The Official Website of the Beijing 2008 Olympic GamesAugust 8-24 2008
Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games
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Placard holders' outfits: A fusion of beauty and elegance

Updated: 2008-08-09 15:08:02

(BEIJING, August 9) -- The organizing committees of past Olympic Games have always used the uniforms of placard holders to display the enchanting elegance and rich culture of the host country during the Opening Ceremony.

The creators and fashion designers for the Beijing Olympic placard holders' uniforms have always loved the design of the qipao and wanted to include that element in the outfits. Thus, the initial proposal was to have the placard holders wear elegant, white qipao designed with "ink paintings" of significant landmarks from around the world embroidered on them while walking ahead of Olympic delegations with signs designating their representative countries. However, the creation and design team soon realized that there was no standard in selecting the landmarks and that what the designers perceived as significant to a particular country may not actually seem that way to the country's athletes.

After further revision, the creation team introduced another design, which retained the qipao element and incorporated both eastern and western styles. The upper section of the outfit used the Chinese qipao's collar and girdle design while the lower section borrowed the western pendulum design composed of countless 'flower petals.' The color of the outfit would gradually change from monochrome to a powdery white. However, the creators were not satisfied with this design and feared that the combination of eastern and western elements would lead to severe criticism.

Final changes to the dress were made regarding color and embodiment. To capture the essence of a beautiful and gentle Chinese woman, designers chose red and gold. Also, the material was changed to red satin with China's national flower, the peony, embroidered on the material. These additions to the outfit completed it and made the dress something truly breathtaking.

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