Cheongsams in abundance part III: Blum goes the cheongsam

Blum boutique is literally pouring out cheongsams. This is my second post dedicated wholly to them. I want to clarify that I made a mistake on the pricing of their dresses. Most of them are tagged at S$339 instead of more than S$400 as mentioned in my earlier post ‘Cheongsam Galore or not’ dated Dec 13, 2012. I’ve also noticed a trend with a number of their cheongsam designs for this lunar new year collection; they’re inspired by batik.

The dress below is one of the first to be available a few weeks ago. But I wouldn’t recommend getting it since the design sucks. (I’ve never like this cheongsam design.) If you do, please ditch the belt, and accessorizing with multiple necklaces is ridiculous.

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The dress below is a simple but blah-looking.

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This modern design is recycled from last year, and I guess they added the lace to the hemline to make it slightly different. But it ends up looking awful.

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Below is an elegant cheongsam with cap sleeves. A piece of batik typically has different complementary patterns of motifs, and this is reflected in the dress.

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These are two other cheongsams that I like for their beautiful batik print. Note the bows as faux flower buttons on the pink cheongsam.

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The batik print on this cheongsam reminds me of the Javanese court batik with its earthy color tones.

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I like the cut of these two cheongsams but have reservation on the patterns of the top dress, which reminds me of those mass-produced batiks sold in souvenir shops. The batik in the bottom pink dress is in the Peranakan style.

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These are non-batik cheongsams with exotic prints. A mix bag, I would say, as they have such busy print that it’ll make you go crossed-eyes just looking at them.

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Then there’re these cheongsams with beads or sequins. The top dress has beads on the collars.

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This sequin-covered dress is reserved for formal occasions, and I suspect it’s rather heavy. But it does look outstanding.

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The dress below is a little over the top with the dragon motif. I also realize, from the sitting mannequin, the dress pulls up quite a bit when seated. This is not something I’ll go for.

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These are a couple of modern designs. I don’t like the print of the fuchsia pink dress. Reminds me of a beach wrap which is incompatible on a cheongsam.

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I like this beautiful Indian-inspired print on this cheongsam. The color combination is vibrant, like that of a sari.

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This is another beautiful cheongsam, which is a reminiscence of the 1930’s Shanghai style

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I think Blum might have gotten wind of my posts. Yesterday I was outside one of their outlets, hoping to take pictures of a couple of new designs. A sales lady walked out and invited me into the shop to try out the dresses. I smiled and told her I was only window shipping. I thought she would return into the shop, but she didn’t and instead stood outside observing me. Guess I’ve to bide my time.

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10 thoughts on “Cheongsams in abundance part III: Blum goes the cheongsam

  1. Hi! Thank you for your suggestion to the last comment I posted (about whether to get a bigger or smaller cheongsam). I’ve gotten 4 so far! And I love them! I hope no one will stare when I wear them out on CNY and subsequently to work! 😀

    Can I also ask you where’re some good and not so expensive places to tailor-make cheongsam? My BFF is getting married and her mother(s) insist on tailor-made ones. I think she is hoping to stick to a budget of about $300 or less for each piece. Is that possible, since the cheongsam is for the wedding dinner, so it can’t be the usual cotton-y sort, if you get what I mean. Also, I advise her to only check after CNY (her wedding is in June) when the CNY fever has gone down and perhaps prices would be more stable. Would that be good advice?

    My BFF is so stressed that she’s considering going to JB and see if it’s cheaper?!?

    Thank you, and I really think I’m hooked to your blog for pretty cheongsam pictures! Love them! 😀

    • Hi Shirley,

      Thank you for your compliments on my cheongsam posts. Though I’m not an expert in cheongsams, I do love the dress and write from experience.

      You don’t have to worry about stares when you wear cheongsams. I see increasing number of women wearing them now, at least at Raffles Place. I think as long as your cheongsams fit you well, you look good in them and they are pretty, the stares you get will be of admiration.

