Why is the Chinese Traditional Wedding Costume ( Kua裙褂 ) from Hong Kong so expensive? | PRECIOUS Wed
Updated: Apr 10
Many celebrities of Chinese descent from China including Hong Kong and Taiwan who tied the knot recently flaunt their traditional wedding costumes during their ceremony, like Tavia Yeung 楊怡, Myolie Wu胡杏儿, Angelababy, Linda Chung 鍾嘉欣, Christy Chung 鍾麗緹 to name a few, embracing the tradition.
Photo from the internet: Hong Kong TVB actress Myolie Wu in Kua Wong 褂皇 with husband Philip during their wedding in 2015.
The Hong Kong Kua has then become even more popular in Chinese weddings in Asia, and Malaysia is catching up. It was once deemed as old-fashioned in the 90s and no one would wear Kua for their wedding, until Hong Kong Cantopop singer Miriam Yeung 楊千嬅 brought back the tradition when she wore a full Gold Silver threaded Kua in her wedding in 2009.
Photo from the internet: Hong Kong queen of Cantopop Miriam Yeung in Kua Wong 褂皇 with husband Real Ding during their wedding in 2009.
But what makes it so expensive to rent or buy?
When it comes to the rental price of a set of Hong Kong Kua, it could be much more expensive compared to a white wedding gown. As many of our Chinese brides want to carry on the tradition, brides often find it too expensive to rent or buy. But why is it so? Here are some points that might help you figured out why. First, we got to know how to differentiate the type of Kua 裙褂. There are 5 types of kua: Xiu Ng Fook (小五福)，Zhong Ng Fook (中五福)，Dai Ng Fook (大五福)，Kua Hau (褂后)，Kua Wong (褂皇). We can identify the type by looking at the closeness of the embroidery that are sewn together. The more intricate the design, the more expensive it would be. Embroidery closeness: Xiu Ng Fook 50%, Zhong Ng Fook 65%, Dai Ng Fook 80%, Kua Hau 90%, Kua Wong 95% - 100%, making Kua Wong the most expensive category. Take a closer look at Myolie Wu and Miriam Yeung’s kua, both are Kua Wong (褂皇).
The Origin Many of the Kua Masters originated from Guang Zhou, fled to Hong Kong during World War II. Soon after, the Kua business flourished and Hong Kong became a popular place to find the high quality and outstanding craftsmanship for Kuas. Hong Kong is where we can find the best Kua.
Full Silk and Hand Stitching Mastery The Kua is made of silk usually in red, the masters then meticulously hand stitch lively auspicious creatures on it such as phoenix and dragons, flowers and fishes that represents well wishes and good luck, thread by thread.
Crazy Long Hours A piece of Kua Wong (褂皇) can take up to more than a year to complete. The world has their eyes all on the wedding costume of Angelababy and Huang Xiaoming in 2015. China entertainment media has reported the pair of exquisite costume took the master astonishing 8000 man hours to complete! The two sets of costumes cost 500,000RMB (approximately 300,000MYR)!
Photo from the internet: Chinese-born Hong Kong model Angelababy and China Actor Huang XiaoMing during their wedding in 2015.
Intangible Cultural Art The art of Kua and kua making is an intangible cultural art in Hong Kong. Which means the practices, representations, expressions, knowledge, skills – as well as the instruments, objects, artifacts and cultural spaces associated therewith – that communities, groups and, in some cases, individuals recognize as part of their cultural heritage. Scarcity of Skillful Master It is a pity that the current generation and generation to come have lesser interest in learning and continuing this tradition. The Kua business in Hong Kong are passed down generations to generations. Due to long duration of a project and the amount of time to master kua making don’t add up to the wages to sustain high living cost for new learners in current era, it is difficult to find new blood to continue the business in general. Which makes only a handful of skillful masters available today.
Handling The Kua You need to be extremely careful when putting the Kua. Brides are requested to wear silk inner wear or soft material tank top over a normal bra to avoid threads being pulled out when in contact with rough surface fabrics or the crystals and hook hardware on a bra. Kua is maintained and cleaned manually by wiping it carefully after every wear. It is not washable by machine. Therefore it's extremely delicate and precious. Every part of kua making and the kua itself is a piece of art, which requires in-depth knowledge of weaving skill and the understanding of preserving historical tradition, and therefore the substantial value of each piece.
KUAS AVAILABLE IN PRECIOUS The kuas we have in our collection is : Xiu Ng Fook (小五福)，Zhong Ng Fook (中五福)，Dai Ng Fook (大五福)，Kua Hau (褂后). In measures to maintain tip-top condition of our kua, it will not be available for fitting but view to appreciate at the showroom is highly encouraged. Size is available at S, M, L..
To view more, feel free to dropby to our showroom for a visit. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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