Unforgettable Qipao By Madam Shanghai On Show At Unforgettable Gala

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Cover: Lisa Ling wearing a “modern custom silk georgette Qipao evening dress”. Photo by Faye Sadou

A celebration of culture, diversity and achievement lit up Beverly Hills for the 20th anniversary of the annual Unforgettable Gala.

The exclusive black-tie event, held at The Beverly Hilton, was appropriately themed – Illuminate. As the gala showcased Asian American talents and rewarded them with their achievements, it was truly a bright and spectacular event!

There were more than 700 Asian Pacific Islander (API) professionals descended on the red carpet as a prelude to the night of live entertainment and awards, and commemorated the achievements of the Asian American community as a whole.

The gala is an excellent occasion to display exquisite clothes and designs of the greatest grade. The star-studded lineup that arrived at the event showcasing past, present, and future fashion was a sight to behold.

One designer who pays homage to their heritage in modern day fashion is LA based Madam Shanghai. During the night, they were beautifully represented by keynote speaker Lisa Ling (award-winning journalist and producer) and Adele Lim (screenwriter for the movie Crazy Rich Asians).

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Lisa Ling and her mother Mary Ling with Madam Shanghai at the final fitting. Photo by Supplied

Madam Shanghai’s goal is to use design to highlight the wearer’s personality and each individual’s unique story for these inspirational female voice leaders.

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Adele Lim in a classic custom silk Qipao with hand embroidery. Photo by Joee Wong

It was truly a night full of stars. The event, which was hosted by Eugene Cordero (Easter Sunday), featured award winners Ke Huy Quan, Stephanie Hsu (Everything Everywhere All at Once), Domee Shi (Director of Turning Red), and fellow keynote speaker Daniel Dae Kim (Hawaii Five-O).

The event was entertained by Black Eyed Peas and Angelina Jordan; and there were many special guests, including Adele Lim and Lisa Ling, who both wore Madam Shanghai custom designed Qipao dresses.

Madam Shanghai co-founders Grace Pei and Vincy Zhou not only celebrate their heritage and history, but also preserve the traditional craftsmanship and embroidery techniques in their designs.

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Indian hand beaded details of Lisa Ling’s Qipao. Photo by Supplied

The design for Lisa Ling’s Qipao dress was conceptualized to reflect her elegance and chicness, and the dress is made of 100% black heavy silk georgette with a matte surface that complements this modern Western-style cut with open-front slit. To honor the diverse Asian cultures as a whole, beaded embroidery was used instead of the traditional hand-woven Pankou. These heavy gold beads in the shape of a leaf represent power and hope. Last but not least, the fit and flare style has a front slit for a captivating appearance.

Lisa said at her final fitting: “my dearest grandma insisted on wearing cheongsam in our all white suburb all the time because she was so proud of her culture. My grandmother is smiling from far above to see I am wearing mine.”

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Adele Lim Qipao details. Photo by Supplied

Adele Lim’s Qipao silk gown featured a classic fitted cut in her favorite colors. The flattering s-shaped embroidery was designed to accentuate her figure. Each element of the design was intended to contribute to the creation of a picturesque waterscape.

According to Grace and Vincy, their goal is to reshape the western perception of Qipao dresses. As Grace and Vincy say, “Our goal is to see people of different Asian cultural backgrounds come together.”

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Madam Shanghai Custom Silk Qipao (Cheongsam) Box. Photo by Supplied

As the gala celebrations continue to unite cultures together, Grace and Vincy share a thought on how they started on this journey as Madam Shanghai:

“We came together as friends and co-founders and we hope to write a new narrative and a new age of Qipao…always better together.”

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Madam Shanghai Gold Work II, Chinese wedding dress and red Qipao with dragon and phoenix embroidery

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