Additional reporting by Pameyla Cambe
It has become a ritual for most fashion brands to start the year with a Lunar New Year drop. More often than not, these CNY fashion collections come in festive colourways like red, a traditional colour associated with good fortune, auspiciousness, and celebrations. Perhaps the most exciting part of all is seeing how designers look into traditional handcrafts like Loewe‘s limited edition jade pendants, which tap into the craft of ancient jade sculptures with an awe-inspiring collaboration with Chinese jade carvers.
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It’s also fascinating to see how brands would incorporate the zodiac of the year (in this case, the dragon) into the designs. In the rich tapestry of Chinese culture, this mystical creature holds a place of unparalleled significance, strength, and abundance. As the Lunar New Year beckons, here are some of the collections that we have our eyes (and angpow money) on, for either ‘fit pics or keepsakes.
Starring Burberry brand ambassadors Tang Wei and Cheng Kun, the London-based heritage brand rolls out a celebratory collection without steering away from its roots. British wardrobe archetypes such as the signature houndstooth print, trench coat and seasonal rose are reimagined in bright red colours emblazoned over a range of garments, shoes, and accessories.
Bottega Veneta debuts its Lunar New Year campaign featuring award-winning actress Shu Qi, who was recently appointed the brand ambassador. Titled “The First Sunrise with You,” the campaign highlights the sense of togetherness; a value that is hugely significant for the culture. The collection includes some of the house’s signature designs such as the Andiamo, Sardine, Orbit sneakers or custom Jodie, weaving the Intrecciato pattern with design elements like dragon-tail handles. It’s a great gift for those who are born in the year of Dragon or for keepsakes.
Together with their global ambassador Jackson Yee, Emporio Armani steps into the Year of the Dragon with a meticulously crafted collection that features intricately embroidered dragon motifs in gold outline and black, capturing the essence of prosperity and fortune. While the celebratory vermillion hue is a staple for the Lunar New Year celebration, the black, on the other hand, is a versatile addition to your wardrobe even after the festive season.
Red is no longer the sole colour for Lunar New Year. Denim, too, can be festive. As part of Miu Miu‘s Upcycled project, the brand unveiled a wide range of items including caps, trucker jackets, shorts, and also the house’s first-ever Upcycled handbags, made from leather remnants. While the ready-to-wear is ornated with embroidered flowers that draw inspiration from Miu Miu’s archives, the leather patchwork bags come in a cognac shade that will add a vintage hint to your look.
It’s the Lunar New Year, but make it cinematic. Prada’s unveils a campaign graced by Du Juan, a supermodel and actress who is currently making waves with her appearance in Blossoms Shanghai, a TV series directed by the cult-favourite Director Wong Kar Wai. Inspired by the arthouse cinematography, the Lunar New Year collection features a deep and nostalgic colour palette, spread over soft materials like ultra-light organza and wool. As for the bags, the lineup is just as luscious with the new Prada Buckle, Arqué, the Re-Nylon, and leather Re-Edition, all available in black, grey and beige hues.
Vivid and bold are words associated with Gucci and it never fails us. The collection of ready-to-wear, shoes and accessories features a harmonious blend between the house codes and the festive dragon motifs as seen on actress Tian Xiwei and actor Zhou Yiran. The stars of the collection have to be the uplifted Dionysus bag, one with chain straps and one with a top handle, in red of course. The flap bags are now adorned with red chain prints along the edges, along with intertwined dragons that depict the interlocking G logo, drawn on the back of the bags.
Ask anyone of the Chinese descent and they will tell you that dragon is one of the most, if not the most well-loved zodiac in the culture for its auspiciousness and imperial power. It’s safe to say, Nigo, the artistic director at Kenzo, understands the assignment. The collection features not just the dragon, but also the Tiger, who shares the same level of prowess in Chinese folklore—dragon on the left, tiger on the right, they say. To top it, the number eight is also printed all over the garments. With all the lucky charms, let’s talk about good fortune!
Maison Valentino is taking centre stage this season with its Chinese New Year Collection, especially since the colour red has been a forte and mainstay for the brand, namely the Rosso Valentino. Headlined by brand ambassadors Yang Yang and Yang Zi—both reputable actors, the collection is dipped in fiery red hues, showcased through monogrammed patterns and detailings like bows. Some of the house’s classics like Valentino Garavani VLogo Signature slingback, Garavani Locò mini bag, Garavani Locò bucket and Garavani VLogo Moon mini bag received a reiteration with the Rosso shade for a festive flair.
