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Ong Shunmugam's cheongsam collection arrives just in time for Chinese New Year

One and done

Ong Shunmugam's cheongsam collection arrives just in time for Chinese New Year
The designer's cheongsam staples, updated in fresh colourways inspired by tropical fruits

There seems to be confusion as of late among international designers with regards to when cultural appropriation is okay. As members of a culture often serving as inspiration to the west, allow us to clear the air. Appropriation is appropriate when... 

(a) you belong in the culture you're appropriating; or
(b) your designs retain the cultural relevance of the appropriated; or
(c) the appropriation directly benefits the people from the appropriated culture.

Singaporean label Ong Shunmugam checks all of the above. Designer Priscilla Ong's 2018 cheongsam collection is prime example of modern interpretation of a age-old tradition that shines with each passing decade, particularly this time of the year.

The 12-piecer draws its theme from a jungle retreat Ong took last year in Seremban, Malaysia which she described as "everything I needed it to be — quiet, serene — I could hear myself think for once." Nestled in nature with a pen and paper in hand, Ong began to sketch what she would eventually dub 'The Dusun', the key designs of which is seen below. 

Shop the Cheongsam 2018 collection at the Ong Shunmugam boutique, at 43 Jalan Merah Saga.

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Text: Jolene Khor

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