The new cheongsam launches 

Things have been pretty slow with the cheongsam collections. There have not been a lot of launches from the online stores over the past couple of months. So far, there was Lark & Peony which launched a few cheongsam tops earlier in April. Finally, yesterday,  Joli Pretty launched a full collection consisting of dresses, jumpsuit and a couple of tops.

Blue seems to be the favorite color for this S/S 17 launch; what with it being so predominantly featured. The dresses and jumpsuits are priced below S$180, and the tops are below S$100. The designs aren’t exactly outstanding but if you are looking for modern and reasonably priced cheongsams, they make presentable work wear.




Another boutique I am featuring here is Sissae, a brand which I haven’t showcased its cheongsams for quite some time. Sissae is known for its chic looking dresses, and it has started to offer simpler designs in linen or cotton fabrics. Overall, the prints and embroideries make the cheongsams look rather elegant and classy; but I find the workmanship doesn’t match up to it. 







Finally, we have Shanghai Tang, which has focused on the classic straight-cut cheongsams for the S/S 17 collection.  I had featured most of them previously, and here are a few of the newer designs. 

Other than the Dragon scale print dress shown in the lowest picture, the other two will set you back a tidy sum of S$2997 and S$3755 for the one on top and in the middle respectively.  The brand justified the price tags by labelling them as limited edition. But they are still not  one of a kind; and there would be at least a few women having the same dress. If I’m going to pay this amount for a dress, it has better be unique. 


Cheongsam update at Lai Chan 

I know I haven’t been putting up new posts regularly in my blog for the past couple of months, and it’s because work has been really busy. I have little time to look for materials for the blog, amidst juggling between family and work. Anyway I finally made a trip to Lai Chan a few days ago to check out the new designs. So, let’s take a look at the dresses first.

The cheongsams are mostly in classic Lai Chan style with semi precious stone buttons, though I spotted quite a few retro prints among them, like this white polka dot black dress.


This tweed fabric cheongsam is slightly different from the rest in that it has stud buttons, making it easy to put on. I find the seemingly simple design belies an  understated elegance.

Below we have a Japanese cotton fabric with a retro flair.


Another easy to wear cheongsam with back zip, though there are few classic styles available with such wearability. But I am not into this print; I feel it looks a little matronly.

When I first saw the below dress with abstract print, I didn’t think much of it until I took a closer look. I like how Lai Chan used the polka dot binding to juxtapose against the print, creating an interesting combination. However, I wish the dress has stud buttons instead. Though the stone buttons make the cheongsam looks good, they can be a pain because they really test your patience.


Another cheongsam with retro print here.


One of the few cheongsams that Lai Chan made with pockets. This design was actually launched end last year but in solid colors. This time Lai Chan used what looks like jacquard fabric, which gives it a regal look, but the color is not easy to pull off.

We have a new design here, a modern cheongsam for the formal occasion. This will please those looking for something different from the classic style.


Other than dresses, there are a number of cheongsam tops available. One is an elaborately embellished vest which I find is a little too ornate for me.

I do like the below modern top with the stripy collar and polka dotted front with side zip. Combined with a yellow back panel, this is pretty striking.

Most of the tops are in the classic style with side stone buttons, and some are designed with denim back panels.




If any of these pieces caught your eyes, do check them out at the store at Raffles City mall. Since these are one-off pieces, I cannot say they would still be available though. But it’s nice to browse through the collection, and you might fancy something not featured here.

A cheongsam update 

Over the past few days, I went to Peter Kor’s boutique to check out the sale and to the pop-up store of Laichan.

As mentioned in my previous post, Peter is holding a sale for the previous collections including the CNY cheongsams from 30-70%. Most of the cheongsams are going for 30% off, and there are a number of new designs that I didn’t spot during my visits before CNY. Take a look at them here! The sale will end this Sunday (19 February). So if you are interested in any of them, do make a trip down to the boutique at 222 Queen Street. 

There are quite a few cheongsams with retro prints, such as these below with the ruffled hemline. 


 



Also available are dresses  embellished with lace or intricately-embroidered floral buttons.




Lai Chan’s pop up store opens 2 days ago at Raffles City Mall, on the second level. The exterior wasn’t fully done up when I was there, like the shop name wasn’t put up then. Eddie told me that everything would be completed by next week.

The interior design has a clean line feel about it which makes it looks cool and edgy, though it wasn’t intentional. I was told the shop was previously occupied by Nike, and not much was done to the design since it is temporary. To add to the cool factor, a snake-skin print cheongsam with sequins was on the mannequin. 

I will return when the shop is all done up, ready for pictures.  Hopefully there will be some new designs I can showcase as well.

