The Year of the Rat can’t come to an end fast enough, and even though CNY visiting will look different as we usher in the Year of the Metal Ox, the dressing up nice-nice is still a mandatory CNY custom, even if the only people who will see your OOTD are your parents and your Instagram followers.
If you’re after something new, fresh and meaningful this year, here’s a new brand to bookmark — Dear Samfu. They launched amidst the pandemic last year with a small collection inspired by grandma’s samfu, which is a plain high-necked shirt and loose trousers, worn by Chinese women back in the day. The outfits are made from deadstock fabrics left over from manufacturers and mills, and the idea is to tackle overconsumption and get on the sustainability train while offering a sweet slice of nostalgia.
This year, they’ve launched their first cheongsam collection, called Dear Sister. Again, the story is sweet — it’s inspired by founder Trixie’s mother, who, like some of our parents and grandparents, only bought new clothes during Chinese New Year. These precious garments were then passed down to sisters and cousins, and became well-loved pieces imbued with meaning and memories. Dear Sister celebrates the joy of sisterly love, and the collection is made entirely of surplus fabric, paying homage to the tradition of hand-me-down clothing.