      As for your BFF, to be honest I don’t know of any good and cheap cheongsam tailors in Singapore, and we’re talking about long cheongsams here for wedding dinner which is more expensive. For S$300 or less, you can probably get it made in Hong Kong or China. But in Singapore, if you want to have a well-made one, you have to be prepared to pay more than S$450 per piece. Otherwise, be prepared for shoddy workmanship, numerous fittings, or a simple non-outstanding cheongsam. As for going to JB to get it made, it’s like going there for fine dining French food.

      By the way, there’s no point waiting after Chinese New Year because the cheongsams are almost all short dresses. Your friend can check out Lady Xiang but I don’t find their long cheongsams elegant.

      The reason why the mothers insist on custom-made wedding cheongsams is so that they fit well and you don’t have to worry about someone wearing the same dress as you. (I’ve experienced that a few times.) A good tailor will ensure you only have to go for a couple of fittings, and a really good one will even be able to hide your flaws. I have recommended to a reader ‘Kang’s boutique’ for fabulous cheongsam. In fact he made my wedding cheongsam. If your friend is concerned about spending too much on a dress just for the wedding dinner, she can talk to the tailor if it’s possible to make one that is length adjustable. After the wedding, she can wear the shorter version for other formal occasions or CNY.

      Maria

  2. Hi, I chanced upon your blog following a link in Pinup and enjoyed your posts on cheongsam very much. Thanks for all the hard work – it provides me a good scan of the cheongsam offerings in town. I share your love for cheongsams and incorporate work appropriate ones into my every day wardrobe.

    • Hi there, glad you like my posts on cheongsams. Also happy to know another cheongsam lover.
      I didn’t know my blog appeared in Pin up, in fact I didn’t know of this site. Anyway there’ll be another post on CNY cheongsams coming up. I think there’s an increase in demand for the dress here, hence the numerous offerings out there. I’ve never seen so many cheongsams available before. So, which boutique do you mainly get your cheongsams from?

      • Sorry for the confusion – the website/app is Pinterest (http://pinterest.com/). Very useful to “clip” all the interesting stuff and organise them into “boards.” I have quite a number of cheongsam tops and dresses from Tong Tong and have tailored/ co-created a number with Audrey from The Girl’s Kaksh (http://www.thegirlskaksh.com/). Other ones I pick up randomly around town, or got them tailored in Shanghai and Shenzhen. Look forward to your upcoming post!

      • I’ve checked out the online shop, The Girl’s Kaksh. Some pretty interesting designs though I’m not for cheongsam culottes. I’m interested in the straigh-cut cheongsams but too bad, almost all are sold.
        How much do you pay for tailoring in Shanghai and Shenzhen?

      • Shenzhen seems generally cheaper. I get cheongsams I like replicated there with my own fabrics for about 260-300 RMB per outfit. Tops are about 250RMB. Workmanship is pretty good. Shanghai I did made-to-measure but that was back in 2010. Offhand, I think a top was S$60 whereas my long cheongsam dress was about S$300 with their fabrics.
        btw The Girl’s Kaksh website is more to give people ideas for what styles they can create. The designer does customisation and she is a nice lady with interesting ideas but a willingness to listen to what you want as well. There’s an email contact on her website and she also posts up quite a few of her latest creations on her facebook as well.

      • I had a cheongsam made in Shanghai donkey years ago. I agree that the cost is much cheaper than Singapore. But at that time I didn’t find the workmanship as good as Kang’s boutique or Hana. Maybe it’s because I didn’t go to a very good master tailor.

        Thanks for the info on The Girl’s Kaksh. I’ll contact the owner on the custom-made cheongsam. The dresses are good for everyday/casual wear. So far I’ve had Cheongsams tailored at Kang’s, Hana, Lady Xiang and My Mandarin Collar. Didn’t have a good experience with MMC, had to go for numerous fittings.

        Sent from my iPhone

    • I haven’t bought from the boutique for a couple of years. I wouldn’t say the fabric quality of the Blum cheongsams I own are lousy, but the workmanship is average for the price I paid. To be honest, there are some pretty good designs or prints. For this price range, I rather spend on cheongsams from Studio 55 where quality is much better.

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