Cheongsam news snippets 

Some of you might be aware that Laichan‘s boutique at Raffles Hotel has closed because the hotel is undergoing a major refurbishment. But fret not, he has a temporary store at Raffles City mall, #02-29, starting from 16 February till 15 July. He will relocate to a permanent shop at Paragon from 1 August. 

Peter Kor is having a post CNY sale at his boutique at 222 Queen Street, #02-03. If you have been eyeing his collection, you should go check it out since it’s going at 30-70% off. 

If you are still hankering for cheongsams or considering if you should get one, here are more suggestions for you.

Utopia at Parkway Parade

Blum at various locations

The Proposal at Capitol Piazza


 

Tong Tong Friendship Store at Shaw tower

Mandarin Peony at Tang 

Clothier at Tang

Looking good in the Lai Chan cheongsams

There are only 5 days to CNY; not much time left to grab a cheongsam for the celebration. If you’re been following my posts, you will see there are a lot of choices available still. Though if you require alteration service, then tough luck! But it’s ok to get a dress that you can wear after the festivity. 

Some of you may not like the choices offered in the earlier posts, especially if you are looking for something fabulous, that stands out. So, I had made a trip to Lai Chan yesterday to check out what is available (but I cannot guarantee any of them will still be after this post is published.) 

One of things I like about getting a cheongsam at Lai Chan is the after-sale service. The boutique is one of only two I know of which strives to ensure the dress fits the customer nicely. I might have mentioned it before but the boutique once told a customer, who dislikes alternation, that if the dress didn’t fit after it was done, she would get a full refund. That is how much emphasis the boutique places on making the customer looks good. It didn’t matter how many alterations are required, most important is that the dress has to fit. If alteration is not possible, the customer will be asked to have the dress custom made.

There are dresses for those who prefer something bright and cheery, and those who want light colors.




A pleated cheongsam with pockets! A rare desire from Lai Chan. 


How about a loose fit cheongsam for those who want to feel comfortable in it? The collar is also lower than those in the usual dresses. Another good thing about this is that there is a zip instead of multiple buttons which can put off some women.

Enough of dresses? There are cheongsam tops available. Lavender and fuchsia pink stand out!



The dresses go for more than S$750 and the tops are more S$400. But each piece is unique, and workmanship is excellent. Plus, as I mentioned earlier, the important alteration service.

Going for the non-red cheongsams

Many women are not into looking like a red packet during the lunar new year. Some will prefer subtle colors, though bear in mind that it is not easy to carry off pastel/light colors especially on photos. Most times, the person looks washed out in them. So, instead of red, I think blue is a really nice color. If you are adventurous, there is also purple, green, yellow, and of course, an offshoot of red, pink! Even black with splashes of red is acceptable as well. 

There are many options for non-red cheongsams available right now, in various price range. Check out these if you  want to be non-traditional!

Couture by Szan @ Changi Airport T3 (below S$100)

Mazzario @ One Raffles Place (from S$159)

 

Utopia @ Parkway Parade (below S$120)

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Seoul Fashion @ Raffles Xchange (from S$129)

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Nana @ Arcade (below S$200)


Miz Apparels @ One Raffles Place (below S$200)

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Peter Kor @ Studio 55 (from S$250)

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Y by Yann @ Isetan Scott (from S$329)

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Lai Chan @ Raffles Hotel (from S$780)
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Hana @ Arcade (from S$1,000)

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Painting the town red  in the cheongsams

Chinese New Year is all about bold bright colors. And red is always associated with it  because of a folk lore that claims red is an auspicious color that warded off the monster, Nian. So when it comes to the cheongsams, the color abounds. For those who want to make a CNY statement, here are the firecracker red cheongsams you can proudly put on.

Mazzario @ One Raffles Place (from S$159)

Seven @ Raffles Place (below S$200)


Seoul Fashion @ Raffles Xchange (from S$129)

Little Qipao  @ Isetan Scott (below S$180)

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Couture by Szan @ Changi Airport T3 basement (below S$200)

Nana @ Arcade (from S$140)


Peter Kor  @ Studio 55 (from S$250) 

Y by Yann @ Isetan Scott (from S$328)

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Hana @ Arcade (from S$1,000)

 

 

 

The cheongsam collection from Blum

When it comes to the cheongsam, Blum is one brand that is closely associated with it. In fact, I have been featuring its collections all these years, and the dresses are among those pictured in my first post on the qipao “I love cheongsams”. 

Most of my earlier cheongsams are from Blum as I was attracted to their elegant designs and prints. But that was the time when there were few cheongsam retailers around, and I did not know about  other brands like Peter Kor or Mama & Misse then. 

