Chinese wedding gowns are in fashion again

Updated: 2016-03-21 07:36

By Wang Zhuoqiong(China Daily)

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Even today, traditional Chinese wedding clothing takes up only 10 percent share of the special-occasion garment market.

"Brides in China often think about only the dresses that could make them look like a princess in the West," said Shi Yiping, a dress designer at the Beijing Institute of Fashion Technology. "Traditional Chinese gowns have been considered old-fashioned and outdated for many years now."

But in recent years, particularly after the country's first lady Peng Liyuan showed up at State events wearing traditional dresses that were an elegant mix of Chinese cultural elements and modern clothing, local fashion has been attracting attention again, Lin said.

"People have begun looking at Qipao and traditional Chinese gowns from a new perspective," said Lin. "Qipao now could be classic, stylish and elegant. The red color, gold and silver threads of embroidery of dragon, phoenix, fish and peony are symbols of a great marriage and good luck as well."

Last year, Tengxun doubled its sales (Lin would not disclose the numbers though). Investors are making a beeline for a stake to help expand her business. So much so Lin has decided to shut her line of Western wedding gowns and focus entirely on traditional Chinese gowns.

To ride the wave of new-found craze for Qipao, Tengxuna is sharpening its focus on targeted customers and also streamlining its management. "I work closely with the leaders in the wedding industry, particularly wedding planners," said Lin. "As soon as they sign on customers seeking a special Chinese wedding or a Chinese style section in their wedding, which requires traditional Chinese gowns, they recommend our service."

Given that specially made wedding gowns tend to be expensive, Tengxuna's strategy works better than mindless advertising, Lin said. "Our products are priced from 8,000 yuan to 100,000 yuan ($15,873). There is no need for us to compete with retailers on who sell Chinese wedding gowns at 1,000 yuan apiece."

"Hand drawings bring out more personal emotions and styles. Just like in the old times, I hope each gown I design and make will become a legacy that will be carried through generations of the bride's family," Lin said.

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