In the span of three short years, Kuala Lumpur-based fashion label Ghostboy has become a household name among the young fashionable set for its DIY-leaning, body-conscious and rave-appropriate designs. Another common thread that runs throughout its designs which may have found favour with its customer base: silhouettes that take after codes of traditional Chinese dressing. Some may say that the new-gen, weaned on nostalgia and enamoured with the performance of a qipao-clad Maggie Cheung in In The Mood For Love, could have contributed to Ghostboy’s appeal.
Comprising 19 pieces, this capsule line launched by Ghostboy for the Year of the Rabbit is the brand’s largest one to date.
David Han, the label’s co-founder explains how the brand (it’s stocked here at Spades and is also available from the brand’s e-site and in multi-label store Fifth in the Malaysian city of Petaling Jaya) distils elements of Chinese dressing by “distorting and modifying the traditional mandarin collars, adding tassels on curved hems, and making them in unconventional prints and colour combinations” for younger customers. He adds: “Most of all, they feel modern because of how sexy they are – think the low-back, high slit, the subtle show of underboob.”
Right now, the brand is channelling its signature aesthetic in a big way in time for the arrival of the Year of the Rabbit. It has launched its biggest Lunar New Year capsule to date with a 19-piece collection comprising qipao-inspired crop tops, brocade pants, mini dresses, and mandarin collar harnesses. “We’ve always had product releases for Chinese New Year, but this is the largest collection we’ve done so far with a proper campaign shoot and lookbook. It’s always been something Ghostboy had in plan and we finally have the capacity to do it this year,” says Han.
Besides apparel, there are also accessories in the capsule line. The bunny ear hoodie is part festive, part rave-ready.
For the outing, the brand collaborated with two Malaysian female creatives – artist Kexin Tan and tattoo artist Lulla Hew – to create prints that appear on qipao tops. The artworks are vibrant, whimsical and boast tongue-in-cheek references to the festive season. For instance, the Waterfall Midi Skirt features a print with motifs of flying storks and lilies that hark back to paintings often found in Chinese households. There is also the use of a Chinese slogan that literally translates to, “thank you to the person giving red packets”.
The sense of humour extends to the campaign images. Here, gaudy text in Mandarin script spells out “Good Morning”, and is the brand’s cheeky wink to the graphics that are often sent by senior members of family Whatsapp group chats. “Perfectly bad imagery (but) cordially good sentiment,” quips Han.
Scroll on for a look at the collection.