Cheongsam updates 

Some latest news on the cheongsam. 

Peter Kor’s Studio 55 boutique is having a mid year sale for the entire month of June. The cheongsams from past collections are on sale at major discount, from at least 50% off. Some even going for 70% off and others are discounted to as low as S$99.

If you like any of those Chinese New Year dresses I had previously featured in my blog, now is the time to get them at these big discounts. Though, only limited sizes are available. 

For the current W collection, Peter only designed a couple of cheongsams as he focused on work clothes. Here are the two designs I spotted: one modern interpretation, and the other, though in classic cut, has a contemporary print.



While I was at the boutique, Peter revealed that he has started work on the collection for next year’s CNY, which took me by surprise as it seems pretty early to me. He has started late for this year’s designs, and as a result, he was unhappy with some of the shoddy workmanship due to the rush job. So he is starting early this time to make sure the dresses would be up to his expectations. And I was very lucky and pleased when he showed me some of the completed samples. I have to say they are gorgeous! I couldn’t take any pictures of course, but I can assure you the prints and fabrics (from France) are simply amazing. Already, I’m thinking that I would burn a hole in my pocket when the collection is launched. 

Over the past week or so, two brands have launched new dresses again: Joli Pretty and Sissae. For JP, this is the second part of the Spring/Summer 2017 collection.

There is a mixture of jumpsuits, dresses and tops.




Jumpsuit style seems to be trending, because Sissae is also offering it as part of it latest “Virtuous” collection. The designs are in the typical Sissae formal style, but are also ultra modern in looks. Despite having misgivings about the workmanship, I have to admit the designs are pretty striking and remind me of those from the  French couture fashion houses.



That’s it for now, folks! I’ll continue to sniff out other collections and will update then.

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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. 


The new cheongsam collections 

Two brands have recently launched their new collections.The Happy Cheongsam finally released new designs after a long hiatus, called “The Batik Collection”, on 7 November. The last time new designs were released was the Chinese New Year launch in January. I understand Ming, the designer and founder, has been busy as a first time mom.

This is a considerably smaller collection, with only four dresses. As seen in the pictures below, only the first design is significantly different from the rest. The other three are basically similar. Nonetheless, I have to say the design and juxtaposition of prints make for interesting combinations. On a whim, I asked Buddy which of the cheongsams is the prettiest and he pointed out Ïndigo. My sentiment exactly! 

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Sissae‘s latest cheongsam launch is called Allure. Other than the first picture showing an ultra mini dress, the rest are rather demure looking. The designs are of the classic cut, nothing really modern looking. Probably the collection is targeted for Chinese New Year.

Though I like the prints and embroideries on the Sissae cheongsams, which look really pretty and intricate, I have a beef with the sewing quality.  Take a look at the puckering seams on this jade green cheongsam below (it is the one with the Chinese lattice print on the front shown above). 

I was taken in by the print in the front view, but was put off by the puckering seams on the back which looks absolutely shoddy! In fact, if you look closely at the black and red cheongsams in the pictures above, you can see signs of it along the front seams as well.

The puckering problem is also seen in this THC design, Azura.

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Recently I asked a very experienced designer/tailor about the puckering seam problem, and he explained that there are a few reasons for this. One, the designer/tailor does not understand the property of the fabric and hence not know how to handle it. Another possible reason is that the fabric was stretched too tightly when it was being sewn, and so puckering happened upon release. It is also a problem when the fabric is not stretched tightly enough.  I think the designers at both THC and Sissae should study and experiment on different fabrics.before embarking on the design process, as well as conduct more stringent quality check on the sewing. 

The latest cheongsam launches 

Since the last launch in April, Our Bitsy Prints has been quiet until now, when it will launch its 30th collection today at 9PM local time. Titled “Sunny Singapura”, it’s an advance shout out to our National Day on 9 August.

The collection features tropical  prints, batik fabrics and colors that are fitting for the sun-drenched nation. I wouldn’t say I am bowled over by the designs, but there are a couple which are quite pretty, like this pastel orange lace cheongsam.

I do like the design of this brown batik dress with bell-shaped sleeves, but the color is rather dull. I thought there should be lots of green and vibrant tropical colors?

Sissae‘s latest cheongsam collection is called “Daydreaming”, and pastel colors are chosen for the theme. (I take it that when you daydream, your mind is in a haze and so colors seem lighter?)

Sissae has always tried to make the cheongsam design looks ultra modern, with mix results in my view. This time, I must say the collection does look rather classy and elegant. I hope the workmanship has improved though.

 

Lark and Peony launched two designs for pre-order a few days ago. These are not new looks, but basically a change in prints.