Moschino is no stranger when it comes to making fashion fun. For their Chinese New Year collection, the Italian fashion house tapped the twin dragons, Bub and Bob, from the globally renowned arcade game in the ’80s for a limited-edition capsule. From dresses and sweatshirts to bags and shoes, the adorable and nostalgic collection is not only versatile as they can be worn on any other occasion, but also for collectors who are fans of arcade games.
Through the colourful lens of designer Mira Mikati, Mulberry reveals a spirited collection for the celebration. With leather goods and ready-to-wear all painted in a vivid shades of of Azure, candy pink, acid yellow, and bright green, the collection will, without a doubt, add a splash of vibrancy to your wardrobe. The bright tassels, beaded and braided straps too, add an animated touch to the pieces.
Celebrating the Year of the Dragon with an edge, Tommy Hilfiger has collaborated with Hong Kong streetwear label Clot for its Lunar New Year collection. The Tommy x Clot collection combines elements of both American prep and Chinese youth culture. You’ll find sporty sweatshirts and reversible bomber jackets remixed with Eastern motifs, striking stripes and even Chinese button knots.
Roger Vivier knows the allure of a pair of red shoes. For the festive season, the French brand has unveiled a special edition of its elegant Babies Ballerinas in the prosperous hue, modelled here by brand ambassador Laurinda Ho. The patent leather shoes, which feature crystal Bouquet flowers along its straps, also come in a timeless beige colour.
Coach has teamed up with Beijing-based painter Lian Yang for its Year of the Dragon collection. Yang’s classical dragon illustration appears across T-shirts, bucket hats, and even Coach’s Bandit crossbody bag. But it really takes the spotlight on the limited-edition Micro Box Set, which contains miniature versions of your favourite Coach bags. There’s the Micro Studio and the Micro Trail Bag, both rendered in metallic leather. There’s also the Micro Tabby that comes in beige, and the deep red Micro Sammy Top Handle bag.
To celebrate with sophistication, look no further than the Tod’s 2024 Year of the Dragon collection. It features a line-up of shoes, leather charms and candles rendered in burgundy and cream white hues. The star piece is the limited-edition Tod’s Shopping Bag, which comes with a leather pouch featuring a very auspicious double dragon motif.
Giorgio Armani has tapped on its brand ambassador Hu Ge to showcase its Lunar New Year menswear offerings. The ready-to-wear pieces are marked by a special version of the Italian fashion brand’s logo, which is intertwined with a dragon motif. For womenswear, the nod to the festive season is much more subtle, with accents of red appearing across beige tops.
As this campaign with Chinese actor Song Weilong demonstrates, Emporio Armani’s Year of the Dragon collection features casual pieces that can be worn all year long. For women, there are jersey T-shirts, sweatshirts, jeans and sneakers that are embroidered or printed with a striking dragon illustration. If you’d rather do without the dragon, consider the Lunar New Year flared dress, which comes in a bold red shade and golden buttons on the front.
Kate Spade has unveiled some fun prints for its Lunar New Year ready-to-wear collection. The standout piece is the tie-neck dress, which features a babydoll silhouette and a pattern of brushstrokes and this year’s Chinese zodiac symbol. Pair it with the new Dakota shoulder bag, reimagined in gold metallic crinkled leather. For even more bling, consider Kate Spade’s Dazzling Dragon accessories, which are crafted from gold-plated metal and glass pearls.
The Furla Candy bags are back. In a campaign starring the Italian brand’s new ambassador Karry Wang, the mini bags are seen in an array of bright new hues inspired by orchids, including pink, yellow, blue and, of course, red. As a nod to the festive season, each Furla Candy bag comes with an adorable metal dragon pendant that you can select in store.
Max Mara swaps its signature camel for a gorgeous deep red across its Lunar New Year offerings. The colour is especially stunning on the the brand’s beloved coats, such as the Short Teddy Bear Icon Coat in alpaca and wool. If you’re looking for something lighter, check out the silk shirts and dresses, which are adorned with a beautiful floral pattern.
This story originally appeared on GRAZIA Malaysia