It’s that special time of the year again, when we put on our best and brightest to usher in the Chinese New Year. While our trusty cheongsams will never go away, the start of a new year is also the perfect time to try something different. In that spirit, we have put together a series of looks by our home-grown labels that may not scream “Chinese New Year”, but are festive all the same. Mindful of the increasingly urgent need for more-conscious consumption, Harper’s BAZAAR Singapore’s Associate Fashion Director Jeffrey Yan, together with model and influencer Aimee Cheng-Bradshaw, made sure that the following picks can be easily incorporated into your day-to-day wardrobes once the festive period is over.
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This dress by The Missing Piece is a truly harmonious blend of tradition and modernity, with a classic cheongsam collar transferred onto a sweet and stylish minidress silhouette. The bright fuchsia of the top plays wonderfully well with the skirt that’s embroidered all over with flowers, while the green jade buttons really pop against that particular shade of pink. Beaded slippers, also by The Missing Piece, effortlessly lend a nice touch of heritage to the look.
Founded by Fock Ee-ling, The Missing Piece is known for its timeless handmade pieces and its contemporary iterations of cheongsam dressing—all made in breathable fabrics perfect for the tropics.
This RECKLESS ERICKA look composed of a cropped top worn with a full skirt is perfect for those looking to make an entrance. The print-on-print clash is already a bold statement in itself, but the interesting construction of the skirt, with its asymmetrical layers of different patterns and colours, adds even more to the visual impact.
RECKLESS ERICKA is known for its playful references to elements of Singaporean culture, ranging from chilli crab to Peranakan tiles—look closer at both the top and the skirt, and you’ll notice that the prints are of durians. Its quirky, expressive designs are the brainchild of Afton Chen, who launched the label in 2009 with her partner, Louis.
The red of this GINLEE Studio top is a Chinese New Year classic, but is offset here with the blush pink of the ANS.EIN culottes for a graphic colour-blocking effect that reads more contemporary. The pleated details that flow throughout from top to bottom also gives the look a richer textural edge. Team with a sleek contrast-colour clutch to keep the colour blocking going and the lines of the look unbroken.
GINLEE Studio was founded by Gin Lee and Tamir Niv 10 years ago and since then, it has carved out a distinctive space in the local design landscape with its exploration of pleating techniques that lend its pieces a 3D, sculptural quality.
ANS.EIN was started in 2017 by working mothers Anseina and Erlyn. The duo’s designs are like pieces of wearable art, often marked by brushstrokes and other painterly prints; they even launched a programme that turns clients’ artworks into dresses—the ultimate in personalisation.
This jumpsuit by Minor Miracles demonstrates how one can incorporate red into a CNY outfit in a more subtle and interesting way via prints. A jumpsuit makes for a great option for a full day of festivities, as it is polished but still relaxed, and super versatile to boot—wear with sneakers or heels, on its own or with a light jacket thrown over it.
Minor Miracles was founded by Dawn Bey, who started out designing prints and textiles before expanding into full-fledged clothing design. The brand specialises in joyous, uplifting prints rendered on easy-to-wear pieces that are done start to finish by an in-house team.
Festive Chinese New Year red appears again here, but in a dressier, more elegant form courtesy of the puff sleeves on this Love, Bonito top. Paired with a full, swishing skirt, also from Love, Bonito, it makes for a great look for dinners and nights out, especially when worn with statement heels and a luxe chain bag. Take your cue from this pairing and offset a brightly coloured statement top with softer colours for the rest of your CNY outfits.
Love, Bonito, which prides itself on its ethos of real women designing for real women, has grown into one of the region’s biggest fashion retailers since its rebranding in 2010, thanks to its understanding of what modern women want and need, and the way its pieces fit and flatter a diverse range of shapes and sizes.