In terms of designs and price range, I will say Peter Kor’s collections can be used to measure against those from Blum. They are in the range of S$200+ to almost S$400, though selected Peter Kor cheongsams have been retailed for more. They both have the modern cheongsam designs albeit in their own styles, and interesting prints. However, when it comes to workmanship and fabrics, I have to say Peter Kor has a big edge. Peter is able to source interesting and good quality fabrics, and the workmanship is also better. A reader wrote to me a couple of months back to lash against Blum cheongsam, saying the fabrics were very lousy. So, for this price range, I rather go for Peter Kor’s cheongsams than Blum’s. 

I find this year’s collection from Blum features similar prints and designs as last year’s. And even the range seems a little thin as well. The brand appears to be struggling to launch standout dresses in the face of increased and intense competition. Even the number of stores has reduced; there is only one at Raffles Place now compared to three stores a few years ago. 

Anyway, here is  the collection spotted so far. 


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The cheongsam offerings for spring 2017

I received a mailer from Isetan department store last week on the lunar new year ensemble available at its Scotts outlet, and went over to check it out. Peter Kor of Studio 55 has a permanent counter there and so does Allute. Clothier has returned for this season but not Sissae. Instead there is a new cheongsam brand, Little Qipao, which also offers  little girl qipao as well as Y by Yann.

In general, the designs are in the classic straight cut, A-line or pleated skirt styles. There are mandarin collar jackets available from Clothier as well, but the main attraction is the Cheongsam. For the Peter Kor’s range, the selection doesn’t seem as comprehensive as what is available at his boutique at Queen Street. So if you like his dresses. It’s best to go to the shop instead, which is what I prefer. In fact, Peter revealed to me today that Isetan Scotts store has the smallest range of his designs compared to other department stores.

There are discounts for the dresses, at 15%. And for Isetan members, you also get to chalk up points for vouchers. But, to be honest, I didn’t see anything that caught my attention. The dresses are the usual designs and prints  that pop up all the time. There was nothing interesting or different. Granted Peter Kor’s designs are available but I have already seen them at his boutique.

Anyway, here are the dresses you can check out. (Bear in mind there will be more stocks added, like the Flamenco-inspired dress by Peter Is now available at the store.)

Allure

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Clothier
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Peter Kor

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Little Qipao

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Ahhh, it’s the CNY Cheongsam again!

Happy New Year, everyone! I admit this time I’m slow in providing updates on the Chinese New Year Cheongsams. There have been a number of collections launched since November, and I’ve not been keeping track as closely as I should. It’s mostly because work had been crazy during the year end period, which was strange since things were supposed to be quieter. I had taken leave during the lasr 2 weeks of the year, but because of work I had to return to office for a couple of days. Of course, Pokemon Go has also caused some distraction, but at least it does help me to get more active.

Anyway, if you are looking for affordable cheongsams at less than $200 for a dress, you can consider these retailers. Let’s take a look at Joli Pretty, which has had three launches for the festive season thus far. There is a mix of dresses, two-piece culotte set, jumpsuit and top. I’m not sure why the cheongsam jumpsuit is popular among women, since I think going to the toilet will be a pain in the ass. (I’m assuming the retailers continue to provide this design because women asked for it.)

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And of course, there is the mama-daughter cheongsam set, which seems to be ubiquitous for many retailers. JP launched quite a number of such sets this year, and  credit to them for being flexible that you can actually purchase the dresses separately. This is great for women who like the designs but having no daughters do dress up. The bad news is all the sets are sold out.

Our Bitsy Prints has not been as prolific though, with one collection launched for year end, titled “Colour Pop”. Consisting mostly of dresses plus a top in pastel and bold colors as well as showcasing OBP’s love for lace.

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The Happy Cheongsam launched The Noir et Blanc collection sometime in mid December; with only 2 dresses and a top.

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This is one of two mama-daughter cheongsam offerings from THC, but the pieces cannot be bought separately. The entire set is S$249.

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If you are one of those who prefer to try out the clothes before purchase, you can check out Miz Apparels which has two stores located at downtown: Marina Bay Link Mall and One Raffles Place.  You also have the choice of buying online.

I must say that MA’s dresses look rather appealing on the mannequins, however, strangely, they don’t look so good once I put them on. Is it me or what? So, I’m a little reserved about getting any this year, though I may consider a cheongsam top instead.


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MA is known for its mama-daughter cheongsam sets, and the little dresses are some of the most adorable and stylish out there. They are also available separately. Even if you are not planning to get any of the dresses for yourself, do check out the little cheongsams if you have girls. For me, I get them for my nieces. 

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To be honest, in terms of designs and prints, MA has a stylish edge over the others. But somehow I find the look gets a little stale after some time. So I’m searching for something classic and yet modern that can withstand the passing of time.