Per­sonal Style: Alia Bas­ta­mam

The founder and de­signer of her epony­mous fash­ion la­bel gets can­did about her style ethos, wom­an­hood, and the sig­nif­i­cance of breast can­cer aware­ness ini­tia­tives.

Harper’s Bazaar (Malaysia) - - Contents - By Mughni Che Din.

We’re on set with Alia Bas­ta­mam, and I’m fluff­ing her sheer cobalt-blue polka-dot kaf­tan dress as the pho­tog­ra­pher works on cap­tur­ing the per­fect mo­ment. We chat in be­tween takes and the con­ver­sa­tion grad­u­ally shifts from styling anec­dotes to the im­por­tance of women em­pow­er­ing one an­other, be­fore even­tu­ally delv­ing into her ac­tive in­volve­ment dur­ing Breast Can­cer Aware­ness Month. Through­out the years, Alia has been a stead­fast sup­porter of the Harper’s BAZAAR Pink Project, and is of­ten vo­cal about the cause. “Cre­at­ing aware­ness for breast can­cer is so im­por­tant for women to­day, and for young ladies to take pre­cau­tion­ary mea­sures. My sup­port for this project is im­per­a­tive,” says Alia, be­fore re­veal­ing, “One of our dear friends lost her bat­tle to breast can­cer this year. Be­fore she passed, she re­leased a se­ries of T-shirts with The God­moth­ers, and one of them was the Tit Wink. We knew im­me­di­ately that we had to do some­thing dif­fer­ent this year as a spe­cial homage to her.”

When Alia first in­tro­duced her Tit Wink de­signs as part of her Alia B. Re­sort ’19 col­lec­tion in a mov­ing trib­ute dur­ing Kuala Lumpur Fash­ion Week RTW 2018, it came in a se­ries of T-shirts and sweat­shirts. To el­e­vate the de­sign fur­ther for Harper’s BAZAAR Pink Project 2018, the Tit Wink is now han­dem­bel­lished onto a crisp white men’s shirt, which Alia proudly styles half­tucked into a black pair of skinny jeans, topped off with state­ment ear­rings, af­ter a quick wardrobe change.

Speak­ing about the cam­paign, Alia says it goes be­yond merely cre­at­ing aware­ness. “Most im­por­tantly, the shirt— or any mer­chan­dise of your choice— hon­ours women who have suc­cess­fully beaten the disease, those who are cur­rently bat­tling it, and those who we have lost their lives to it. At the same time, it’s a cel­e­bra­tion of wom­an­hood and lov­ing your­self. That’s what I love most about the Pink Project.”

When she’s not work­ing on her col­lab­o­ra­tions, Alia is de­sign­ing for her epony­mous la­bel—which, now in its sev­enth year, has since branched out to four main col­lec­tions: high-end ready-to-wear, be­spoke bridal­wear, made-to-mea­sure de­signs, and a sec­ondary ready-to-wear for ev­ery­day essen­tials. Sen­sual, el­e­gant, and time­less, her de­signs have been spot­ted on tastemak­ers that make the Malaysian fash­ion so­ciété, but at the end of the day, her de­sign ethos is ul­ti­mately a re­flec­tion of her­self. “I started to sub­con­sciously zoom into my per­sonal style and fine-tune it when I started my la­bel,” ex­plains Alia. “My per­sonal style af­fects how I dress and vice versa. I would not de­sign some­thing that I wouldn’t wear.”

For Alia, that means ease and com­fort. “If you are not com­fort­able in what you are wear­ing, no mat­ter how amaz­ing the pieces are, it will show, and it will take a toll on your con­fi­dence and in the way you walk,” she says, while grac­ing the set in a boudoir chic en­sem­ble: printed silk ki­mono top with match­ing skirt—from Alia Bas­ta­mam, of course—and paired with white Vete­ments pumps. That be­ing said, the de­signer also believes that style is about keep­ing an open mind. “I re­mem­bered a time when I couldn’t wear sneak­ers. Now, it’s all I wear on the daily.” Alia Bas­ta­mam’s Tit Wink de­sign for Harper’s BAZAAR Pink Project 2018 is avail­able at ShoesShoesShoes stores na­tion­wide and www.shoesshoesshoes.com.my

“It’s a cel­e­bra­tion of wom­an­hood and lov­ing your­self. That’s what I love most about the Pink Project.” – Alia Bas­ta­mam

Alia Bas­ta­mam rocks her Tit Wink shirt, de­signed in mem­ory of a friend who bat­tled breast can­cer

Breezy and beau­ti­ful in a sheer polka-dot dress and state­ment ear­rings

Chan­nelling boudoir chic in a cus­tom Alia Bas­ta­mam ki­mono top and skirt

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