Checking out the latest cheongsam collections

Last week, two online cheongsam stores launched their latest designs. Our Bitsy Prints are going strong with their 13th collection, while The Happy Cheongsam is gaining momentum with a 3rd one. The other similarity is that both have included cheongsam tops this time.

As usual, OBP’s launch called “Summer Wanderlust” is a sell-out; I think within half an hour from the start, everything was snapped up. There are six tops with hidden back zip, featuring prints like the usual floral…
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The cutesy …
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And the whimsical.
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One thing I don’t understand is why the top is paired with tattered jean shorts. The combination looks really wierd and inappropriate. You can wear it with miniskirt, even denim is alright, but make sure the bottom doesn’t make you look like you are a regular recipient of handouts. (Yes, I’m not a fan of the tattered jeans look; it just doesn’t look decent to me.)

OBP’s focus is on tops  this time, and so there is nothing new to the dress designs, which are the same as past collections.

The drop-waist denim bottom cheongsam features camera print. It may be a ‘retro’ for some, but I don’t like the “electronic” look.
Drop-waist cheongsam

The A-line dress, first featured in the 12th collection, is a pretty summer wear.
Summer-bohemian

Then there are two cheongsam dresses with pleated bottom, one of which is this cheery lemon color with detachable belt. I tried to order this since I don’t have a dress in yellow, but I was too slow.
Bondi-seagulls

Admittedly the designs of OBP dresses are getting a little stale since I can’t help but expect something new each time. So in this respect, THC designs are interesting because Min has come out with something different again, with the theme ‘Let’s go to the movies”. THC launched only one cheongsam top, but unlike the usual design with back zip, this one is like a cheongsam with buttons along the front.  The pairing with the pleated miniskirt imbues sexiness to the outfit. But as with the rest of the designs, my beef is the short collar.
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A new design from THC is the cheongsam romper, which comes in two prints. This is not the first time I have seen a romper style, but the first where the zip is in front, which according to Min, is to make it easier in the bathroom. I applaud the new design, though I’m not a fan of the romper. Whether front or back opening, it’s still a pain in the bathroom.
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I really like the design of this pretty pastel blue gingham cheongsam which is sweet yet alluring, and I love the front pockets as well. Too bad about the short collar.
 
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This green dress is the average of the lot. It almost doesn’t look like a cheongsam.
 
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Though only 5 designs, THC has demonstrated some rather interesting styles which are better than the previous collection. I understand from Min that the next collection will showcase higher collar, which I’m eagerly waiting to check out. Anyway I also found out from Min that The Lady General had launched a new collection after a long hiatus. I checked out the web store and found that the launch was in early May, apparently an exclusive for the blogger “Walking In May”.

This time TLG used a real model to showcase their dresses. There are only four designs, and mostly in the same sleeveless pleated skirt look. The only exciting thing is the kimono fabric and print used. Also, like the collection from THC, the collar is too short and as a result, the top looks stunted.

This below dress is made using vintage kimono fabric which is beautiful. I don’t know whether it is the way the dress is sewn, but this picture and others of the same show creases on the top front and even the back. It could be a case that the fabric, maybe a stiff silk kimono material, doesn’t drape well, and you need precise cutting to make it fit, particularly since we are talking cheongsam here.
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This yellow kimono print cheongsam doesn’t have the obvious creases and it looks much better.
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This pink dress shows obvious bulges below the arm pit which spoil the look. Again I wonder if it is a problem with the cutting and fit.
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To me, this beautiful blue cheongsam with gathered skirt is the best design of the lot. In fact this is a new modern look that I don’t recall seeing before. It would have been perfect with a higher collar.
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Personally I feel that, granted some women prefer a short collar, there should be designs with a higher one because l think it adds a touch of elegance to the dress. Also, I know that the dresses would not fit all body shapes, but when they are worn on the model, they should at least look fitted. You will never see a model wearing an ill-fitting Chanel or Prada, so that should be the benchmark.

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6 thoughts on “Checking out the latest cheongsam collections

  1. Hi Maria, nice to see another update on cheongsams. As before, I have to agree again the dresses in this series all need a higher collar. It need not to be stiff or really smug around the neck or high till it touches the bottom of the wearer’s chin (like those Maggie Cheung wore in the movie In the Mood for Love, although those high collar ones are my favourite type), but these are a tad too far off one of the most distinctive trait of the cheongsam, ie the mandarin collar.

    • Hi Vincent, thank you for your comment and good to hear from you again.
      Yes, this time the collar of the dresses from THC and TLG are way too short. Though I expected it from THC since the 3rd collection was already in the pipeline when I first pointed out to Min. I have to admit I didn’t take a good look at it (the first collection) until I tried on one of the cheongsams. But for those from TLG, it is very obvious the collar is way too short.
      Anyway Min will be launching dresses with higher collar in her next collection, so I’m looking forward to check them out.

  2. Hi Marie, thanks for the feature. Agree that the collars was low on hindsight. I’ve recently launched another collection, with slightly higher collar. But my next collection in Aug will sport collars that are even (slightly) higher 😉

    Elaine @ TLG

  3. Hello there! Thank you so much for featuring the Kyoto range of Cheongsam by the Lady General, and I can indeed confirm that it was an Exclusive for my blog Walking in May. Though I beg to differ in terms of the mandarin collar being too short for reasons of style preference and working well with vintage inspiration, I do understand a single cutting is unlikely to satisfy all. Also vintage kimono fabric is always tricky to work with and maintain, but it has been an excellent effort by the seamstress of the Mother and Child project. If you should like to take a look at the 5th style within the Kyoto range that has been made available uniquely for me alone, please take a look at my blog. I am also running a little style competition for this exclusive Walking in May Kyoto range. Have a lovely start to the week!
    May
    http://www.walkinginmay.com
    Link to exclusive 5th Cheongsam: http://www.walkinginmay.com/2014/06/featured-inqipao-love-part-16-dazed.html

    • Hi May,

      Thanks for coming by and taking time to provide your comment.

      On the collar, I do understand that the length is a matter of preference. Though if you go for the vintage look, the collar is on the high side. The short collar is a modern interpretation of the cheongsam. For the TLG vintage kimono cheongsam collection, I still think that the collar length is a tad too short. If you look at the flared bottom cheongsam dress from OBP, the collar has the suitable length, high enough to look cheongsam-like and yet comfortable.

      As for the fabric, one has to take into consideration how it drapes on the body. The vintage kimono is beautiful, but to enable a good fit (particularly on the upper body), you need a highly skilled tailor or seamstress to handle the material, ensuring the cut and sewing is done as precisely as possible. Otherwise you will see unsightly bumps or creases under the armholds or on the chest. In fact when you have a cheongsam tailor made, a good tailor will tell you that you have to make sure you wear the same type of bra for the dress so that the chest fits well. A professional alteration seamstress will also give the same advice. Otherwise the dress won’t look good on you.

      I made that comment about the fabric and cutting, specifically as seen on the model in the TLG website, because the dress is suposed to give the impression that it makes the wearer looks fabulous in it.

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