THERE are many cheongsams that may win sky-high approval ratings from your relatives, but we’re starting the decade right with bold statements as we make our grand entrance with slightly, if not completely unconventional getups this Lunar New Year 2020.
1. Brian Khoo
Khoo’s namesake label celebrates the arrival of springtime with its first-ever Lunar collection, where a series of traditional cheongsams are unravelled and reinterpreted into a fusion of traditional and contemporary silhouettes that extend beyond womanly sophistication with a sense of quiet drama.
As unorthodox as it may sound, the reimagining of the traditional is indubitably the essence of Khoo’s quintessential move to portray an unparalleled glamour, by exploring unconventional pattern cutting and finishing techniques.
Seam lines are brilliantly rendered with meticulously constructed corsets to make figure-contouring silhouettes that cinch the waist and accentuate the figure.
The juxtaposition of jazzy gemstone buttons, dewy satins printed with a mixture of vibrant narcissus zebra prints and daffodil embroidery in microbeads and crystals endow the extravagant collection with a touch of enigma.
Click here for MORE from this stunning collection
2. Alia Bastamam
Alia Bastamam makes her first foray into Oriental allure with her first Lunar Cruise 2020 collection, inspired by the painting Smoking Woman by Chinese contemporary artist Liu Ye – which the designer hangs in her apartment.
The painting depicts a woman, her slicked back black hair matching her black cheongsam, her lips a firecracker red and her cheeks a pink peony, nonchalantly holding a cigarette as she exhales.
The painting bears a vivid resemblance to iconic paintings such as Lady with an Ermine, and Girl with a Pearl Earring – all the subjects appear casually calm and relaxed, yet deep in thought.
The inspiration sets the sensual mood in the collection, with Alia Bastamam’s quintessential resort aesthetic mixing with the Oriental sense of style.
Mandarin collars are intentionally separated from the dresses as neckpieces, buttons are cheekily reimagined as ladylike bows, and tassels and finely embellished appliques sparkle with Swarovski crystals in the eight-piece collection.
A conspicuous black cheongsam in sleek silk tapered to the body stands out from the collection, making a bold impression with its in total modern maximalism.
Click here for MORE from Alia’s gorgeous Lunar Cruise 2020 collection
Borneo-based fashion label Wynka has long been celebrating the multifaceted elements of womanhood. Be it reimagining and blurring fine lines between teen spirit and adolescence, or fusing tradition with modernity in fashion, there will always be a unique spin to the banality of dresses.
True to all its themes, Wynka’s ethereal dresses carry both lightness and strength sprinkled with a heavy dose of fun, frivolity and excessive saccharine colours.
Wynka’s Lunar New Year 2020 collection, named Tian Mi Mi, is filled with a sense of flirtatious romance that incites drama and playfulness. Each piece challenges the norm, by reinventing traditional Oriental wear with the brand’s signature ruffles to break away from monotony, yet with a nostalgic silhouette.
However, no two cheongsams are alike. They are adorned with different prints, lacework and patterns so to ensure each piece is one of a kind. But if you think that most cheongsams look run-of-the-mill with average floral prints on top of a customary silhouette, might I suggest that you take your dressing game up a notch with this cheongsam adorned with leg-o-mutton sleeves, inspired by the trailblazing female fighter Chun Li in Street Fighter.
Click on the link for more designs from WYNKA
A contemporary womenswear label for the contemporary women of today, Maarimaia defines itself as a new genre of femininity – confident, independent, intelligent and complex – a timeless beauty that transcends and triumphs above all else.
The brand launched its Lunar 2020 collections in both of its Ready-To-Wear (RTW) and Prive Bespoke lines, focusing on contrasting textures, shapes and prints while embracing time-honoured artisanal techniques with a modern sensibility to create unique pieces that dazzle during the festive season.
It is here at Maarimaia that femininity meets form, and form meets function. In the RTW collection, midi-length and relaxed cuts of the classic cheongsam are vibrant yet demure, additionally adorned with sheer organza shoulder panels for a sense of sensuality, and various button embellishments for a modern take.
In the Prive Bespoke collection, designer May Tan has successfully caught my attention, and hopefully yours too. Her cheongsam designs, if it’s still fitting of the name, are quite unlike any other, having been given an avant-garde spin to the traditional silhouette.
Check out Maarimaia Prive Lunar Collection HERE
5. Khoon Hooi
The Oriental allure of fashion couturier Khoon Hooi that we’ve all been anticipating is finally upon us, with his annual capsule collection for this Lunar New Year, featuring a hefty 17-piece bespoke collection in addition to the six contemporary variations for the RTW collection.
The collection channels the artistry and opulence of the artefacts and antiques of ancient Chinese dynasties. Enriched by sumptuous textiles that include brocade, featuring iconic Chinese symbols like the crane to represent longevity and peace, the magpie for happiness, and peonies for wealth and prosperity.
Khoon Hooi’s signature embellishments make a comeback in old and new silhouettes, ranging from the figure-hugging cheongsam to comfortable culottes.
Other modern design elements include adding volume with puffy sleeves, or improving mobility with pleated mermaid skirts, down to the tiniest details such as handcrafted traditional Chinese knot buttons and fold-down collars.
To see Khoon Hooi’s enchanting Qi Pao 2020 collection, Click HERE