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Wing Luke Museum
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Dress - Artifacts

Machine-woven, hand tailored, silk dress (cheong sam) with long sleeves; blue brocade with rose and gold cranes. The collar is trimmed in a double piping of blue and gold, as are the sleeves, overlapping front panel, slits and hem. The cranes are repeated in a circular pattern which consists of birds in eight different positions. Six birds form the outer circle and two birds are contained within. When isolated, the eight-crane circular pattern is very distinctive. The arrangement of repeated patterns makes it difficult to see the individual groups, giving the fabric a lively, "random" quality. The crane may be a "Manchurian crane", as the cheong sam evolved from Manchurian formal wear, and it symbolizes longevity. The front overlapping panel closes to the right. Two fastenings at the collar are traditional knotted-button and loop closures ("frogs") molded into floral patterns. A simpler fastening is located below the right sleeve. The button portion of the frog is sewn to the overlapping panel. The loop portion is sewn to the collar. There is a hook at the neck and two snaps at the overlapping panel to keep the garment tightly closed. A narrow opening lined with snaps extends from below the right sleeve to the hip. There is a small yellow stain on the back right sleeve, 2 1/2 inches from the cuff.
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