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Spring cheongsams at Isetan Scotts

The other day, I found out that Sissae has a pop-up store at Isetan Scotts for this CNY, which stocks  current collections as well as some exclusive designs. Since I have not seen  any of the clothes for myself, other than online, I decided that I should go check them out.

I have mentioned in my previous posts that there are also pop-up stores from Peter Kor and Cloth.ier available at this department store, located on the second level.

The three pop-up stores are placed close to the escalators, with Cloth.ier selections having a prominent signage, and both Sissae and Peter Kor’s selections next to each other.

A Sissae dress on the left, and a Peter Kor dress on the right.

I noticed some new designs from Peter Kor that I didn’t see at his boutique, like the above batik floral dress is new to me.  It also comes in purple and pink. Many of the cheongsam selections are in the classic cut with floral prints.

Below are the Sissae’s collections, including the latest called “Blooming Spring”, with lots of red and pastel colors. I tried the pastel blue dress as shown on the right.

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When I look at a cheongsam, one quality feature that I check is the inseam, because I think that it’s a reflection of the workmanship and care put in by the designer. So when I went through the dress, I was quite disappointed. The price range of Sissae  designs veers to the high-end, and they are in fact slightly more expensive than Peter Kor’s. You would expect that much attention to be placed on the tailoring, and yet, like Blum & Co, the workmanship (of the inseam) looks like a rushed job. I get the impression that the seamstresses had to churn out dresses after dresses as fast as they could and there was little attention to the details or how they were done. At this price, I can get a really well tailored cheongsam from Peter Kor or Cloth.ier.

Even the cheongsam from Allure, below in tie-dye print, has nicely-done inseam. By the way, it’s on sale at S$99 (I think it’s from the previous collection). I like the scalloped collar, which is quite unusual, and like the Sissae cheongsam, the faux chest flap is to the left. (FYI, it has a hidden back-zip.)

Here are a couple of modern cheongsams from Allure, at S$199 each.

There are cheongsams from other brands available at the store. So if you are looking at getting one, Isetan Scotts is a good one-stop shop to check out the different brands and designs. If you have an Isetan card, you get 15% discount on Peter Kor’s collection. And if you don’t, you can apply for one on the spot at S$10 for a 2-year membership.

Cheongsams abound!

It’s cheongsam time! A few online boutiques have already started launching their collections for the year end celebrations and even Chinese New Year a few weeks ago. After all, one set of designs will not be enough, there will be a series of launches leading to CNY. I guess for those eager to get their hands on the dresses now, you can consider getting one for the New Year party and another for CNY later. But do I think the designs are dress-worthy? Unfortunately not. For me, I am looking for the “wow” factor. A dress that will make people take a second admiring look. But most of the designs don’t fit the bill. In fact they look like more of the same (previous collections). Only Sissae dresses have some rather interesting looks Anyway, let’s check them out. After all, the readers may be more forgiving.

Joli Pretty launched its first mother-daughter cheongsam sets three days ago, and there are altogether six of them. Here are a couple of the dresses:

          Daughter dress

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In its previous collection, JP had launched a number of cheongsams for CNY, many of which are in the festive bright colors. But the designs are basically the same as before or similar to those launched earlier by The Happy Cheongsam or Our Bitsy Prints.

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This dress has a tulip design.

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Lark and Peony is another boutique which has been rather prolific with its launches. Most are of the classic cut, though there are a couple of new designs like the beautiful combination of a lace top with batik skirt (bottom-most picture) and a set of matching top and shorts.

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The Happy Cheongsam has  a small launch recently, featuring dresses for the year end celebration, called “Pop Fizz Clink”. The first and second dresses below are new designs and come in other colors as well. I find the below dress with maroon top and floral bottom does look rather elegant.

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Finally, there is Sissae which has some really modem designs. Like the dress featured in the bottom first picture, with an interesting collar.

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The below titillatingsee-through lace cheongsam is strictly for evening wear. You may wonder why I state the obvious. This is because there are some women who have no qualm about wearing even club wear to the office. Maybe I’m getting old and conservative, but I thought it is a little too revealing for my liking.

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And now we have a cheongsam jumpsuit! A first if I may say since I don’t recall seeing anything like this. It’s definitely different, but not something I would wear. I mean it’ll be a pain to go to the toilet. Besides, one has to be tall and thin to pull this off. Otherwise it’ll end up looking like pyjamas.

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For those looking for a wedding cheongsam, here is one for consideration.

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Finally, we have Hana, the maker of ornate and elaborate cheongsams. Not my cup of tea.


