I had no expectation set upon attending Zakwan Anuar Fall/ Winter 2013 show last Wednesday. I came to support a former staff who is now working as part of the design team; and I was invited by Jiman Casablancas, a cool PR guy who I have known over the years through several exchanging of interesting conversations we had at parties and events around town. Hafidz enlightened me just before the show (through phone call as he was in Malacca at work) that his previous collection was all about houndstooth check and beautiful brocade incorporated into very clean shift dresses or offered as separates. How enticing!
I have never been to KLPAC. As a matter of fact, I have never been invited to any local designer show before. I was impressed at how the whole production was almost immaculately executed. From the seating layout, photographers’ pit to the music and lighting - they have got it covered pretty nicely. It was done in a closed space. While wandering around before the show started, I took notice they got all the right people to come and watch: from fashionable young’uns to the socialites, the PRs and the fashion press. I find it refreshing to note the fact that many other young fashion designers were also in attendance to support one another which is exactly what we direly need in reviving a bleak fashion design scene that once was in the city.
Let’s just skip the part where the show ran almost two hours late.
The lights dimmed. Then the show started.
A shirt top in Dartmouth green entered the runway. The fabric was crepe-like. A big black horizontal stripe splashed on the crepe top paired with contrarian white skirt. Zakwan took a bold move to send a winter coat down the runway. Although the tailoring looked rough, the chunky belt cuffed around the waist saved the whole look. Most of the pieces were unmistakably inspired from menswear with very loose-fit. The same first look was then offered in beautiful shade of Bordeaux.
Making beautiful dresses seems to be his forte. I really hope he sends out more of them in his next collection. The ecru leather top/ tangerine billowy dress is my favorite piece of them all. The top was nicely structured and the hemline of the skirt was spot-on trendy. The same skirt reappeared, this time as a separate worn with a bare-chested cardigan over a white shirt, redefining a modern career woman’s look in his own term.
Constructively speaking, it felt a bit of a letdown to see the absence of patterns or even the slightest hint of print at all being sent down the runway. The risky part of integrating only texture and color in your collection is that more attention is shifted on the cut and technique, and that is what evidently deficient in this collection, especially on the winter looks. Nevertheless, age seems to be on his side hence I am certain his craft will be more polished over the years.
Zakwan Anuar took his experimental hands and fearlessly delved into the menswear world by offering three looks to compliment the fifteen for women he created in this collection. The outcome was rather striking. Although I’d wished he’d be more liberal on the color palette, I enjoyed seeing the result of how everything was nicely put together. What I'd like to believe a dinner jacket in red wine received a hybrid treatment with leather pockets and the pants were all almost high-waisted with cropped hems which is aptly all the rage with KL social scene right now.
Models were sent out in a very slow pace, which almost killed off the momentum of otherwise a very good show. Perhaps due to the small collection, the sequence was decided that way to make the show appeared longer. As a whole, I enjoyed watching the display of his creativity and I would love to follow his next endeavours in this industry. Hopefully, he paved the way for other young talents to be bold and fearless, and more importantly, to have their creativity seen and voice be heard.
Words by Arman Shahril
Images by Zakwan Anuar team