Harper’s Bazaar (Malaysia) - - Editor’sletter -

Call it nou­veau rhetorics, but the hash­tag is the new ex­cla­ma­tion point—as you would say rain­bow is the new black. The af­fix makes even the most mun­dane word a power procla­ma­tion, unit­ing peo­ple with a sin­gle punc­tu­a­tion in the way #MeToo launched the for­mi­da­ble global mo­ment to­wards fe­male em­pow­er­ment. In a greater way, art and mu­sic have al­ways held that ab­stract power to bring peo­ple to­gether to­wards a com­mon cause; where paint­ings say a thou­sand words ... or even one mis­sive in a master­piece the likes of Guer­nica. We take this theme for this Power Art Is­sue, fea­tur­ing art­work and artists who em­ploy vis­ual im­pact to make pro­gres­sive state­ments on so­cial is­sues, pol­i­tics, and life. The gen­res are wide, from Frida Kahlo whose self-por­traits ar­tic­u­lated po­tent emo­tional dis­courses, to Yoko Ono’s avant-garde an­no­ta­tions, and present-time In­sta­gram artists who use tech­nol­ogy and con­nec­tiv­ity to am­plify their mis­sion. We also present Malaysia’s se­ri­ous art col­lec­tors, who for the first time share their trea­sured art­work in the man­ner of which they have been moved by their mes­sages, no hash­tags re­quired.

Fash­ion turns a new tide with this is­sue as we present the Pre-Fall col­lec­tions; no longer the pre­cur­sor to Au­tumn/Win­ter but a sem­i­nal sea­son in it­self. I had the chance of trav­el­ling to Ham­burg for the spec­tac­u­lar Chanel Métiers d’Art 2018 col­lec­tion last De­cem­ber, and ex­pe­ri­enc­ing the sea­far­ing city of bridges and canals, red brick build­ings, and the newly minted Elbphil­har­monie that in­spired and staged Karl Lager­feld’s stylis­tic trib­ute to his home­land. And then this sum­mer, I re­turned to take it all in again in a to­tally dif­fer­ent light. Back then the mys­ti­cal melan­cho­lia of win­ter ren­dered an ethe­real lu­mi­nos­ity to the col­lec­tion in situ; and see­ing it live in the ac­tual sea­son, on real peo­ple, all its pris­matic lav­ish­ness in the pre-au­tum­nal sun­light, was quite mag­i­cal. How mar­vel­lous to ex­pe­ri­ence this cre­ative jour­ney from the crafts­men to the cou­turier, and ul­ti­mately to when fash­ion comes re­ally alive, as Coco Chanel fa­mously said, “in the sky, on the streets ... the way we live.”

An­other craft that al­ways fas­ci­nates is hairstyling, the cre­ative dis­ci­pline where beauty, in­no­va­tion, and cre­ativ­ity fuse to pro­duce liv­ing art. For this year’s BAZAAR Hair Awards, we in­vited over 20 per­son­al­i­ties to re­view the ex­per­tise of Malaysia’s top hair­styl­ists, pro­fes­sional colourists, ad­vanced treat­ments, and qual­ity prod­ucts. The BAZAAR office and photo stu­dio in the last two months were quite a cir­cus of uni­corn hair, dar­ing cuts, beau­ti­ful tresses, and also some bad hair days (even mine!) ... I’m glad we’re done and now able to share with you the well-de­served win­ners so you too can ex­pe­ri­ence the best of the best, to turn your crown glo­ri­ous, or make it #state­ment.

Bag, Fendi

Brogues, Chanel

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