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Remark: Through a display of Chinese dress, this exhibition at Powerhouse Museum, Australia, explores the extraordinary changes that have occurred in Chinese society over the last 300 years. The objects range from the sumptuous silk court robes of the Qing Dynasty to the latest designs from young fashion designers from mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan.
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Clowns with a big white spot painted on their faces were seen in Song dynasty operettas and Yuan dynasty poetic dramas of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. Facial make-up like that of Beijing Opera Jing roles (warriors or robust male characters) had, however, been used in songs and dances nearly a thousand years earlier. The name "cheongsam," meaning simply "long dress," entered the English vocabulary from the dialect of China's Guangdong Province (Cantonese). In other parts of the country including Beijing, however, it is known as "qipao", which has a history behind it.
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