Ong Shunmugam Cheongsam 2017 collection
A maverick in the local landscape, designer Priscilla Shunmugam departed from the spring 2017 and fall 2016 calendar of Singapore Fashion Week this time around, and brought the buzz to yesterday's show schedule with Cheongsam — a coquettish take on the traditional qipao. A line originating from her yearly Chinese New Year (CNY) collections, Shunmugam shared, "If you think about CNY, it is after all a festival celebrating the arrival of spring in the Lunar calendar."
The collection: In quintessential Shunmugam DNA, the time-honoured garment — despite being cut from traditional textiles in auspicious Chinese colourways and Peranakan pastels — were treated to modern twists by way of cobweb hemlines, cold shoulder cut-outs and our favourite, mandarin collar tunics worn over bermudas. Given the restrictive nature of the cheongsam's figure-hugging silhouette, kudos to Shunmugam for taking into consideration the modern day woman's purposeful strides.
The accessories: Paired with each and every look were floral hand-painted Vans Authentic sneakers and floral hoop earrings laboured over by the designer and her team. While they were created just for the show and not for retail, you'll be glad to know that the Cheongsam 2017 collection is available for pre-orders now.
"I just want to keep challenging what we are doing. Persuading Asian women to keep experimenting along with us. The other thing we're experimenting with is making our own accessories for this collection. We're making our own earrings and shoes. Everything is handmade. We bought white plastic flowers and hoop earrings, and my team has been hand painting the flowers with colours of the collection and sticking it onto the earrings." - Priscilla Shunmugam
Why is it so important to you to use Asian textiles even after all these years of using them? Does it come from a personal place?
Not really, but it makes the most sense. After all, this is our playground. It's going to be far easier for us to gain access or understand the fabrics than it would be for foreigners. We're just playing with things that we are comfortable with. Firstly, it's practical. Secondly, we almost feel like it's our responsibility to give Asian fabrics a new lease of life. Typically, they've been used in rigid and set ways, and many times, their use has not been questioned — just followed. That's another aspect of the Asian philosophy and mindset I hope to change. I feel like we don't challenge or question enough. We just follow and do what we're told to do. I know that the work we do doesn't appeal to everybody and not everyone agrees with the approach we take, but I think that's a really good sign. It's becoming more and more clear what our purpose is as a brand.
What do you think that purpose is?
To challenge assumptions and stereotypes when it comes to Asian tradition and history by defining it in our own way, instead of waiting for someone else to do it.
Do you like the latest Ong Shunmugam Cheongsan 2017 Collection?
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