I was asked by Melanie of The Bitsy Prints to provide the price of the Shanghai Tang knock-off from Blum. So I am now updating the post with prices for all Blum dresses except for one. However as I had to commit the figures to memory because of the hovering sales staff, I might have made a couple of mistakes on the numbers.
As we are approaching December, the Chinese New Year collection for the cheongsam is beginning it’s launch. Blum, as usual, is an early bird; starting in mid November. So far the few that I have seen are not too bad, unlike last year which the early designs suck. I have to add a caveat here that some pictures may not turn out so well as I had to take them surreptitiously, and unfortunately the photo app doesn’t remove glass reflections
This is a pretty floral print that reminds me of a garden, though I don’t like the key-hole design. It has pleats on the bottom half, and comes with a fabric belt. The fabric is not silk but polyester. (Priced at S$359)
This is another cheongsam with the key-hole design in a what looks like Mayan or Aztec print. By the way, please don’t pair it with a necklace, especially the one on the mannequin; totally inappropriate. Same goes for the dress above. (Priced at S$329)
When I first saw this dress, I had a déjà vu moment.
Don’t you think it looks suspiciously like this wool color block dress from Shanghai Tang?
The Blum dress also comes in beige/grey colors, which is an almost replica of the other color option from have Shanghai Tang, shown below it. The difference between the two brands is the fabric. Shanghai Tang dress uses 100% wool, whereas the Blum dress has different fabrics for different panels, mostly polyester and rayon, with only one or two wool panels. The mishmash of fabrics made the dress looks like it’s pieced together and lacks the elegance of the one from Shanghai Tang. (The Blum dress is priced at S$289, compared to the Shanghai Tang one at US$439.36, which is about S$550, double the price. But I think it’s a case of you pay for what you get.)
I like this simple but sexy black lace cheongsam. I thought the colorful strips of the lining makes an interesting contrast to the lace. (Priced at S$329)
There is a dud in this initial launch though. I find this lace cheongsam tacky; it might be the design, it just doesn’t have an elegant feel to it. In fact feat impression was “Getai” or “lounge hostess” wear.
There is a boutique at Raffles Xchange called “George’s Couture” which offers not just Korean fashion but also in-house designed cheongsams. So far what I have seen are the typical figure hugging (straight-cut) dresses with simple prints, which are not very outstanding.
The one below is a batik design.
This black lace cheongsam is treading a fine line between a mourning outfit and sexy dress. When I tried it on, it was rather long, below the knee length, and makes it looks school-marmish.
I am keeping a lookout for more designs out there and will keep readers updated as the launch is gaining momentum.
I was at the Blum store at Parkway Parade this afternoon, and spoke to the sales staff on the fabric of the cheongsams. I had checked the labels of a number of the dresses and found that many are of polyester or mixed with rayon, even the lace dress and the Mayan-print one. The staff claimed that many of the labels are inaccurate as the Korean manufacturer made mistakes on the Chinese and English translations. So the polyester labeling is actually silk. Really? When I was at another Blum’s store at Raffles City mall a few days ago, the sales staff gave me the fabric labeling as it is indicated on the dress. Besides the Shanghai Tang knock-off has a label that indicated different fabrics for different panels. And this red floral print dress below has a label that said one shell is mix of wool and silk, and the other is polyester, which I believe to be correct. Most of all, why would Blum accepts wrong labeling from the manufacturer? Shoppers prefer silk to polyester, so indicating the dress is made of silk has a higher premium value, so what that staff told me today really doesn’t make sense.