It’s that time of the year for cheongsam (Updated)

Yep, you’ll see a lot of cheongsams available in shops as Chinese New Year approaches. It’s strange why most women here think that the dress is only to be worn during CNY or special occasion. There’re cheongsams for casual wear as well. You can wear the dress to work, to church, dining out, weddings, parties, and even shopping. But after CNY you seldom see cheongsam-clad women.

Unfortunately for me, I can’t get any cheongsam this time because of my baby bump. But that doesn’t stop me from checking out what’s available in store. One of the shops is naturally Hana. Here are some cheongsams that have been on display over the past few weeks. I had to use flash on my iPhone to get a clearer picture of the first dress, though color doesn’t turn out so well. I like the red lace appliqué on this white cheongsam, gives it an elegant look.

Here’s another white one from Hana with a beautiful rose print.

This is a bright red, modern cheongsam with lace appliqué and flared bottom for formal wear.

Blum boutique, again, has a number of beautifully designed cheongsams for CNY. To those ladies who plan to get cheongsams from them, a word of advice: if possible, don’t use their alteration service, because it sucks! Instead consider using Alteration Initiative. Below is a simple design in deep purple color.

I like this black cheongsam with white lace floral appliqué. Though traditional CNY colors are bright with red being the most auspicious color, this cheongsam is elegant enough to defy tradition.

Even though I like the figure-hugging cut, I have to say the below cheongsam has a really contemporary chic look and I think the colors and print also give the wearer a regal bearing. They remind me of the royal robe of the Qing emperor.

I like this cheongsam too, which is so representative of CNY. This should please the old folks.

Another really modern and chic cheongsam that will bring you from CNY family visits to work.

This is a plain red cheongsam from Vougeois, located at 1 Raffles Place. Its very suitable for work and even everyday wear.

This is such a pretty cheongsam from French brand, Leonard (at Scotts Square) that reminds me of cherry blossoms on a kimono. In fact the print may be inspired by one.

I will put up more pictures of elegant cheongsams when I spot them.

(Update on 3 Jan 2012)
Here’s one I saw today at the window display of Blum Boutique at One Raffles Place. I thought this is quite an interesting design with block colors. I think it’s inspired by the Prada color block shift dress.

I also went to Tong Tong Friendship store last Saturday, and unfortunately the shop undergone refurbishment and there’s no window display. I went in to take a look at the designs available and found the usual simple cut with some whimsical prints. But I don’t find them very interesting or outstanding.

(Update on 9 Jan)
Here is a really colorful modern cheongsam with pleated bottom from Blum, which comes in different versions. I’m a fan of traditional cut but I wouldn’t mind getting the one with the block color bottom if not for my pregnancy.(Note. A reader corrected me that this block color cheongsam is copied from the 2011 Spring/Summer LV collection. http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/alltherage/2010/10/paris-fashion-week-at-louis-vuitton-and-miu-miu-paris-fashion-week-boogies-out.html. I thought the LV original shows a little too much skin and doesn’t showcase the elegance and sensuality of a cheongsam.)


This is another one from Blum, a cheongsam cocktail dress.

This is one with a modern print that can be worn to work.

Miz Apparels, located at One Raffles Place level 2, also offers a modern cheongsam with pleated bottom, that can be an everyday wear, and not just for formal occasion like the Blum one. I thought it has such a girlish appeal to it. I don’t know why but I thought it would be something Audrey Hepburn would have worn in the movie ‘A Roman Holiday’.

This year, Hana doesn’t have cheongsams with spectacular prints compared to last year. Below is one of their usual cheongsams with lace overlay, in the festive color of red. But I don’t know why I can’t shake off the feelings that it reminds me of a lace table cloth or runner.

20120109-225954.jpg
I thought Shanghai Tang will have some gorgeous looking cheongsam but what was on display last week was a plain navy blue one, which looks rather casual. But I’m sure it costs over S$400. Imagine a casual wear that costs that much! Anyway I know the photo doesn’t show the dress well but it’s still plain.

20120110-130442.jpg

(Update on 12 Jan)
Guess what? Blum has a maternity cheongsam! Check out this tent-like cheongsam below. I’m not getting it though, I’ll have to send it for massive alteration after childbirth.

20120112-190225.jpg
This is a cheongsam with an obi belt, which is quite interesting. But I prefer something a little simpler.

(Final update on 18 Jan)
I like the figure hugging cut of this cheongsam from Blum, but not so much the fabric print. It seems a little dowdy to me.

This Cheongsam print, also from Blum, is whimsical and interesting.

A couple more modern cheongsams from Blum:

20120118-113913.jpg
I discovered this dressmaking atelier at Hong Leong building called ‘Ong Shunmugan’ which makes modern cheongsam. This is a simple white lace overlay cheongsam that can worn for less formal occasion.

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5 thoughts on “It’s that time of the year for cheongsam (Updated)

  1. The color block cheongsam was a copy from LV(link below). The alteration from Blum was ok as long as it is not a complicated one. The alteration for the color-block piece really sucks. I shouldn’t have bought it. Since it is in strips so it didn’t have a smooth contour(or maybe I need another alteration elsewhere). The other piece I bought from themcame out ok after alteration.
    http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/alltherage/2010/10/paris-fashion-week-at-louis-vuitton-and-miu-miu-paris-fashion-week-boogies-out.html

    • Hi there,

      Thanks for the link! Yes Blum copied from LV, though the one on the LV model doesn’t look elegant to me. Problem with the western designers that they don’t realize cheongsam is about sensual and subtle sexiness, and not meant to show too much skin, otherwise it ends up looking vulgar. The Blum version looks better, at least on the mannequin. But I’m sorry to know the alteration of the block color cheongsam sucks, though I’m not surprised. I’ve mentioned in a couple of my posts not to use Blum’s alteration service. I’ve never had good experience with it. I suggest you take that Cheongsam to Alteration Initiative to seek their help.

    • Hi May,

      Thanks for your comments. You should come to Singapore during January when it’s flooding with cheongsams for the new year celebration. I’ve checked out your blog site. Hope you don’t mind my advice; if you wanna get a cheongsam, refrain from one with the thick brocade fabric, it has the Chinese restaurant waitress feel. Instead, go for light silk which drapes much better. If you can, get one made with a master tailor; because he has the skills to make you a dress that can hide flaws or make them less obvious.

      Have a good weekend too!

      Maria

      Sent from my iPhone

      >

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