Lux­ury of tra­di­tion

There will be a spe­cial fashion ex­trav­a­ganza ar­ranged for the First Ladies Sum­mit.

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - FASHION -

There will be a spe­cial fashion ex­trav­a­ganza ar­ranged for the First Ladies Sum­mit.

TRA­DI­TIONAL Malaysian hand-wo­ven songket, te­nun and block-printed batik are fashion marvels in their own right. These fabrics in­fuse her­itage el­e­ments into con­tem­po­rary styles and many Malaysian de­signs fea­tur­ing this unique lo­cal flavour have been show­cased on cat­walks across the world.

Some of our top de­sign­ers will put to­gether a col­lec­tion of their best East-meets-West styles for a spe­cial fashion show in con­junc­tion with the First Ladies Sum­mit, which will be held in Kuala Lumpur from Oct 11 to 13. More than 20 First Ladies from Africa, Asia, Europe and South Amer­ica are set to at­tend the Sum­mit along with their se­nior min­is­ters and govern­ment of­fi­cials. Af­ter three days of dis­cus­sions and shar­ing ses­sions, they will be treated to a Malaysiana-in­spired fashion ex­trav­a­ganza that takes its cue from our melt­ing pot of cul­tures.

Kraftan­gan Malaysia, the Malaysian Hand­i­craft Devel­op­ment Cor­po­ra­tion, will put to­gether a col­lec­tion by de­sign­ers Rodziah Md Yu­soff and Nazari Maarus.

Faced with the chal­lenge of hav­ing to con­vey the rich her­itage of the coun­try through con­tem­po­rary style, Rodziah takes the ad­ven­tur­ous route with grace­ful cuts, and a qui­etly el­e­gant mix of te­nun and songket to give a new twist to old world glam­our.

She says in­cor­po­rat­ing lo­cal fabrics into such styles not only adds a mod­ish touch to tra­di­tion, but en­sures that the ap­peal of lo­cal fabrics re­mains alive and rel­e­vant in the ev­er­chang­ing fashion world.

Her cre­ations for the show will in­clude glam­orous evening wear as well as “high tea for­mal wear”, all of which will dis­play the ideal for­mula of re­fine­ment com­bined with good con­struc­tion and fem­i­nine de­tails.

De­signer Nazari is a batik mae­stro who has worked with the Malaysian Craft Pro­mo­tion Cor­po­ra­tion for more than two decades. Among his early achieve­ments was bag­ging the top prize in the Batik 90s Fashion Com­pe­ti­tion by Batik Malaysia Limited (1990) and first place in the Young De­signer Fashion Con­test or­gan­ised by the Malaysian Of­fi­cial De­signer As­so­ci­a­tion in 1991. He was also the first run­ner-up in the Seri En­don Award in 2003.

His de­signs fea­ture con­tem­po­rary mo­tives and he uses mod­ern tech­niques to suit cur­rent fashion needs. His hand-painted magic on mod­ern silk and chif­fon styles have been show­cased on nu­mer­ous cat­walks across South-East Asia and in Paris, London and Los An­ge­les.

For the show, he will com­bine ro­man­tic op­u­lence and clever de­tail­ing on styles which work just as well for day or night wear.

Top Malaysian cou­turier Datuk Tom Abang Saufi is also set to high­light her trade­mark cre­ations that fuse eth­nic­ity with cur­rent trends. Her de­signs of­ten com­bine strik­ing colour with soft styling and clever lay­er­ing. She draws in­spi­ra­tion from a myr­iad of sources, es­pe­cially the rich cul­tural her­itage of her place of ori­gin, Sarawak.

“We had the tra­di­tional forms of de­signs and pat­terns from all the var­i­ous eth­nic com­mu­ni­ties, and at the same time, pop cul­ture from the United States and Bri­tain,’’ Tom says of her early fashion in­spi­ra­tion. “It was in­tox­i­cat­ing to dis­cover ways in which such seem­ingly dis­parate el­e­ments could be com­bined to cre­ate some­thing vi­brant and ex­cit­ingly new.”

And, it is these very prin­ci­ples of aes­thet­ics that she in­cor­po­rates into her thriv­ing busi­ness to­day. She seems to have found the per­fect for­mula in her fashion line, and her show­case for the Sum­mit will high­light her sig­na­ture pal­ette of dra­matic hues on flow­ing gowns, tops with but­ter­fly sleeves, sarongs and cock­tail party en­sem­bles.

De­signer Khadani, a coun­cil mem­ber of the World Batik Coun­cil and prin­ci­pal trainer of the Khadani Batik Academy, will also lend his spe­cial touch to the show with batik cre­ations that come in eye­catch­ing bold hues as well as more sub­dued earthy and pas­tel tones.

Also join­ing the foray are Malaysian de­sign­ers Calvin Thoo whose cre­ations have been fea­tured at KL Fashion Week, Malaysian In­ter­na­tional Fashion Week, and the re­cent Is­lamic Fashion Fes­ti­vals in Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta; and Shar­i­fah Ki­rana, who is best known for her ef­fort­lessly el­e­gant col­lec­tions that dis­play softly wa­tered and boldly tie-dyed silk, crepe and chif­fon, draped and lay­ered in de­lec­ta­ble colours.

De­sign by top Malaysian cou­turier Datuk Tom Abang Saufi. She is set to high­light her trade­mark cre­ations in the First Ladies Sum­mit 2010.

Rich her­itage: Kraftan­gan Malaysia, the Malaysian Hand­i­craft Devel­op­ment Cor­po­ra­tion, will put to­gether a col­lec­tion by de­sign­ers Nazari Maarus (his cre­ation, left) and Rodziah Md Yu­soff.

De­sign by Khadani. A mem­ber of the World Batik Coun­cil, Khadani will lend his spe­cial touch to the show.

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