Monday, 1 February 2016

Qipao Love: Part 28 ~ May's top Cheongsam picks for a new 2016...

As we are about to welcome a new lunar year of the Fire Monkey, I have definitely been seeing firey yellow...and what better colour to begin the year with a positive bang. Rather than making a wish list, this year I am considering the Qipao (or Cheongsam) styles that can be a true contender in a girl's daily wardrobe. For why only wear the Qipao for Chinese New Year, when you can wear it any day you want!

'Garden Party Dress' by Mrs Pomeranz makes it in my top Cheongsam pick for 2016 as a unique blend of vintage 1950s style and East meets West love story. The Liberty of London fabric by designer Anna Sui is named Peony Pavilion and crafted by Mrs Pomeranz. Reminding one of the love of mandarin collars and Cheongsam during the 50s, but bringing it up to date with unconventional print and colour. Not the easiest to wear, but if you can pull it off in vintage style fluffed petticoat or as an edgy modern statement then it is definitely one to turn heads! 



'Banana-rama' by The Happy Cheongsam is absolutely adorable...and one I can't resist as being a Monkey who is welcoming a new Monkey year it almost sets out the intention for a fun year ahead. In an easy to wear style that will add to the chest area, create a waistline and skim down the wobbly tummy...this is really a sweet addition to any wardrobe!



'Hsi Shih in Peacock' by Lark & Peony is as groovy as groovy goes! Bringing a wonderful splash palette of blues in a print nodding towards the 1960s to 1970s matched with a softly relaxed but decent height mandarin collar. Just throw on a sharp black blazer and accessories....easily fits into a daily wardrobe staple and one to cheer yourself up on a dull day!



'Hermes Silk' by Eve55 reminds one of the daffodils in spring with a beautiful yellow, but add in an eclectic mix of new world fashion accessories print. Almost like marrying modernity to the classic Qipao shape in luxurious silk, which makes it an easier piece to wear for a day at the office or even afternoon tea out with the girls. Just don't forget those statement heels and power bag!


'Peony Blossom' by All About 8 is a vibrant two piece that brings the bloom of a prosperous new year to any wardrobe. Peonies being symbolically elegant and noble adds meaning to your new style journey into a new year. Pretty enough to be worn as a whole feminine modern styled Cheongsam dress, and practical enough to wear either as a separate skirt or top to brighten a more wishful day after the new year!

[This is not a sponsored or affiliated post, selection was based on design and personal preference.]

All in all I am getting excited for the arrival of Chinese New Year of the Monkey....on Monday 8th February 2016. But it will definitely be a year of changes, as one of my good friends Naoko is getting married, whilst my vintage partner in crime Rachael is sadly moving back to Canada. So deciding not to do my annual vintage tea, I will still be spotted in my Qipao (Cheongsam) over the 15 day Chinese New Year festivities!


Until the next time,
May xx

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Sunday, 17 January 2016

Qipao Love: Part 27 ~ Wearing white to a Chinese wedding banquet?

Happy New Year 2016 darlings! Welcome back to a continuation post on Chinese Weddings and the Qipao (Cheongsam) ....so if you are wondering whether it will be appropriate to wear white to a Chinese wedding, I hope this post will help. There has been quite a bit of spin within the media about cultural appropriation when it comes to ethnic clothing and needless to say it might be an issue of consideration when you are attending a cultural wedding. So here's what I wore to my sister's Chinese Wedding Banquet in Singapore; a custom made white and purple floral lace Qipao with a very high mandarin collar from Chinese Clothing Online, matched with a purple velvet kimono from New Look (both garments have been jacked up and actually hand finished by me!) But the secret to how I ended up wearing white was due to wardrobe malfunctioning....as the other green chiffon Qipao I got custom made by the same shop (Chinese Clothing Online) turned out very different from the design I chose and needed more fixing than I had time to finish so close to the wedding.






Why NOT wear white to a Chinese wedding?
Traditionally WHITE is worn as a colour of mourning and mostly used at funerals in the Chinese cultural rites, but with Western popularity of the white bridal gown....modern Chinese brides will often opt to wear a fashionable white wedding dress and want to feel like the ideal bride of their dreams. Even in Western weddings some guests may consider the feelings of the bride in avoiding the colour white, as normal perception sees white being reserved for the bride. My sister being an exception in openly declaring that she did not mind if any of her guests chose to wear white and suggested I wear this white purple floral Qipao instead, I was still rather careful in keeping the purple kimono on.
The other colour I would recommend guests not to wear to a traditional Chinese wedding would be RED....eventhough it is the official colour of celebration, happiness and good luck in Chinese culture, it is also traditionally the main colour reserved for the bride who should have all the great blessings of her special day. In older times of men having more than one wife, only the main wife who is granted status will be able to wear red on her wedding day and enter the home of her husband through the main door during the wedding procession. Whilst concubines were not allowed to wear red, entered through side gates and opted for lighter shades of pink or peach for their wedding dress instead. Another reason is that the venue or bridal home will probably be decorated in red too....in order to invite happiness into the couple's or family's home on such a happy occasion, so it may be a case of clashing with a red colour scheme. Of course this might not apply if the bride is not traditional at all or not intending to wear red, but if in doubt one can always choose other shades of reddish tones such as purple, lilac, browns, pinks, oranges, peaches or even other happy shades!  

The beautiful bride and handsome groom entering the banquet hall....

At the Chinese wedding banquet.....

After unravelling my finger waves at the end of the night.....
Hence with my trusted needle two weeks before the wedding, I took in the seams of this overly big custom made white and purple floral Qipao....then sewed on a white lace hem by hand to the velvet fringed purple kimono I found off a high street store to match it in my 1930s Golden Shanghai style. [Catch up on how the Qipao is usually worn to Chinese weddings, traditional Chinese Tea Ceremony and Chinese Bridal Kwa in the 'What to wear to a Chinese Tea Wedding Ceremony' post] With finger waves cold set the night before, I was ready to attend my sister's Chinese wedding banquet...and it was a lovely banquet indeed at Singapore's Westin. Next up will be my top pick of lovely Cheongsam (Qipao) designs for this coming Chinese New Year!


Until the next time,
May xx

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