Now that there are a lot more boutiques launching cheongsams for the coming Chinese New Year, I decided that I shouldn’t just look at the designs but to check out the fabric and stitching if possible. But I do concede that I can’t expect quality from cheaper dresses, though there could be exceptions. So I would only check out those dresses which are at least S$125 or about US$100, and from boutiques which I’m not familiar with.
Cheongsams in this ‘expensive’ range are from boutiques like Seven, Miz Apparels, Blum, George’s Couture and Hana, etc. Hana has really expensive dresses where you don’t walk out with one without forking out more than US$1,000 for it. Sure the stitching is excellent and the fabric quality is really good, but but would I pay US$1200 or more for a Hana cheongsam? I don’t think so, not for the pedestrian designs. I would rather go for a chic modern dress from Shanghai Tang.
Anyway I decided to start with Seven boutique. I walked into one for the first time the other day (I have never been attracted to their clothes), to check out their cheongsams closely. As mentioned in my previous post on cheongsams, I am amazed bythe loud colored floral prints which is a signature of the boutique. In fact I would venture to say they are rather gaudy, but with a “who give a shit” attitude. This dress below exemplifies the typical design from Seven, priced at S$139 (hopefully my memory hasn’t failed me), and comes with lining though it is not completely stitched to the dress. Still the stitching is pretty alright. I tried looking for the description label on fabric materials, and all I could find was that the lining is 100% silk. The fabric itself appears to be brocade; I can’t say for sure it’s brocade because I’m not an expert in the silk fabric. So this means the dress doesn’t drape because of the stiff material. I’m not a fan of using stiff brocade for straight-cut cheongsam because I believe that it should drapes well on the physique, and worse, this type of cheongsam reminds me of the waitress’ uniform in Chinese restaurants. Anyway the dress has faux buttons on the chest and a hidden back zip.
The dress below is of a different design, and something unique for a cheongsam. It incorporates the 1950’s style with a mesh petticoat on top of the lining to create the design of a full dress. Again the shell fabric is seemingly brocade and the lining is polyester instead. Now for this design, the brocade fabric works.
The below pleated cheongsam has embroidered flowers sewn on and costs S$199. I must say this is a pretty design from Seven.
I was at Raffles City mall and discovered this boutique on the second floor, Fraiche. It specializes in formal wear including evening dresses, and offers cheongsams as well. As far as I can see, they are the straight cut design, with the typical floral prints. Nothing inspiring here.
Looking at the dresses below from “Dressing Lolita”, I think the boutique name is apt. Not for those going for elegance or chic, however if you want to be Suzie Wong of the 21st century, that’s a different matter.
Cheongsams from Mochamp at Raffles Xchange are pretty cheap, at S$79 or less and there is a 10% discount now. I did check out the dresses though they are under the cheap range. Expectedly the price also reflects the quality of design and materials. There is no label descriptions but I think the fabric used is polyester, and there is no lining. If you’re going for the dress below, please change the belt unless you’re into the retro look.
Yacht21 has this high-neck pleated cheongsam dress that is similar to one from Blum two years ago. See the cocktail dress from Blum right below with a flower corsage on the waist. Of course the latter looks better; but you’re also paying much more for it.