Sunday, 21 December 2014

Year of the Dragon

Dress*- Kaii Zhang
Feather boa- Charity shop- £3
Fluffy bag- Charity shop- £3
Fan earrings- Mum's
Heels- Clark's- £40

There's something intangible about Oriental fashion which beautifies the body. And no other garment quite encapsulates this effect better than the cheongsam with its bold prints, luxurious silk, and figure-hugging fit. 

As if the cheongsam's aesthetics were not reason enough to add one to your wardrobe, the Chinese dress also has a compelling history, with its origins in 1920's Shanghai. As a new generation of inspirational and convention-challenging women emerged, loose traditional dress no longer made the cut. The cheongsam, with its modern, form-fitting shape became the clothing of choice to reflect the zeitgeist of early 20th century China. 

I was approached by London-based oriental fashion brand, Kaii Zhang, after they stumbled upon a previous post where I'm sporting a cheongsam. Not unlike an excitable child in a sweet shop, I was allowed to pick out my favourite dress from their site, which blends oriental tradition with London edginess, and couldn't resist this statement-making yet incredibly flattering piece.

I styled this dress in a very 90's way (if I don't make some kind of sartorial reference to that decade in an outfit, there's something seriously wrong). Oriental fashion was a huge trend in the late 90s and early 00s; everyone from Kate Moss to the Spice Girls to the mini Olsen twins rocked dragon prints and chopsticks in spiky buns. Here's a delightfully nostalgic reminder in the form of a Buzzfeed article. (Note: the author calls the looks 'unforgivable moments', but I would quite happily don 90% of those outfits.) 

Due to all the pattern on the dress, I kept my accessories monochrome without sacrificing texture. Y'all know feathers, fluff and fuzz are kind of a big deal this season- and I've had my eye on a bag like the one featured for some time after being inspired by Cher Horowitz's 'You Don't Understand, This Is An Alaia' oufit. I bought the feather boa to sew onto the collar and sleeves of a sheer top, but I think it makes a sassy 90's throwback in its own right. I challenge you not to feel fabulous in a feather boa. 

How would you style the Oriental trend?

Alice x

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