After Lu Yuan Zhi fell apart from his teacher and suffered oppression from his seniors, he left Beiping and headed to Shanghai. With his hard work, he earns recognition in Shanghai. When war erupts in Beiping, Lu Yuan Zhi heads back and swore not to make cheongsams for the Japanese. He uses his skills to become one of the greatest costume designers in China. (Source: DramaWiki) ~~ Adapted from the novel "Hua Fu Chuan Qi" (华服传奇) by Er Huo (尔火). Edit Translation
- magyar / magyar nyelv
Where to Watch The Master of Cheongsam
Cast & Credits
A cut above.This is a wonderfully produced drama that deserves a lot more attention. It is a riveting tale of sibling rivalry that spans a time of rapid change and turbulence in modern Chinese history. Jiang Mosheng and Lu Yuanzhi are both adopted and apprenticed by Master Su Jingan of Sancai (Triple Cut) House, couturier of the Qing Imperial Court. Sancai House routinely outshines other rival houses in the workmanship, symbolism and design of the intricate ornamentation of the Dowager Empress' court robes, allegedly due to their seamless stitch, a tradecraft that is passed down from one generation to another. Master Su's most bitter rival is his former fellow apprentice, Master Bai Henian of Sihe House.
Jiang Mosheng is the older, steady, responsible brother and heir apparent, whose great talent is meaningfully enhanced by his passion and dedication. Lu Yuanzhi is the hot headed, audacious and visionary brother; a rare talent whose brilliance is nothing short of genius. His recklessness however lands him in serious trouble. To save him, Mosheng cuts ties with Sancai House, defects to Sihe House and accepts Master Bai as his foster father. This sets the brothers down a complicated path of reluctant rivalry, conflicting loyalties, mutual friendships, convenient alliances, mistrust, betrayal and forgiveness. The most prominent feature of this drama is the Abel and Cain relationship between the brothers and it is well written, consistent and riveting. Both of them are flawed characters and neither is completely blameless for how things play out between them. Although Yuanzhi learns to rein in his recklessness and temper as he matures, it still manages to get the better of him. His culpability over Mosheng's sacrifice constantly lingers in the air between them. Even though he can be such an ass, I have to sympathise with Mosheng's battle with his own worst instincts in the shadow of someone who is perpetually a cut above. Both Zhang Haowei and Hong Yao delivered excellent, empathetic performances, alternately frustrating, enraging and beguiling me at all the right moments.
How the design of the cheongsam or qipao evolves to reflect the changing attitudes of times is the main, fascinating centrepiece of the drama. While not in the same league as the more modern and sophisticated qipaos of Wong Kar Wai's iconic In The Mood for Love, all of the outfits from the Qing court robes to the Western flapper dresses are simply gorgeous and I truly enjoyed the mini history of Chinese costume. How the female characters are dressed is also symbolic of who they are - Yaoyao is a remnant of the past at sharp contrast with Lijun, the ultimate, progressive modern woman. Kang Ning sits in the middle - she embraces change in a way that marries it with tradition; and thus she is truly Yuanzhi's muse. True to character, both Kang Ning and Lijun have a very refreshing attitude towards relationships and love that I truly enjoy and they fight to write their own stories even when events conspire against them. The only character I didn't like is Yaoyao who is your typical c-drama archetype but she is written that way as a foil for the other two. There are enough dimensional, grey and consequential characters in this drama that I am very satisfied with the character aspects of it. Most of these key roles are performed by veteran actors whose acting often surpasses the quality of the dialogue. I laughed my head off at the dynamics between Lijun, Feiyu and her father.
This is largely a character driven drama where the main characters have to cope with the changing times as they transition from the Qing era to the Republican era and Japanese incursion. While the pace is fast with many exciting and unexpected turns along the way, not all of the sub plots and arcs are consistently well written. Some of the stressing events that the main characters face are a bit contrived, can be lazily written and at times defy logic. But between excellent acting and all the interesting character developments, I found the plot holes quite easy to forgive. I do appreciate how all of the characters go through rough times, experience loss, how actions have consequences and justice is often blind. The villains are decent but less interesting than the characters themselves, some of whom are quite grey if not outright vile.
I am happy to recommend this as a very enjoyable watch with some good fresh takes on old tropes. Overall for me this is an 8.0.
Watch this at your own expense
1 / THE QING Dynasty era:
This part of the drama has the most horrible and outrageous plotline I have seen in a while. It will present you with:
- a man who kills his godson and is never troubled because of it
- a man who uses the corpse of his victim like an accessory to frame other people
- a man who schemes plenty of plans to harm his brother but he gets away with it because he just misunderstood the situation
- a man who pays a thug to break someone's arm and he is never troubled about it even by his godson who knows the truth
- a man who knows all the crimes his godfather did against his brother but he would not do anything to help the brother out of jealousy but still call him his brother.
- a princess who is forced to marry at gunpoint on the head of her father but the husband does not sleep with her because she is not his "kind of woman". Of course. Like a pig would not eat jam.
Plenty of cranky farfetched unrealistic situations with iffy morals and messages like "I caused you to die but sorry for the misunderstanding and justice is not necessary as we are family".
Is this supposed to be entertaining? It is not. It is BS.
2/ THE REPUBLICAN era:
The drama becomes a lot better.
- The FL disappears as the plot is only centered on the ML
- The ML discover a new city (Shanghai), new people, new challenges. He starts to build his career and success.
- The Republican era is a time of change so the drama is richer of ideas and events
- The directing is better with nice slow mo
- The plotline is crafted with a good twist
- Then back to Beijing , back to family dumb misunderstandings
- FL appears again. Her story is quite sad.
3 / FIGHT VS JAPANESE
The usual great patriotic courageous Chinese brothers vs. the evil monstrous Japanese who kill innocent people just to bully and coerce and achieve their goal. Grotesque ending to give the bad guy his redemption when we have barely a glimpse at the main leads happy ending.
- Kang Ning : beautiful and smart and courageous, the writing of her character turned ludicrous and made her a props for 2/3rd of the drama
- Lu Yuan Zhi : idiot guy who improved himself as a great tailor but his personality is bland always trying to save his love and help his brother who constantly creates troubles for him.
- Jiang Mo Sheng : Terrible brother insecure and jealous. Does plenty of mistakes but accuses the others.
- Zhao Li Jun: Fun endearing and a fighter. I liked her.
- Su Pei Yao : Spoiled daughter
- Bai He Nian : Guy should have died sooner for the sake of his family.
- Guo Fei Yu : started a fool but had a good character development. Good guy.
No. Packed with outrageous schemes. Nothing really enjoyable.
OVERALL : This drama is well produced with great costumes, places, props, many characters... It is too bad it drowned itself in family schemes and misunderstanding to promote usual family values and forgiveness and redemption blabla. The story is also amoral : the person who kills his Godson is never accountable but lives free. Also the endings of the master of Si He house and the bad brother are quite ridiculous.