Thursday 19 January 2012

Four new looks for Chinese New Year from Soon Lee

If you’re anywhere in Asia, there’s little chance that you don’t know what next week is; yes it’s Chinese New Year, the most important occasion in the region!

Apart from the colours and pageantry, I love it most for one very good reason: Shopping!!! Chinese tradition states that you buy new clothes to wear for the occasion and for the past few weeks, shops have been full of people hunting for their new outfits.

This is one cultural tradition I have no problem integrating with and so I headed down to one of the coolest boutiques on Haji Lane to not only try new outfits but come up with different looks for the lengthy celebrations.

Getting ready for Chinese New Year...

The boutique I chose is none other Soon Lee, which is one of the founding boutiques on what is now Singapore’s answer to Shoreditch in London. Apart from its location, Soon Lee appeals to me in many ways: it stocks lots of cool local and Asian labels, it has some quirky yet wearable accessories and it is very quality-conscious about the products it stocks.

As someone who is on the wrong side of 25 (ahem), choosing clothes becomes as much about quality as it is about style. Not that I have anything against blogshops and cheap finds, but a non-lined polyester dress which an 18-year-old could pull off perfectly (and stylishly sometimes!), becomes harder for  women my age to look appropriate in if you know what I mean. So naturally, good quality fabric and sophisticated style became more and more prominent in my wardrobe.

However, this doesn’t mean I can’t have fun with my clothes anymore!! just take a look at the cool CNY-friendly (non-red) outfits which I picked out from Soon Lee to see what I mean…

Look 1: Asia lite

Asian-inspired dresses are one way to go this Chinese New Year.

Traditional Chinese cheongsams are mostly seen as the outfits of choice for CNY, but for any modern woman, the heavy silk versions don’t always look as fashionable as they did few decades ago.

So wanting to keep with the Asian inspiration but with more modern feel, I chose this turquoise and yellow ‘casual’ Cheongsam-like dress which is breezy and funky at the same time. I loved the fit (which allows room for all those delicious pineapple tarts!!), the light fabric and colours which are a cool alternative to more predictable warm colours like red for example. The woven orange clutch added some festive touch and a bit of colour-blocking to make the look more interesting.

Look 2: Ready for a cruise

A more lady-like look with sexy cutout back...

and the bag with tied scarf adds a a little vintage touch

The tangerine orange version of this hot dress

While the tangerine orange version of this backless number was my first choice (but none of my size were left L) I opted for this blue colour which actually looked great as well. I love the flattering cut of this dress and the open back which is a little sexy but still wearable and comfy. The beautiful hand-made necklace added some much-needed sparkle and the finishing touch was this beige handbag with a tied scarf which made the whole look a little more ‘Riviera chic’.

Look 3: Giant red packet

Love this bright colour combination...

And this CNY-friendly red clutch

The picture doesn’t do this gorgeous dress much justice! Apart from its bright purple colour, the drapery and the soft fabric make it extremely flattering and clingy in the right places. Teamed with an oversized envelope red clutch and this stunning bracelet, this look is brighter than any red dress out there ;-)

Look 4: Tutu chic

Needless to say that is the most fun outfit of the lot!

I had to embrace my inner Carrie Bradshaw at the end, not with the shoes this time but the cutest tutu pink skirt which felt like a dream to be in! that’s the fun part I was talking about…

Seriously speaking, I might be too old for tutus but not for this one and especially not when teamed with this understated silk top and equally stunning necklace (it had a huge parrot on it!!) I also picked a little floral clutch to go with this outfit (and my nail polish!) and honestly I was tempted to step out with it right away.

So take it from me: have fun with your outfits this CNY, buy quality not quantity and don’t forget to mix bright colours (not just red!)

P.S. for those of you wondering what happened to my curls, rest assured they are tucked into a bun (bad hair day!) and that fringe is a clip on piece to disguise the frizzy bits in the front! Might use it again on CNY as I don’t wanna wash my hair and thus my good luck for the new year away!

All outfits and accessories are found at Soon Lee, 73 Haji Lane, Singapore

Some more goodies at Soon Lee...

Ok I couldn't resist the twirllllllllll :-)