The First Set of Stills From “The Last Night of Madam Chin”

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Posting this because I feel like there should be more Cdrama news because that’s even more underrated than cpop, and because I liked the costumes. This is the second production from Studio Fan Bingbing. From what I heard, her studio’s first drama Rouge Snow was good with fairly elegant production values, and this seems to be an even greater improvement upon that, costing as much as 950,000 yuan per episode. The drama is based on the novel of the same name, and was previously portrayed on stage by Chinese actress-legend Liu Xiaoqing. It depicts the story of Madame Chin (played here by Fan Bingbing), who rises to prominence from a lowly ballroom dancer in old Shanghai, and her relationships with three men, here played by Alex Fong, Vic Zhou and Anthony Wong.

Anyway, here are the stills. The women look as if they stepped out of a F. Scott Fitzgerald Novel. Correct me historians if I’m wrong because those books aren’t exactly picture-filled, just descriptive. But their outfits are colorful enough to be eye-catching, and yet not gaudy. The makeup is not subtle but it’s also not completely overbearing, just fitting to the decadence of the roaring twenties. Wait, I’m thinking of Gastby again. Even the wallpaper in Madame Chin’s room looks chosen with a lot of care. I like pretty things and this is pretty. I’m beginning to admire Fan Bingbing more and more. Despite doing some really bizarre roles, and getting a lot of criticism and personal attacks, no one can say she hasn’t taken control of her own life rather than simply being a flower vase actress without any substantial ideas of her own.

Actresses Fann Wong and Han Xiao also are featured in the stills. I have no idea who they are, and still too busy to look it up.

Full stills rather than thumbnails because what’s the point of that when an entire post is about how the series looks? You can thank me later for not forcing you to squint your eyes and spend those precious few seconds of your life debating on whether or not to click the thumbnail.

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26 thoughts on “The First Set of Stills From “The Last Night of Madam Chin”

  1. Thanks!!!

    If anyone who has a good grasp of English and/or Chinese or is good with any languages, please visit viikii.net and volunteer at our site to segment, translate, edit or become a memeber and write funny comments to cheer us on. And of course please support us by visiting and watching your favorite shows in almost every language under the sun. Membership and everything eles in ViiKii is free!

    Enjoy!

  2. The cheongsam or qipao has a long history. I believe there is more information regarding this stylish dress, but here is a summary of the qipao from Wikipedia with some of my personal notes.

    The Qing Dynasty (Chinese: 清朝), also known as the Manchu Dynasty, was the last ruling dynasty of China, ruling from 1644 to 1912. It was preceded by the Ming Dynasty and followed by the Republic.

    When the Manchu ruled China during the Qing Dynasty, certain social strata emerged. Among them were the Banners (qí), mostly Manchu, who as a group were called Banner People (旗人 pinyin: qí rén). Manchu women typically wore a one-piece dress that came to be known as the qípáo (旗袍 or banner quilt).

    The qipao fitted loosely and hung straight down the body. Under the dynastic laws after 1636, all Han Chinese in the banner system were forced to wear a queue and dress in Manchurian qipao instead of traditional Han Chinese clothing (剃发易服), under penalty of death.

    In the following 300 years, the qipao became the adopted clothing of the Chinese, and was eventually tailored to suit the preferences of the population. Such was its popularity that the garment form survived the political turmoil of the 1911 Xinhai Revolution that toppled the Qing Dynasty.

    The original qipao was wide and loose. It covered most of the woman’s body, revealing only the head, hands, and the tips of the toes. The baggy nature of the clothing also served to conceal the figure of the wearer regardless of age. With time, though, the qipao were tailored to become more form fitting and revealing. The modern version, which is now recognized popularly in China as the “standard” qipao, was first developed in Shanghai after 1900, after the Qing Dynasty fell.

    In Shanghai it was first known as zansae or “long dress” (長衫 = Mandarin: chángshān, Shanghainese: zansae, Cantonese: chèuhngsàam), and it is this name that survives in English as the “cheongsam”.

    The modernized version is noted for accentuating the figures of women, and as such was popular as a dress for high society. As Western fashions changed, the basic cheongsam design changed too, introducing high-necked sleeveless dresses, bell-like sleeves, and the black lace frothing at the hem of a ball gown. By the 1940s, cheongsam came in a wide variety of fabrics with an equal variety of accessories.

    The 1949 Communist Revolution ended the cheongsam and other fashions in Shanghai, but the Shanghainese emigrants and refugees brought the fashion to Hong Kong where it has remained popular. Recently there has been a revival of the Shanghainese cheongsam in Shanghai and elsewhere in Mainland China; the Shanghainese style functions now mostly as a stylish party dress.

