Monday, 8 February 2016

Seeing Red – The Red Qipao

So hard to take a picture without the dress creasing!
Gong Xi Fa Cai to everyone!  Nothing is more fitting for Chinese New Year than the colour red and a qipao (or cheongsam).  Many moons ago, I dreamed of owning a qipao.  It might have been because of Wong Kar Wai’s movie “In the Mood for Love”, starring the most beautiful qipaos.  There was nothing in the department stores that appealed to me, though.  I tried on a few but most of them made me look like I was the handmaiden to a rich young lady in a TVB period drama.  You know what I mean. 

The beautiful lustre of silk
One lucky day, I went to Shanghai Tang in Pavilion to have a look at their closing down sale.  I love a good sale but I tend to have mixed feelings about closing down sales.  If the brand has good things then I’m sad that it’s closing down.  If the brand has not-so-good things, then I get annoyed and think that they deserve to close down. 

I have always loved Shanghai Tang’s exotic, dreamy, very Oriental aesthetic.  I even love the music they play in-store and the fitting rooms.  I found some qipao, mini qipao and various jackets, all made of the loveliest silk.  The reduced prices were still too expensive for me so I asked when their last business day was, and left empty-handed. 

Two weeks later, I returned to the store, hoping to score a final bargain before they officially closed.  I was ecstatic to discover that everything had been marked down to 80% off!  Most of the qipao left were in red.  The black ones had mostly sold out.  That didn’t bother me as I preferred a red qipao, anyway.  It would be easier to wear on occasions without offending superstitious Chinese who don’t like seeing black on auspicious days like Chinese New Year or weddings.  

A clearer view of the patterned silk
I bought this “Double Fish” qipao for a grand total of MYR260.  I couldn’t believe my luck!  It is even lined in silk.  I admire Shanghai Tang’s attention to detail.  If you look closely, you will see that the patterns at the darts are perfectly matched.  However, I must say that the cut is better suited for tall, willowy figures with narrow hips.  It is quite snug for me around the hips and slightly too long as well.  I have no complaints, however.  In fact, buying this qipao at such a deep discount has completely spoiled me.  I can’t help but look at the qipaos in the department stores in disdain!  Sigh.  It has also led to a lot of intensive Googling to find Shanghai Tang qipaos on ebay and researching their outlets in Hong Kong. 

Anyway, a very happy and prosperous Year of the Monkey to you and may we all find the qipao of our dreams!  

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