THE MAKEOVER OF A TAI CHI MASTER TO AN ELEGANT LADY
People have been lamenting the fact that traditional Chinese martial arts (Kung Fu) are losing their popularity in Hong Kong. Especially for Tai Chi, it is hardly appealing for an average person who is under the age of 40. At the same time, we are witnessing an increasing number of MMA, Kali, Taekwondo, Thai boxing gyms being established in all corners of Hong Kong. Why? Since I don’t practicing any martial arts myself, I am unable to tell you the reasons behind this phenomenon. However, I somehow suspected that many of these traditional Chinese martial arts teachers / Sifus do not know how to modernize themselves, e.g., not knowing how to repackage or present themselves and their traditional art form to the new generation could be one of the major contributing factors.
One of the challenges with the traditional Kung Fu outfits (suits) is that they either look very boring (make a young person look very old) or they look overly flashy. Another problem faced by many Kung Fu practitioners is that although many local sports equipment stores also sell ready-to-wear Kung Fu suits, they usually look very hideous – very painful to look at… Even when you hand-pick the fabrics and the colors yourself, the end products would never look exactly as what you had expected – because they are all made in Mainland China!
Being smart, and having recognized the ‘image problem’ embedded in the traditional Chinese martial arts community, Tai Chi Sifu, Madam Xue Qiong (薛琼) came and asked for my image consultant service. She is an seasoned instructor, teaching Tai Chi at the Li Fai Centre of Wushu (李晖武术文化中心). On 12 April 2015, she needed to attend the 15th Anniversary Dinner of the Li Fai Center.
According to Xue Qiong, “Yes, I teach Tai Chi at the Li Fai Centre of Wushu for living. It is my profession. I have achieved certain status in the Chinese martial arts community, but it does not mean that I have to wear a traditional Chinese Kung Fu outfit to attend every single event that I get invited to. Don’t get me wrong. I have nothing against traditional Kung Fu suits. I do wear them frequently, but it could get boring sometimes, and is not always appropriate to every single event that I get invited to. I think it is nice to return to the 21st century once in a while. In addition, I think it is nice to show an another side of myself – a more “modern” and “chic” side –which would show my respects for such an important occasion.”
After learning about her needs and expectations, I started to plan for her wardrobe, so that she would ‘shine’ at this Event – an event that is important for both her professional and personal lives. I wanted to deliver a correct image of her, “今次我就想带出她刚柔并重，动静皆宜的一面.” Strong on the outside, and yet soft, feminine and loveable on the inside.
ELEMENTS OF THIS ELEGANT IMAGE:
- A simple black A-line dress with a white jacket created a big contrast that resonates with her ivory complexion and soft silky dark hair.
- The necklace is a combination of diamonds and silvery pearls, which was better with diamonds only. The pearls were meant to create a higher and yet subtle level of elegancy other than glamour.
-The diamond-studded floral-shaped earrings perfectly matched with the necklace.
-The black high-heels with glitzy tip-toe and the necklace matched and shone together.
- No heavy make up was required for her but I still need to finish the whole image in 30 minutes after she finished her Tai Chi demonstration. I managed to finish her hairdo and makeup under this time-constraint environment.
-The side swept curl created a soft look with her beautiful silky long hair.
At the dinner, everybody was speechless with her new image, because she usually wears sporty clothes while teaching Tai Chi. Sifu Xue was exceedingly happy, as she was overwhelmed with compliments and applause. She was perfectly satisfied with my service. My image design worked again.