Traditional chic

Four local labels unleash head-turning collections that blend heritage with modern aesthetics

27 Jan 2021 / 11:20 H.

SPRING is a time for fresh beginnings and change, focusing on removing the old and welcoming the new. What better way to greet the Year of the Ox than with a brand new, fashionable festive wardrobe.

Four local designers embrace the season with collections that draw inspiration from elements ranging from nature and Chinese tradition, to friendship.

1. Brian Khoo

Brian Khoo Lunar 2021 collection features surreal natural landscapes, lush garden vignettes and blossom motifs, sprawling across dewy satins and cloudy crepes. The layered exercise of contrasting piping details with intuitive placement of gold touches distinctly captures the style of the renowned Japanese Kintsugi (golden repair) technique.

Khoo also worked with Lorraine Lee of TALEE Studio from Borneo in Sabah on intricate, handmade knot designs that appear throughout the collection, which also introduces a selection of menswear and childrenswear, including reversible girl’s dresses.

2. Celeste Thoi

Thoi’s Flora-scence Chinese New Year (CNY) collection features a capsule wardrobe inspired by amazing colours and shapes of spring garden Keukenhof in the Netherlands, one of the world’s largest and most colourful flower gardens, which she visited prior to the pandemic. Thoi wanted to capture and share her experience through the carefree floral prints in the collection, which includes every style of cut, from form-fitting silhouettes, some with peplum, to chill and relaxed A-line styles, as well as roomy tops and bottoms for those who want to enjoy their Lunar New Year feast in comfort.

3. Keith Kee

Keith Kee Couture’s CNY 2021 collection, The Scent of Spring, is a modern take on the sophisticated styles of ancient Chinese empresses. Ancient Chinese elements and lace details are widely used throughout the collection, which features short fashionable qipao dresses in a variety of styles.

The Penang-based designer’s collection is made of luxurious Thai silk, Shantung silk and Organza in soft colours. Pink, blue and yellow are the main colours of the collection, adding a whimsical, pastel touch to any family gathering.

4. Melinda Looi

Melinda Looi Cruise 2021 collection, themed Pengyou, sees Looi’s close friends modelling for the campaign. The garments themselves are colourful and multi-textural, resembling the diverse people of the world.

Vivid colours on cotton are married with lace and batik. Cheongsams are fun yet elegantly paired with flowy chiffon skirts that can be styled in multiple ways. Easy wrap dresses are ideal for lazy days at home or to catch up over tea with friends. Then, there are cheeky shorts-and-top combos and flowy dresses for relaxation.

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