Enter the Dragon: Fashion Interprets the New Lunar Year

From clever interpretations of the mythical creature to shades of red that'll see wear outside of the festivities, here's how fashion brands are embracing the Year of the Dragon
Published: 8 January 2024
Kenzo souvenir jackets get emblazoned with the dragon for the Lunar New Year.

And just like that, the Christmas decorations have gone down and we're on our way to celebrate a new Lunar Year. It's a rather special one too—the Year of the Dragon is arguably the most celebrated of the 12 animals of the Chinese Zodiac. It may not have topped the mythological race that determined the order of the Lunar Calendar (that honour goes to the Rat, for the uninitiated) but the Dragon's powerful stature and connotations confer it the most favoured Zodiac.

It's a given then that the Year of the Dragon capsule collections this year have been amped up in line with the Dragon's popularity as well as its sought-after traits of power, nobility, success, and luck.

We can't guarantee that your year will be for the better wearing even just one of these new threads. But at the very least, you're taking some ownership of it and that's something even the most skeptic of persons could get behind.

The dragon that ate

Kenzo's capsule collection features motifs that you're already familiar with from the brand. The Kenzo tiger remains a key insignia that's apparent in the collection's ready-to-wear range, with a dragon motif making its appearance. On Kenzo bombers, souvenir jackets, hoodies and more, the dragon takes a figure-eight formation, while a more stylised interpretation is fitted onto back pockets of denims and a slew of lightweight jerseys and tracksuits.

The Kenzo Lunar New Year capsule is now available in Kenzo boutiques.

A new dawn

Newly crowned Bottega Veneta brand ambassador Shu Qi stars in The First Sunrise with You, a campaign short by director Jess Jing Zou. The film depicts scenes of Shu Qi and a host of other individuals—friends, romantic partners, and families—venturing out and watching the sun rise in anticipation of a new year. Accompanying them are a number of pieces specially crafted to the Year of the Dragon. The Orbit sneakers are rendered in new colours (including a rather soothing orange), a dragon motif is interwoven as part if the House's Intrecciato technique on a tote, and the beloved Jodie is trimmed with a handle inspired by a dragon's tail.

Meet Tanilla

Dior Men's version of the Dragon is perhaps the most adorable of the lot. In collaboration with Japanese artist Otani Workshop, Tanilla the green monster is the central character that's featured in a myriad of ways throughout the capsule collection. The dragon-like creature is prominent on a number of ready-to-wear pieces, including on the Dior Oblique in Lunar New Year appropriate burgundy and pink hues. Splashes of red run rampant throughout too—both as a nod to one of Monsieur Dior's favourite colours as well as the festivities.

The Dior & Otani Workshop capsule collection is now available in Dior Men boutiques and on dior.com.

Go for gold

Emporio Armani taps on its global ambassador Jackson Yee to be the face of its Year of the Dragon collection. The colour palette of the collection is kept relatively simple and wearable with black and red. The Emporio Armani logo is then paired with an embroidered dragon motif—both done largely in gold—to pile on the symbols of prosperity and fortune. Opt for just one single piece from the collection and you're good to go.

The right kind of red

Like many others in this edit, Polo Ralph Lauren's latest Lunar New Year collection sees its very own interpretation of the dragon. The brand takes a more traditional slant with a multicoloured version placed front and centre on clasic Polo Ralph Lauren staples. But what the brand captured exceptionally well is the shade of red—a tasteful hue that's not too bright and not too muted. It's beautifully executed on a reworked Oxford shirt decorated with frog fastenings, and even a classic jumper.

The Polo Ralph Lauren Lunar New Year collection is now available in stores and online.

Time-honoured craft

Trust Loewe to commission master craftsmen as part of its Lunar New Year capsule collection. Simply referred to as the Jade collection, master jade carvers Xiaojin Yin, Qijing Qiu, and Lei Cheng each created a series of five limited edition pendants mounted onto gold chains. In addition to the limited edition pieces, Loewe expands its Flamenco series with the Purse Mini bags in colours inspired by antique jade carvings, with each bag containing an attached ring of jade in its corresponding colour on the inside. Charms and key chains are also part of the mix—each combined with signature Loewe motifs.

The Loewe Jade collection is now available in boutiques and online.

A sophomore collaborative effort

MCM and BAPE® return for another capsule collection. This time, the BAPE® logo is entwined with a dragon and is featured on every piece in the collection, including a Visetos-decorated Shark hoodie. MCM's signature silhouettes the likes of its Backpack, Belt Bag, Crossbody, Boston and more, have been transformed even further with the inclusion of a transparent version of BAPE®'s camouflage pattern. This is definitely not a collection for anyone with minimalist leanings.

The MCM and BAPE® collaboration is now available in select MCM and BAPE® stores.

For good luck and prosperity

Burberry does things the Burberry way. Building on British wardrobe archetypes and Burberry signatures, its Lunar New Year collection refreshes classic checks and house motifs in vibrant hues of red. The seasonal rose motif is also seen in full bloom, perfectly matching new eyewear styles. And if you need a reference of how to pull off the collection's patterns, you'd only need to look to brand ambassador Chen Kun for inspiration.

The Burberry Lunar New Year collection is now available in boutiques and online.

Just the tip

The Moncler logo has been reimagined specifically for its latest Lunar New Year collection. The outline has been replaced with the head of a dragon. Three looks for men have been created for the collection, with quilting designed to resemble the scales of a dragon and body armour. So if you've already made plans for the last remnants of snow on the slopes or just a winter holiday over Lunar New Year, there's no better collection than this.

The Moncler Year of the Dragon collection is now available in select Moncler boutiques.

The mighty Dragonite

The OG dragon of the Pokémon series, Dragonite, together with its pre-evolutions take centrestage in a three-way collaboration with Fendi, Hiroshi Fujiwara's Fragment, and Pokémon. The collaboration goes as simple as a tee and hoodie printed with the charismatic dragon Pokémon to leather marquetry of Dratini and Dragonite on Mini Baguette and Baguette bags respectively. Galvanised brass jewellery combines the FF logo with Pokémon signatures such as a Poké Ball (that opens up to reveal the FF logo) as well as Dratini and Dragonair.

The Fendi x FRGMT x Pokémon collection is now available in select Fendi boutiques and online.

related posts