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The Qipao As Interpreted by Innovative Filipino Designers: EDWIN AO

The Qipao, an iconic symbol of Chinese fashion, takes center stage as we celebrate the Lunar New Year of the Wood Dragon. This singular closely-fitted garment crafted from the most opulent silks originated in 1920’s Shanghai. ZEE fashion editor Oj Hofer, has sought the creative insights of some of the Philippines’ most innovative designers for their interpretation of the elegant Qipao, also known as Cheongsam.

Edwin Ao’s design is characterized by a deliberate departure from traditional norms and a creative reinterpretation of established designs. His unconventional take on the Qipao, with its reversed opening and additional Chinese button closures, challenges and subvert conventional fashion rules. This choice not only showcases a rebellious spirit but also adds a unique and personalized touch to the traditional garment. Edwin’s reference to Wong Kar Wai’s film “In the Mood for Love” indicates his connection to cinematic aesthetics and storytelling in fashion.

By reimagining the cheongsams worn by the leading character in the movie, he infuses his designs with a sense of nostalgia, romance, and cultural significance associated with the film. His qipao design carries the cinematic influences of Wong Kar Wai’s visually stunning and emotionally evocative film. “ The skirt is inspired by wind ventilators. It is made of luxurious Erawan silk produced in limited quantity only at Kohn Kaen. The heavy weight Thai silk is perfect for the skirt’s structure.”

The wind ventilator skirt’s vertical flaps add an element of avant-garde and innovation to the design. This choice not only defies traditional expectations but also introduces a dynamic and visually intriguing element to the Edwin’s Chinese New Year offering.

Fashion

The Qipao As Interpreted by Innovative Filipino Designers: PHILIP RODRIGUEZ

The Qipao, an iconic symbol of Chinese fashion, takes center stage as we celebrate the Lunar New Year of the Wood Dragon. This singular closely-fitted garment crafted from the most opulent silks originated in 1920’s Shanghai. ZEE fashion editor Oj Hofer, has sought the creative insights of some of the Philippines’ most innovative designers for their interpretation of the elegant Qipao, also known as Cheongsam.

Cebu’s esteemed designer, Philip Rodriguez, pays homage to imperial attire with this stunning yellow silk brocade qipao. While adhering to the traditional cheongsam silhouette, Rodriguez infuses a touch of sensuality by incorporating see-through silk tulle panels along the waistline. Known for his timeless designs and culturally respectful creations, Rodriguez’s attention to detail is unparalleled. His embellishments are intricate and exquisite, showcasing impeccable taste and luxurious design without veering into ostentation. Take, for instance, his cheongsam for the Year of the Dragon. While it may seem daring compared to traditional sensibilities, Rodriguez maintains elegance by delicately veiling the wearer’s skin with sheer tulle on the cutout side panels. The front slit of the dress is cautiously calculated to strike the perfect balance between modesty and allure “I design for women who possess sophistication beyond their years, “ Philip emphasizes. “My clothes are crafted to evoke a sense of beauty and allure, leaving her feeling exquisite and confident.” As a seasoned designer, Rodriguez consistently achieves harmony in his designs. His qipao for 2024 seamlessly blends elements of royalty and sensuality, luxury and practicality, reflecting his mastery of the craft and his ability to create pieces that are truly elegant and well-balance.

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The Qipao As Interpreted by Innovative Filipino Designers: JC BUENDIA

The Qipao, an iconic symbol of Chinese fashion, takes center stage as we celebrate the Lunar New Year of the Wood Dragon. This singular closely-fitted garment crafted from the most opulent silks originated in 1920’s Shanghai. ZEE fashion editor Oj Hofer, has sought the creative insights of some of the Philippines’ most innovative designers for their interpretation of the elegant Qipao, also known as Cheongsam.

JC Buendia, celebrated for his ability to tell a million style stories through minimalist details, is a master of clean, chic lines in fashion. Eschewing frivolity and nonsensical embellishments, every element of his designs contributes to their overall elegance.

Inspired by cinematic portrayals of Chinoiserie, Buendia’s first fascination with the Qipao began with Gloria Romero’s iconic portrayal of a Chinese princess disguised as a ‘sampan’ girl in the 1957 film “Hong Kong Holiday.”

“This admiration for orientalalia only deepened as I watched films like “The Last Emperor” and “In The Mood For Love,” JC recalls.

Buendia’s latest creation is a testament to this cinematic influence. His interpretation of the Qipao for the Year of the Wood Dragon features a cropped top crafted from silk Dupioni, embellished with diamond brooches on the reverse closure for a touch of glamour. Paired with a tea-length bouffant skirt made from frothy layers of delicate tulle, the ensemble exudes sophistication and timeless elegance.

With meticulous attention to detail and a keen eye for design, JC Buendia’s Qipao captures the essence of cinematic glamour while offering a contemporary twist on a classic silhouette. It’s a tribute to the enduring allure of Chinoiserie and the timeless beauty of the Cheongsam.

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The Qipao As Interpreted by Innovative Filipino Designers: PROTACIO EMPACES

The Qipao, an iconic symbol of Chinese fashion, takes center stage as we celebrate the Lunar New Year of the Wood Dragon. This singular closely-fitted garment crafted from the most opulent silks originated in 1920’s Shanghai. ZEE fashion editor Oj Hofer, has sought the creative insights of some of the Philippines’ most innovative designers for their interpretation of the elegant Qipao, also known as Cheongsam.

Protacio Empaces is renowned for his talent in reinventing historical silhouettes into stylish statements perfect for modern women’s lifestyles. His reinterpretations present wearable, contemporary, and highly coveted fashion pieces. The distinct embroidery he incorporates adds an extra touch of charm to his creations. Take, for instance, his cheongsam adorned with delicately hand-embroidered macro daisies and trapunto leaves. “I imagined a vibrant qipao inspired by tropical aesthetics, tailored for chic city living in ASEAN mega-cities. I’m using cotton pique for its structure and infusing it with lively colours to retain a stylish, sensual silhouette,” explains Protacio. His knee-length qipao captures the timeless sophistication seen in Maggie Cheong’s iconic look in the classic film “In the Mood for Love.” Crafted for the Year of the Dragon, this design seamlessly complements the film’s aesthetic, presenting a potential addition to the character’s wardrobe. Seasoned designer Protacio’s creations speak to women aged 30 to 80. His intial Qipao offering for 2024 combines modern elegance with classic charm that resonates with these women’s sophisticated tastes and vibrant lifestyles.

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