I have seen a proliferations of mother and children cheongsam sets, and I will feature more of them in my upcoming posts. Separately, I’ve been wondering what happened to Our Bitsy Prints as the launch has gone quiet since October. It turns out that OBP will be coming up with a new collection in a couple of days’ time, which I will feature later.

Cheongsam news for the month

The news on cheongsam have been a little slow lately. But here are some updates for the cheongsam lovers.

Mama & Misse

M&M has re-opened its store at International Plaza mid of this month. I haven’t been there to check out yet, but have seen some photos posted on its FB page. I must say the dresses do look rather pretty though they are more suited for formal wear.
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I like how the above geometric-print gives the cheongsam an interesting modern look while retaining it’s traditional design, and it’s my favorite of the four. The prices of the dresses range between S $288 to S $468.

Joli Pretty

JP launched its latest 13th collection last Thursday in the evening, a change from their usual 3.00pm launch. Though there are some “new designs” (at least from JP) out of the 10 dresses, the offerings are not exactly enticing. In fact they are more or less slight variations of the usual simple look, and nothing stands out in the prints or style.
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The below wrap dress reminds me of a similar design from Our Bitsy Prints, except that unlike the latter dress, this has a back zip and no pockets.
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The only dress that caught my eyes is the one below with scalloped hemline.
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Sissae

Sissae celebrates its 4th anniversary by giving 10% discount for its latest collections on its online store. If you have eyeing them, you can take advantage of this offer.

Lark & Peony

L&P will soon launch a two-piece cheongsam attire to cater to customers requesting for something that they can easily move around in, like riding on a bike. So L&P created this prototype of a cheongsam top with matching shorts. The design will be launched in batik and African prints.
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To be honest, I’ve reservations about the matching set. Maybe it’s the print, but it looks a little “aunty” to me. I rather get a simple cheongsam top and match it with jeans, tights or separate shorts.

Another cheongsam news update

Here are a couple of news from the online retailers.

Lark & Peony is having a summer sale for the entire month of June at 20% off on all merchandise. Use the code: SUMMER2015 at the checkout to get the discount. You can choose from the modern cheongsam dresses such as these:

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This dress looks like the collar height has been raised slightly.

Otherwise you can consider the classic cut with an obi belt.

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Or, the peplum cheongsam top.

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L&P has also launched accessories recently, specifically brooch, in cutesy Japanese designs.

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Sissae launched its latest collection a couple of days ago, and called it “Swoon”. I am not sure if I would swoon on the dresses, tops and vests, which are the typical dramatic and over-the-top designs. Most of which are more suitable for formal events, such as this dress with the thigh-high slit. I have to say it’s an eye-turner though, and does look amazing.
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I wouldn’t go for this garish cheongsam dress which would be most appropriate on a “Getai” stage.
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Sissae also has some elegant classic designs with a twist, like this embroidered dress which appears to have an assymetrical side slit.
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Another classic design with beautiful details on the collar.
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A loose fit cheongsam top, which doesn’t look swoon-worthy to me.
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A vest with a stunning back! Just look at the intricate cutout.
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The front view, which has a regal look about it.
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I notice that Sissae tends to use sateen fabric, and as a result, the dresses can be very unforgiving: any bulge will be exposed for all to see. You literally must have a flat tummy to look good. I think the designers should consider other fabrics or look at innovating the designs or cut to flatter the woman’s body, since very few of us have the model physique.

Cheongsam news (updated)

Let’s  start with sales.

Vourgeois (4th level One Raffles Place) is having a massive sale of at least 70% off. I didn’t get any as I either couldn’t find my size or that I didn’t  like the designs.

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Sissae is having an exclusive preview of its new collection in Singapore for the first time at the Blue Print trade show, and the collection is open to the public this Saturday and Sunday(16 & 17 May) from 10am to 6pm. If you are interested in the cheongsams, do check them out at Suntec convention hall 401 & 402, booth E-02.

Here are a couple of the more recent designs from Sissae.
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There is currently a sale of its current and older collections.

By the way, Miz Apparels is also having a clearance sale of its cheongsam dresses and little girl cheongsams at 20% discount.

Next, we check out the online boutiques. There had been a hiatus among them after the Chinese New Year. They only started launching new collections from March. I haven’t  been featuring them for some time and that is because I was hoping to write about something different instead of just reviewing the clothes. Unfortunately, due to various reasons, the plan had to be shelved.

Anyway, both Joli Pretty and Our Bitsy Prints have launched two collections since March, while Lark & Peony has launched one featuring cheongsam tops. The Happy Cheongsam has been quiet so far, and The Lady General is on an indefinite break.
(Update;) Ming from THC just had a baby and so she is taking a few months off.

