5 Local designers’ Chinese New Year collections to check out this year


By Joan Kong

5 Local designers’ Chinese New Year collections to check out this year

Chinese New Year is less than two weeks away, and if you’ve already got a head-start on spring-cleaning your closet, scoring ‘Year of the Rat’-inspired fashion pieces and citrus fragrances that’ll make you look and smell extra on-point during the festivities, (as well as researching the best snacks to indulge without feeling the guilt) all that’s left is getting the traditional attire to complete your CNY look.

Over the years, some have become less pantang and taken an equally less traditional route in celebrating the annual Chinese festival. Similarly, the cheongsam (or qipao, as it’s also known in Mandarin), which were once customary to wear during the Lunar New Year, have admittedly taken a backseat. Even so, designers have continued to introduce designs that strike the right balance between contemporary and traditional, which make the pieces versatile enough to be worn all year round.

Below, five local designers’ collections to check out this year:

Khoon Hooi

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This year, Khoon Hooi introduced not one, but two capsule collections for Chinese New Year. Inspired by the artistry and opulence of the antiques from ancient China, the bespoke collection features 17 looks that are given a modern update, be it with puffy sleeves or a ruffled hem. Take a closer look and you’ll also notice the exquisite jade and pearl buttons, as well as the crystal embellishment that adorns the luxe brocade and silk organza materials. If you’re looking for something equally trendy with a more affordable price point, the brand also has a ready-to-wear collection dubbed “Entrée” that has six modern designs inspired by the traditional qipao.

Check out the full collection on Instagram, or make an appointment to visit the showroom at APW Bangsar.

Innai Red

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Innai Red‘s collection this year marks the brand’s third Chinese New Year collection in a row, and like the previous years, it fuses its signature styles and silhouettes with traditional elements that result in a refreshing yet stylish line-up. Some of the noteworthy pieces include the strong shouldered cheongsam in a modern lattice print that’s inspired by bamboos; the feather and lace-hem qipaos; and the fit and flare dress that will let you feast in peace during the festivities.

Only eight pieces per design are made available, and the brand will be accepting orders from now until January 18.

Alia Bastamam

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For the first time ever, Alia Bastamam also hopped on the CNY bandwagon by releasing its first Lunar Cruise 2020 collection. Using the brand’s signature resort aesthetic as the main inspo, the oriental flair is amped up with traditional Chinese elements. Think: mandarin collars (that are detachable), a cheongsam that pays tribute to the dudou (ancient Chinese lingerie), and pankou (knot button) that’s reinterpreted into girly bows. Yet another first is Alia Bastamam exclusively partnering up with Swarovski, using the brand’s crystals on the shiny appliqués.

Alia Bastamam’s Lunar Cruise ’20 collection is now available for custom and pre-order at its showroom and atelier.

Brian Khoo

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Brian Khoo has also launched an array of Lunar New Year looks this year, and if you’re already a fan of his designs, you can expect the pieces to evoke the same sensual allure the brand is known for. Some of the most eye-catching looks include the cheongsam with a lace collar and satin drapes, the bold zebra-print two-piece, and the intricately beaded appliqués that cover half the décolletage.

Check out the website for more.

Melinda Looi

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Melinda Looi‘s Chinese New Year 2020 collection pays homage to the Peranakan culture—think a plethora of prints and loose-fit separates. But to give it a fun twist, the designer created four unique prints that reference the traditional porcelain and kuih. The names? ‘Melted Kuih Lapis’, ‘Pulut Tai Tai’, ‘Rojak Tiles’, and ‘Surge Batik’. To highlight the line’s style-meets-functionality, you can also find reversible jackets and dresses as well as detachable mandarin collars. In addition, if you want to dress up in matching sets with your other half, Melinda Looi has also introduced the very first Melinda Looi Homme collection which is inspired by the Baba’s samfu silhouettes.

Melinda Looi’s Cruise 2020 ‘Nyonya-tiful’ collection is now available at their Bangsar showroom and website.

For more #CNY2020 stories, click here.

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