Welcome the lunar new year with designs that pay homage to tradition while embracing new elements, writes Meera Murugesan.
THE charm of the traditional qipao or cheongsam has always been the inspiration for Khoon Hooi’s Chinese New Year collections.
The designer’s latest collection for the Year of the Rat features a 17-piece bespoke collection plus an “Entree” ready-to-wear collection of six contemporary variations on the traditional qipao at entry-level pricing to reach today’s millennial-driven market.
The bespoke collection, inspired by the artistry and opulence of artefacts and antiques from the dynasties of ancient China, showcases sumptuous fabrics that include printed brocade featuring iconic Chinese symbols like the crane which represents longevity and peace; the magpie or xi que for happiness, and peonies from the Ming dynasty.
Sophisticated brocade and silk organza customised with the designer’s signature embellishments such as jade and freshwater pearl buttons and crystal adornments add a luxurious touch to the collection.
New finishings on the garments like handcrafted traditional Chinese knot buttons, scallop pattern trimming, lace and sequin patchwork, silky oriental tassels, pussy bows and the Fengxian fold down collar add to the collection’s charm and appeal.
The ensembles also have new silhouettes and modern elements like puffy sleeves, pleated mermaid skirts and ruffled hems and tinges of European elegance with ruched and buckled bows or cape-like sleeves.
Designed for women of all shapes and sizes, the collection offers a variety of cuts, from the figure-hugging qipao to relaxed shift dresses and comfortable culottes, together with button-up mandarin collars or reworked open-neck collars.
The collection is available for pre-order at the Khoon Hooi showroom at APW Bangsar Kuala Lumpur and online at https://khoonhooi.com/collections.