Those interesting cheongsams from Lai Chan

Laichan never fails to surprise with  his new designs.

Two weekends ago, I received images of new denim cheongsams from Eddie, and I thought they look really cool. The replacement of buttons with zip adds a touch of edginess to the cheongsam, and yet it doesn’t lose its character.

There are two designs: one where the zip goes all the way to the hem, and the other ends at the lower thigh. As the fabric is thicker than usual, the denim dresses are not lined, and a little stiff.
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When I checked out the dresses at the boutique two Mondays ago, Eddie told me there was a red denim piece as well, but he couldn’t find it. According to him, it was a pinkish red color with silvery sheen. A day later, he found it and sent me the pictures, and I like it more than the blue denim piece.

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Eddie also sent me pictures of an absolutely gorgeous white cheongsam with floral applique, that will make a stunning wedding dress.

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While at the boutique, I was shown non-cheongsam designs, including these flamboyant oriental jackets, which screams “look at me”. (By the way, those are emu feathers that you see attached to the sleeves.) I have to admit though these jackets are not what I would wear, but I think the celebrities might go for them to stand out at the red carpet.

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During my visit, half the time was spent on the men’s jackets, which Lai Chan has started producing in numbers. The one below is a blueish-grey cape jacket with a removable collar insert. It is made using summer wool which Lai Chan explained the it helps to whisk off heat. Note that the agate buttons are along the side unlike the usual center row, reminiscence of the Chinese long gown of the past.

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A regular black jacket. Note the center seam running  down from the collar? This is seen in almost all the jackets. Lai Chan and Eddie explained to me that this feature is keeping with the traditional cut, where in the past, the old Chinese looms could only produce fabrics with narrow width, and hence the tailors had to sew two pieces to make a panel for the bodice.  Of course, the modern loom can produce the width the tailor wants, but Lai Chan wants to preserve a little bit of the tradition though it makes the tailoring process more laborious. I noticed that the seam only appears on the front panel and not the back.

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An interesting jacket with differing lengths for the front and back. I noted that this is the only jacket without the center seam.

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A long jacket gown befitting of a kungfu master. I’m sure Yip Man, who popularized the Wing-Chun martial art style, would have endorsed this.

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Note that the attention to details is everywhere. On the right picture, you can see there’s a pocket sewn inside the jacket, and on the left, a seam midway along the sleeve. Again, the seam is another traditional feature incorporated into the jacket.

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For those who are hoping to see more dresses instead, I hope to feature more of that in the future. Meantime here is a uniquely Lai Chan design.
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