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Addressing the situation

By Yang Feiyue | China Daily | Updated: 2023-03-30 05:48
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One typical Suzhou-styled qipao made by Jin Yi. [Photo provided to China Daily]

An urge to make things easier for his wife has surprisingly changed the career trajectory of Jin Yi. With a measuring tape and a pair of scissors by his side practically all the time at his workshop in Suzhou, East China's Jiangsu province, Jin, in his 30s, is committed to restoring the glamour of the qipao, a traditional Chinese dress also known as cheongsam, which features a form-fitting cut, high neckline and the slit on the side of the skirt.

"We've been extremely busy after Spring Festival, with orders for custom-made qipao piling up," says Jin, from Xushuguan town, Suzhou.

"Normally, we promised to deliver goods in 10 to 15 days, but now it has to be in 40 to 50 days," he adds.

Jin says he and his team have been working for more than 12 hours every day.

When Jin receives an order, he goes to great lengths to get to know his customer's needs before coming up with pertinent style, color scheme, embroidery and fabric.

"The colors and patterns should vary with different occasions," Jin explains.

For example, a bride would be recommended to wear a bright red qipao with peony and butterfly images, while her mother would be advised to dress in a darker red with more shiny flowers.

"After all is settled, I need to communicate and work with master tailors before delivering a qipao," Jin explains.

The prices vary from 1,500 yuan ($218) to 8,000 yuan, depending on fabrics and embroidering methods.

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