Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Auspiciously Red ...

Come Sunday and the Chinese community worldwide will be ushering the Chinese New Year which marks the new start of the Lunar Calendar. Living in Malaysia, Chinese New Year is not just a one-race affair but its is celebrated multi-racially.

On the eve of Chinese New Year, families will dine together and have sumptuous meal of Yee Sang and anything that you can only savor just once in a year. For the young and single, Ang Pows or red packets containing money, is a must and if you are over 30, expect your aunties and uncles to prompt this question - when are you getting married?

Three out of many main things that will complete your Chinese New Year celebration are Mandarin oranges, fresh yellow chrysanthemums and the color red. Why red? According to the Chinese tradition and belief, red symbolizes auspicious, prosperity and happiness. That is why houses are decorated in feisty red during the Lunar New Year celebration. Red also scares the evil spirit away and bad fortune from the house.

With only a few days left, I bet there are still some of you who haven't done your Chinese New Year shopping yet, right? Well, if you need ideas on how to doll yourself up then here's some of my favorite pick for the Lunar New Year, all in red.

The Outfit - Paul and Joe Ming Floral Print Dress

Last Fall, Roberto Cavalli came out with an inspiring Ming-vase theme evening dress in satin silk that took the fashion world by storm. This year, Frida Gianninni of Gucci is using the same recipe by featuring a combination of Victo
rian and Oriental-inspired floral prints on the Spring/Summer and Cruise collection.

Be it paisley or beds of roses, floral prints is one of the key trends for this season and the Ming influences on this dress by Paul and Joe combined with the western l
arge frilled-collar details unleashes the fusion spirit in you. I bet the Ming print will deter grandma from frowning too much over the hem!

The short-sleeved red-vanilla dress comes with a drop waist, a self-tie belt at waist that falls over the knees and tie detail shoulders.

The Shoes - Pedro Garcia satin pumps

Pumps can be as sexy as stilettos and back in the 80's, pumps are de rigeur for every discerning fashionistas. Last season, Gucci metallic pumps in metallic red and gold, which were created as a part of Gucci's Fall/Winter 2006-07 collection, recei
ved a tremendous response from fashion lovers worldwide.

Pedro Garcia is a new name in shoe making and his shoes have gained attention from stylists to the stars, fashion editors and celebrities alike. The round toe pumps is approximately standing at 110mm high with a 10mm platform.

It has fray
ed trim and satin heel which looks perfect for both day and nightwear. Put them on and match them with your red Cheongsam before attending family reunion dinner. You may awe all the single Chinese (or even non-Chinese) man at the next table.

The Bag - Mulberry Emmy Leather Bag

Who can ever forget the Bayswater or Roxanne, two out of numerous "It" bags designed by British leather good maker Mulberry that are coveted by every fashion-forward and conscious ladies around the globe that a waiting list needs to be carried out to cater the increasing demands.

For this prosperous New Year, Mulberry presents you the Emmy bag. A favorite with most fashion editors (including the one at Net-a-Porter), this bag is what you need to accompany your look while hopping from one relative home to another. This bag too is just perfect for storing those luscious red packets that contains tens of RM100.00 notes, given to you by your endlessly-fretting aunties who wished for a 10-course dinner meal (a.k.a. one grand Chinese wedding) for the last 10 years since you first started your career.

Made from supple leather, the east west bag comes with pale leather trim finish and brass hardware. If red is not your color, then there's one in cognac. To get one, visit Mulberry boutique at Starhill Gallery.

The Finishing Touch - Julie Sandlau Onyx Horn Pendant

If you want to escape those heavy auntie gold necklaces and jade bangles handed down to you from your mother and grandmother then this magnificent Onyx horn pendant by jewelry designer Julie Sandlau might be the right thing to add the finishing touch to your look.

It's gleaming chili red color is enough to evoke your desire and can be worn for both night and day occasion. It may look like a devillish chili dangling on your neck but who cares. After all, onyx is the next best thing to substitute diamonds and jade.

The necklace can be complemented with a pair of red onyx droplet earrings and bangle, also by Julie Sandlau.

There you go, my top picks for dressing up this Chinese New Year. Should you be interested in the items featured here, log on to, the ultimate online fashion emporium where all your designer craves and wants will be satisfied.

Therefore, I would like to wish my Chinese readers Happy Chinese New Year and may you have a prosperous and auspicious New Year.

*Photos courtesy of and Tourism Malaysia.

Mulberry - Indulge Floor, Starhill Gallery, Jalan Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur.

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