting element for me was the focus on “high tech” Qipao which stunned audiences. By utilising environmentally-friendly, energy saving and healthy luminescent materials, some were designed to care for women’s health, some implanted with temperature sensors enabling medical data to be stored and transmitted effectively to a secure database. From there, users could create their own personal profile to monitor health conditions.

In the UK and US, we have only begun to dip our toe in the water of wearable fashion; from the Kate Spade phone charging Everpurse to the upcoming bag designs of a famous international brand designed to air those with eye or ear conditions. They are also working on a sensor that detects when you have left your phone behind. This range of Qipao allows people to see what is truly possible in the future. Something I think will really take off.

(Photos provided by Shanghai Promotion Center for City of Fashion)

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