JP’s latest collection has only one new design: a shift dress with lace appliqué. It may be that the dress doesn’t fit the model very well, but it doesn’t seem to drape well on the lower half bodice.
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As for OBP, it’s latest collection (launched last night) is vintage inspired and featured a lot of floral or psychedelic prints. Some of them might make your head spin even without having a taste of weed.

Here’s a wrap skirt cheongsam dress with a lace covered cape design. I find the pairing rather strange, and I am not sure I like the cape.
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A shift cheongsam dress with jarring prints that can make you go crossed-eyes.
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Another shift design, perhaps for the chubby ladies?
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OBP’s previous collection also featured some new designs. One of them is a dress with butterfly sleeves, which admittedly that seems to be the only difference from the usual flare skirt cheongsam.
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Then there is this short-sleeved front buttons cheongsam, which I seriously don’t find interesting.
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Another shift cheongsam dress. I wonder what’s with the deluge of shift designs? Are we going back to the days of the early 20th century when women did not show their waist?
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L&P showcased cheongsam tops this time, a first for the brand, but there is nothing new to the peplum design though.
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That’s it. These are the updates I have so far.

Cheongsam for the occasion

The Happy Cheongsam launched their 4th collection two Thursdays ago and Our Bitsy Prints launched their 15th collection last Thursday. But this time I am not reviewng their cheongsams, instead I am going to highlight the pretty dresses for the special occasions, together with those from the new collections of other brands.

The latest launch from THC comes in candy colored Shantung silk, and this sweet-looking pastel yellow dress has the tulip bottom fit that I like. In fact it is the same design as the Tiffany blue dress from the first collection except that the collar is 4cm high. If you are looking for a pretty dress to wear for a meeting with the to-be in-laws, this will do the trick to present a positive first impression.
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A neon pink dress, also from THC, that features a bow on the waist. This is perfect for a bride at an afternoon tea reception or marriage registry. This will also look great during Chinese New Year, which will set you apart from the rest of the boring red.
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Both dresses from THC are also good for first dates. He won’t be able to take his eyes away from you.

I really like this pretty perankan print from OBP, which is inspired by the unique peranakan tiles that OBP founders discovered in the old houses located at Joo Chiat. I love that it is paired with a bright teal green color. This dress is an eye turner wherever you go.
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The fabric is made from organic cotton. I was wondering if there is a difference in feel between the organic and non-organic cotton. It turns out not. Melanie from OBP explained:
“The normal cotton that we use for day-to-day purposes on our regular tee shirts etc is actually genetically modified so that the produce can meet the world’s demand. However, when harvesting “normal” cotton, there will be some harm to the environment; especially to some vital insects. 

Organic cotton does not have any visible/physical differences from normal cotton though, so you won’t be able to tell, but it’s just that they are harvested in a less harmful manner to the environment. This fabric is also made with eco-responsible, low impact dyes for printing and dying of the prints.”

So you are helping to protect the environment by using organic cotton.

OBP also launched a bright yellow dress (fabric is organic cotton as well) with sapphire-colored piping and detachable belt. I like this design with its high collar (reminds me of the Mongolian traditional wear), and the cheery print and color combination is a standout.
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I was hoping to get my hands on either one of the above dresses but unfortunately I was too slow. I must say OBP’s latest launch has a number of interesting and pretty prints. Good work, ladies!

I haven’t checked out Sissae’s new collections til now. Their dresses have gone bold and sexy!

This va-va-voom sultry black dress titillates with its peekaboo design. It is a stunner for an evening at a fine restaurant. If you are dressed to impress on a first date, this is a knock-out!
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The below cheongsam with a midi skirt may seem conservative, but I think the fabrics of crepe and organza silk make it look really graceful. The print on the skirt gives it a contemporary feel as well. It is the perfect follow-up date dress to the one above, showing you are not all sultry but capable of channelling elegance.
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The following Shanghai Tang red wool dress has an ultra short collar. I’m usually not one to go for it but the fabric and cut drape so beautifully on the bodice and makes it irresistibly. It is simple and yet sophisticated, that I can’t help myself from droolng over the design. I have to make an exception to this ultra modern look.
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Finally I found a dress from Lark and Peony that I like: a beautiful sapphire blue dress with obi belt. Though it’s a classic cut with high collar, it comes with short puff sleeves. I like how the obi belt complements the dress, adding a touch of elegance. The dress is named after a warrior princess, and indeed the beautiful royal color is fit for one. (I wish there is a description of the fabric though.)
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This is an interesting print from Elegente: dramatic red coral on white silk, a statement piece.
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