    The current modern use of the cheongsam or qipao is a stylish party dress. In the US, new brides with Asian heritage would marry in a western style white wedding dress during the ceremony. During part of the reception, they would use a custom-made qipao as a traditional Chinese wedding dress for the tea ceremony.

    The Vietnamese áo dài bears similarity to the cheongsam, as does the Tibetan national dress.

    If you the full information, please go to Wikipedia.org.

  3. You are all so current on these dramas. If you have not seen the drama yet, go to viikii.net to watch. It is currently being subtitled in English.

    Can viikii.net also use this article and link for the thread to the drama: The Last Night of Madame Chin? I really love your photos and enjoy reading your blog.

    I did a bit of research about qipao, and a summary will be on my next comment.

  4. I am so looking forward to this drama! Do you have any idea when it is going to air? There is only 2 more weeks of Vic’s current drama Black & White and I’m going to miss watching him each week!

  5. I only Wanna say, lets see the drama. I hope Zai zai is good in here. I like madam Chin’s Suit. I aggre with hobielover, madam chin is fashionable.
    But I dont like zz’s hair. maybe his hair is hair style in 30th

  6. @cfensi: I don’t know, that’d probably be more England than America if women did start wearing qipao, since Shanghai was under British rule. In America, things from France were the most fashionable at the time. Perhaps some things from Paris had Chinese influence, but doubt there was much of that. It would have been European influence. I still think that if the flappers had known about these, they would have wanted them.

  7. @hobielover

    No I mean, it seems qi pao were introduced in the west fairly early…and I’m just wondering whether it was before this time or not.

    Since qi pao I believe originated around the 20s in Shanghai, and that was when Shanghai was a large international trading area.

    I think it’s fashionable because it shows off a woman’s figure well.

  8. cfensi: I don’t know exactly when they became fashionable here. I don’t imagine that flappers wore them, of course, since they would have wanted things from France. I think manhua, anime, and kung fu flicks made the qipao fashionable, since we don’t learn much about China in American schools. I mean, they use the qipao in manhua and anime, even though it’s Japanese, and we don’t learn much about Asia unless we have some reason to do so, so Americans generally only see this stuff in the media. I think there’s been more in the media about China recently, though much of it bad, but people have gotten to see the clothing more than before, and it’s pretty. That’s why it’s fashionable.

  9. @sytwo sure, if you think they’ll be interested in my “analysis” but there’s little on Vic himself…I am very curious to see how the men’s outfits will fare…probably standard but I’m still curious

    @hobielover When did Qipaos become fashionable in the western world?

  10. Ooh, they do look like flapper girls, so the “Gatsby” comparison is very fitting, but the flapper girls never got to wear qipao! The flappers would be jealous. :)

  11. Enjoyed reading your analysis of this drama. Esp about the Gatsby connection. Have seen parts of FBB’s drama Rouge Snow and agree that the production quality is pretty impressive. She is really quite a lady.

    Do you mind if I post your article here into the Vic Chou thread at Asianfanatics.net? The fans there are highly interested in the drama and will enjoy reading your blog.

  12. @Stranger

    Btw…these are the modern dramas that are upcoming that I can think of off the top of my head, since I posted on them once or twice already.

    In order of when they will most likely air:

    Ugly Wudi Season 2
    Stage of Youth – Hang Geng, Huang Yi, Joey Yung, Yumiko Cheng, Kenny Kwan Zhang Junning
    A Tribute to Stephen Chow – Jing Boran
    An Xiang (Fragrance) – Huang Xiaoming, Wang Luodan
    Tear Drop Mole – Eva Huang Shengyi and Guo Jiaming
    Chinese Boys Over Flowers (Hana Yori Dango/Meteor Garden)
    Tiny Times 1.0

  13. Oh wow, I totally had a blank there and didn’t connect the two…I love Jack Neo’s movies!

    Fan Bingbing has assembled quite a cast for this…HK, Taiwan, Sinaporean actors. How on earth did she get them all?

    @Stranger Lol, I wouldn’t consider this modern, but this was an easy post since the stills were right on the front page of Sina, but I’ll try to investigate some more and see what else I can find on Chinese drama. No promises though! My eyes usually skim past all the drama news sections.

  14. Old Shanghai….would this count as modern drama? Hehe but kudos to you for posting this up, really appreciate it. =)

    Oh, Fan Wen Fang is known as Fann Wong. She’s Singaporean, and she’s quite a big star over there. She’s also starred in one of Jackie Chan’s Hollywood movies, Shanghai Knights, as Jackie’s sister. She can be pretty feisty if she wants to. I’ve seen her in Singaporean movies, she’s pretty versatile. She once played the role of a man trapped in a woman’s body. Lol. That was hilarious.

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