Qipao banner gown
Sharon Ng has evolved along with the New Zealand fashion industry. Beginning in the early 1980s, she worked for Barbara Lee, while developing her own design aesthetic. She had some success with her own knitwear label and with entries in the Benson & Hedges Fashion Design Awards. In 1995 Sharon launched her NG label. Here she is able to explore in her mature designs what it is to be a New Zealander, merging her Kiwi and Chinese cultures. The qipao (banner gown), also known as a cheongsam, is a one-piece embroidered Chinese dress, which was introduced as part of the Banner System, a structure for organising all Manchu families into administrative divisions in China in the 17th century. The 'banner' in this case is the art of New Zealand artist Bill Hammond, whose bird people decorate this garment. Read more about wearing the colour black in the New Zealand Fashion Museum publication Black: The history of black in fashion, society and culture in New Zealand.