Christmas and New Year may be over, but the excitement of the festivities still lingers in the air, especially with the Chinese New Year a mere month away. As we ring in the Year of the Dragon, we’re thinking of bountiful feasts, lists of gifts to bring along to reunions and visits, and dolling ourselves up in new clothes. Start afresh, they say. Keep reading to discover the best Chinese New Year 2024 fashion buys.
With such a short time frame, pre-celebration preparation can be overwhelming. To help you out, we’ve scouted and compiled a list of the ultimate pieces to add to your Chinese New Year 2024 fashion wardrobe for the Lunar New Year by some of our Malaysian fashion designers. The range is extensive, from a good ol’ crimson cheongsam that nods to tradition or a contemporary rendition that you can wear even after the celebration, these covetable pieces will amp up the Chinese New Year spirit.
When we think of Khoon Hooi, we think of sophisticated designs that will make all the classic enthusiasts weak at their knees—intricate embroidery, meticulous tailoring, and top-notch craftsmanship. For the first time in two decades, Khoon Hooi unveils a new silhouette: cropped tops. This caters to the newer and bolder generation who are ever ready to go a step further out of the traditional zone.
To say Brian Khoo‘s Lunar collection is stunning would be an understatement. All the ladies are splashing out for the dragon motif sheer back bridal gown (for Brian Khoo, we will wear a bridal gown even when it’s not our wedding) while the more venturous ones can try the catsuit. That is, if you can convince the elders to look past its sheerness. For those who prefer to stick with something less swashbuckling, there are also subtle options that are equally exquisite with details that we are swooning over.
We can’t talk about the cheongsam without bringing Maarimaia into the conversation. The bespoke “Love, Caution” collection encapsulates the quintessence of Chinese elegance, with awestruck craftsmanship that has been Maarimaia’s forte for years. Along with the cheongsam that ranges from mid-calf to above-the-knee length, Maarimaia is launching its first-ever menswear collection. The designs also come in children’s sizes—perfect options for families or couples who can never resist matching looks.
Behati is no stranger to making traditional garments en vogue, especially among the young fashion risk-takers. For its “Dynasty” collection, the venturesome designs give the garments hints of modern-day treatments. Collaborating with the well-loved local shoe brand Machino, they have also launched a collection of heels adorned with double knots—a design element that is significant in the history of Chinese garment making. Aside from the oversized silhouette that has become the brand’s trademark, design elements such as the knotted slit using pankou (a knot traditionally used for cheongsam-making) or even crafting with denim, is the epitome of weaving a modern approach into the tradition.
If you are big on sustainable and genderless fashion, we’d assume that you are familiar with Shaofen. For its first-ever festive capsule collection, the local brand reinterpreted the cheongsam into a samfu, and vice versa, taking gender fluidity quite literally. With pairings like short shorts and asymmetrical skirts, the top—sleeveless or not, comes with metalware buttons that mimic the Chinese knots. The dual-tone fabric used for the collection adds zest to the supposedly traditional garments.