Now that the cheongsam is available only at dedicated boutiques, I decided to revisit the online cheongsam shops to check out the designs, since I had not been focusing my attention on them during the past couple of months.
The Lady General hasn’t had any new collection since the last time I reviewed the dresses. Neither has The Happy Cheongsam. For the latter I understand from Min that the second collection is being tailored at the moment and will be launched in early April.
Our Bitsy Prints have been rather prolific, launching a few dresses every once or twice a month. Their latest collection featured their usual pleated skirt cheongsams with floral prints as well as a couple of new designs. The floral dresses are not very exciting.
The one below, Mafia Maiden, is one of the new ones, with butterfly sleeves, and OBP called it the little black dress of Cheongsam. To me, though, the model looks less like a mafia in the dress and more like a housekeeper or a school teacher, albeit a pretty one.
OBP also came out with what I call the “Cruise collection”, the nautical theme cheongsam dress, though there is only one deign.
I thought this dress “Sail Away” has a fun feel to it. I wanted to get it but, unfortunately, by the time I placed my order (which is not 40 minutes after the order-taking started), someone beat me to my size. In fact I noticed that the dresses are mainly sold out within a couple of days, if not within the day itself.
Lark and Peony launch new pieces rather regularly too, and they have not come up with any different designs since I checked out their site. I guess I am going to piss off O&L fans but I find the busy prints rather mumsy or risk being mistaken for tablecloth . I’m not sure who the target market is; if it’s older women in their 40’s or older, then the dresses are age appropriate (in that they reflect the age of the wearer).
There is a non floral print, which is better.
L&P also has a nautical-themed dress, but I find that the horizontal stripes on the top are a little too thick.
Next is Sissae, another prolific designer. Their collections veer toward formal wear, such as the one below with fluted skirt. To be honest I find the Sissae dresses rather pedestrian. To me, they lack the “wow” factor.
This is another cheongsam evening dress.
Sissae also offers cheongsam tops like this one made of French lace, paired with a separate organza skirt. I’m not sure if it’s the lighting or what but the whole get-up looks washed out.
This is another cheongsam top, which should never be worn like this. It just make you look frumpy.
However when paired with this cranberry dress, with the blouse tucked in, you get an elegant look.
Shanghai Tang has launched its Spring/Summer 2014 Collection and I must say it’s even better than the last one. There are a number of new designs with beautiful cut and fabrics that drape gorgeously over the bodice, exuding much elegance and sophistication.
I really like this jacquard pleated dress, which has an interesting collar. ST described the print on the top as modern floral; and indeed it is more stunning than the boring flower image, seen in a number of cheongsams above. The designer juxtaposed it against a plain skirt, instead of piling it on, making the dress really chic looking.
This is a mini dress with the same modern floral print. Though I’m not into really short cheongsam, the beautiful print, skillful cut and high quality material make it looks sophisticated. Note the shawl collar, a twist to the usual ones.
A sexy black dress with pleated triacetate top against a wool crepe skirt; this is truly an LBD for cheongsam.
This is a beautiful design, using French lace made from wool silk Ottoman. I like how the fabric forms these beautiful soft drapes around the front, like the dresses found on the ancient Greek sculptures.
An interesting modern cheongsam with 3/4 sleeves. (The model is wearing leather gloves.)
A color block dress for this collection, that exudes casual chicness, made from light wool. The dress also comes in charcoal color, but I prefer the fuchsia one.