Friday, 1 February 2013

A Singaporean Chinese New Year from Tong Tong

Ever since I’ve experienced my first Chinese New Year in Hong Kong a few years ago, it has firmly become one of my favourite holidays.

How can I not love it when it’s all about being with family, buying colourful –mainly red- new clothes, eating till you can’t breathe, and most importantly getting (or in my case now giving) those Ang Pows (Red Packets)!!!

And while a lot of people’s favourite part of CNY is the food, naturally mine has to be the colourful new clothes, especially Cheongsams.

I don’t think there is anything as elegant and feminine as a well-tailored and fitted cheongsam. But while the traditional ones can be slightly too dressy and restrictive for our modern day lifestyle, other options are available – namely a more modern and smart casual take on the cheongsam from quirky Singapore label Tong Tong.

Love the elegant Tong Tong A-line cheongsam which is perfect for CNY!
While there is no shortage of labels re-interpreting the traditional Chinese dress, Tong Tong’s SS13 ‘Cultural Mosaic’ collection appealed to me in particular for it had a unique Singaporean twist.

For someone who has been travelling around, Singapore has always struck me as a place where different cultures meet and instead of sticking to their corners, they actually mix and the result is the multi-cultural vibrant and tolerant place which I fell in love with and decided to move to.

And Tong Tong’s latest collection reflects that perfectly. By combining various traditional Asian fabrics and mixing them together, it created pieces which represent not just one but an array of cultures – all without losing the modernity aspect of it.

The combination of mandarin cheongsam collar and batik-ish fabric is such a
stunning combination which is very representative of the cultural mash up that is

Love this festive yet elegant look!

Needless to say the outcome is something original and quite contemporary. I especially love the colourful and patched-like dress with mandarin collar which is very playful and bold yet cut to mirror the elegance of a traditional cheongsam albeit more comfortable.

From dresses to separates, the whole collection seems to have been put by going back and sourcing some beautiful fabric which South East Asia is famous for, and given a Chinese twist which makes them perfect for celebrating New Year in Singapore.

Loving this dress!!! the bold print might not be everybody's cup of tea, but is
definitely mine ;-)

Interesting cut in the back as well...

But apart from apparel, Tong Tong has also thought of accessories, which are inspired by the Chinese traditional symbols for good luck happiness and even pandas! My favourite has to be the kitschy ‘Double Happiness’ brooch which makes a great statement piece if you want to dress down but still feel festive this CNY.

Double Happiness for CNY anyone?

How cute are these panda brooches? I especially like the one in the top left corner!

Tong Tong has also added a men's line this season. Very subtle but love the
collar of this shirt.

Another cute brooch!

And if like me, you’re on the giving end of Ang Pow exchange now (sigh!) then you’d definitely want to check out the quirky Tong Tong packets which are too cute to be thrown away once the money inside is removed. Each packet has 10 envelopes with a set of stickers inside. They are actually too cute that I’m considering buying a set just to add to the limited edition Beijing Olympics set I got given in Hong Kong in 2008.

Chinese New Year is all about celebration, gathering and spreading the love and Tong Tong’s ‘Cultural Mosaic’ collection has definitely got this spirit. So whatever your background is, let this CNY be an occasion to celebrate the inspiring cultural mash up that is Singapore.

Happy Singaporean Chinese New Year everyone!

The SS13 'Cultural Mosaic' collection is available at Tong TongFriendship Store on 100 Beach Road, #01-04/05 Shaw Towers, Singapore.

This packet might just do the trick in improving my non-existent Mandarin :-(

Pink Ang Pows for girlfriends! Why not huh?

More packets and stickers. Each set has 10 envelopes with a set of stickers and retails
for S$13.9! Quite a bargain!!!

There is also a CNY book for sale...

Won't understand anything in it though... maybe in a few years I would ;-)