Together with a local wedding dress designer O M Couture, we created a collection of qipao wedding dresses that is based on the traditional Chinese dress. Known as Cheongsam in Cantonese or Qipao in Mandarin, this is the signature Chinese dress. Our purpose is to create gowns that incorporate the traditional elements of the dress while giving it a dreamy modern flair.
Named “The Kin Collection”, this is the story of immigrants. We have named it “The Kin Collection” because no matter where one is, there is always that longing for immigrants for those in their homeland and the importance of family and close ties.
As Chinese immigrants, it breaks our heart to see how there have been so many senseless attacks and violence to the community. But despite these attacks, so many have stood with us to fight against the hate and also to stand up for who we are. We are immigrants and we are proud of our heritage. So we wanted to bring our traditions and heritage into wedding celebrations in a beautiful way.
In this collection, all 3 are designed for the bride to wear as their main wedding dress to honour the Chinese heritage, but can also be worn for the traditional Chinese wedding tea ceremony or as a reception dress. Each gown represents a special characteristic that we believe immigrants carry with them. Each of them has a special meaning and is important as they navigate through this new country to create a new life for themselves and their families. This is a story of all immigrants, where they are looking for a new start to their life, full of hope and dreams.
The first one is named Reminiscence for the recollection of happy memories that immigrants bring with them no matter where they go. The beautiful memories that bring them back to their home and allows them to remember where they are from. This pale pink qipao is the closest to the traditional design of the 3 dresses. With a sheer lace overlay and a touch of sparkle from the beautiful embellishments, this dress has the silhouette of a typical qipao while staying modern. For a modern spin on this, we have chosen it in a pale pink with the focus on the delicate details of the dress.
Armed with plenty of happy memories that help in difficult times, something else is also needed as the immigrants journey and adapt to the new environment; Valour. Throughout the years, we have seen how many immigrants overcome difficulties and demonstrate how courageous they are as they learn and grow in the new country. Being courageous doesn’t always mean just being strong. Sometimes it’s being able to be kind, gentle, and persevering when it seems difficult. So for the second dress, Valour, we wanted it to be a balance of strength and delicateness. Using a dusty purple, we wanted to convey the sense of boldness and confidence. For a softer and feminine style, we went with a long train and delicate sheer top with detailed floral embroidery.
Rounding out the 3 gowns, and also the 3rd characteristic, is Hope. For every immigrant, they are moving to a new place with the hope of a better future and a dream they want to achieve. We want to express this sense of hopefulness and also the freedom of running towards their goal, so this dress colour is designed in an off white colour with touches of pink and purples in the lace embroidery. It is similar to Valour, but with the change in colour, it exudes a different emotion and style. It is the perfect wedding dress for the bride who wants something different but still has a modern and romantic style.
Sometimes with traditional elements, it may not be easy to include when there is a particular style that a bride is striving for. But there are many ways to keep the traditions, for example the wedding tea ceremony, while fitting them into a more modern design. We hope that with this collection, more Chinese brides will be able to incorporate their heritage into their wedding.
Sometimes hiding and assimilating to the country’s culture is easier and almost necessary to be successful. But may the beautiful traditions and heritage never be hidden nor forgotten. They are to be remembered, to give us courage, and urge us to continue to dream and run after our goals.
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