Tag Archives: Asian

Dragon Ladies at Trashy Diva

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

Yes, I know I just posted about Trashy Diva last month, BUT YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND – they have just outdone themselves, following up their perfect-for-early-fall plaids with a collection of insanely elegant, whimsical, and ultimately flattering dresses that will work year round and make you the sassiest attendee of any soiree you may attend. It deserves a fashion standing ovation – let’s take this Asian-inspired collection dress by dress, because I can’t narrow it down.

The Dragon Lilian dress is just fab – if you’ve always wanted a cheongsam, but didn’t quite fit into the shape of that dress, I can already see that this dress is more forgiving and flattering. The skirt looks straight, but there are tucks that give the skirt more room and forgiveness for the posterior and hips. The awesome potential is off the charts.

I might die if I don’t own the Peacock Lillian dress, so I’ve already pre-ordered it to save myself from annihilation. I have been looking for a vintage dress similar to this for about a year now – something a little cocktail, a little sparkle, and elegant for gigs, but something I could still wear dancing if I needed to swing out. Blues, greens, gold, *drool*…SO HAPPY!

With “the bodice and sleeves…modeled after a 1937 vintage pattern,” the two tone Frenchie Dress is adorable, sexy, eye-catching, and actually looks really comfortable. Not to be overlooked are the wonderful vintage-inspired frog closures at the waist. The overall effect is slimming, with red drawing your eye in and the black slimming you from the sides.

The Soutache Sandy dress is, obviously, ornamented with lovely soutache embroidery. I am excited to see this detail limited to the waist, as it usually ornaments shoulders or a neckline and is sometimes used a bit too liberally. It makes a lovely focal point on the bodice of this flattering silhouette.

Last, but certainly not least, is the surprise dress of the collection – the Sadie Bustle dress. Yes, the heart pockets (!!!) are adorable on the front, but then you turn around and BOOM, there is a red cascade of ruffles, skyrocketing the sass levels into the stratosphere.

I think one of the Trashy Diva employees who posted on Facebook said it best about this collection: “I’m so excited it’s like Christmas! And I work here, heehee!” If the employees are that excited, you know it’s good!

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Asian Print and Peplum

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

I am still on a peplum kick and fell in love with this 1940’s Asian novelty print dress with a lovely peplum. The combination of the cheerful color, the shape, that amazing cutout at the neckline, and this whimsical Asian print featuring little boats makes this dress. The only drawback is that this dress is from a NYC seller, which means it has a NYC price tag. Still…pretty fabulous. Perhaps a tongue-in-cheek wardrobe selection for the upcoming Eastern Balboa Championships?

This print is just adorable!

Cheongsam

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

After finding this gorgeous dress on eBay, I was inspired to post about cheongsam (plural cheongsams?). I have loved these sexy Asian dresses since I saw the opening sequence of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom as a kid. Also known as “qipao” in Mandarin, the cheongsam has a long history that overlaps with the jazz age and swing era.

According to Wikipedia, the original qipao was wide and loose, and meant to cover a woman’s shape, but “the modern version, which is now recognized popularly in China as the “standard” qipao, was first developed in Shanghai in the 1920s, partly under the influence of Beijing styles. People eagerly sought a more modernized style of dress and transformed the old qipao to suit their tastes…it was high-class courtesans and celebrities in the city that would make these redesigned tight fitting qipao popular at that time. In Shanghai it was first known as zansae or “long dress” (長衫 – Mandarin Chinese: chángshān, Shanghainese: zansae, Cantonese: chèuhngsāam), and it is this name that survives in English as the “cheongsam”…as Western fashions changed, the basic cheongsam design changed too, introducing high-necked sleeveless dresses, bell-like sleeves, and the black lace frothing at the hem of a ball gown. By the 1940s, cheongsam came in a wide variety of fabrics with an equal variety of accessories.”

Case in point, the amazing 1940’s cheongsam pictured at above/right, with a gorgeous silk pattern, double piped seam along the neck with fantastic toggles going all the way down the side of the dress. While the trend originated in China, this dress was made in Japan. I also see that the bust/waist/hip ratio on this dress is a little more forgiving than the versions sold today, which leave little room in the hips. Someone buy this dress because you will look so elegant in it!

If you’d like a new cheongsam, there are multitudes of them on eBay and other internet retail sites, some as cheap as $10.00. When I had to come up with an inexpensive costume for The Carolina Fascinators, I remembered that I’d been wanting one of these dresses and how they came in an array of colors, sizes, and prices on eBay. These dresses are not made of silk, obviously, but if we are going to sweat in them, perhaps a cheap dress isn’t such a bad idea. These dresses are visually stunning, in great colors and prints, and come in a variety of styles (sleeves, sleeveless, knee length, calve length, halter, etc.).

There are a few drawbacks that we discovered – they are cheaply made and we had to sew the snaps back on, reinforce the toggles, and if you don’t get the right size you may split a seam while dancing. Those slits are there so you can move, because this is supposed to be a form fitting dress. The cut on these dresses was not conducive to any of our shapes – narrow hips meant ordering a size that fit the hips and all of us had to have them tailored to take them in at the waist, or bust, or both. However, it was worth the tailoring and mending because the dresses looked amazing in the end.

Also, don’t get hung up on the size labels. This girl needed an XXL for the hips. Those of you that know me know that the booty is not THAT big. Buy the size you need, based on the size charts provided.

I’ll leave you with a video clip of my initial inspiration. As an FYI, if you want Kate Capshaw’s sequin cheongsam, Sequin Queen will make you one for $250.00. 😉

Parasols

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

With this summer’s record-breaking temperatures, it becomes even more necessary to either take cover or create your own cover at outdoor events. In between dances, I like to hide under my inexpensive, Asian-inspired parasol, which does more for keeping you cool and protecting you from the sun than you would think. It’s no substitute for a good sunscreen or an AC unit, but it does create shade and adds instant beauty to your mise-en-scène, without breaking the bank. Here are some lovely parasols to keep you made in the shade this summer:

Dragon and Phoenix paper parasol on eBay

Blue and white parasol on eBay

Pink, silver, and gold star parasol on Etsy

Purple Battenburg lace parasol on eBay - comes in many other solid colors, as well as solid with white panels

Japanese paper parasol on eBay

Flower shaped cherry blossom parasol from AsianIdeas.com

Red spiral paper parasol from AsianIdeas.com

Elephant parade parasol from AsianIdeas.com

Peacock parasol from AsianIdeas.com