Sep 1, 2014

Merdeka Day like no other

When it comes to annual Merdeka (Independence) Day celebration I think I've seen it all - from the childhood/adolescent memory of attending the annual parade at Merdeka Square, watching Yasmin Ahmad's heart-wrenching Petronas merdeka adverts, to just lazing on the sofa listening to repetitive, pseudo-patriotic commentaries by TV presenters on TV1. But this time around there was something else in the book. I wasn't in Merdeka rut anymore, if you will.

The first activity we did on August 31st was attending Kuala Lumpur Vintage Festival. This three-day event ends today, and was held in Stadium Merdeka - the apt venue to celebrate the historic day, right at the place of the Declaration of Independence itself. As usual all things vintage, pre-loved and new are sold under the tents on the field. Scorching heat aside (it was midday and the sun was literally above our heads) I loved the diversity of things on sale that day. From the expected fashion-y stuff like shoes, accessories and clothes, to home decor and even custom made furniture!

Stadium Merdeka was historic in terms of not just the place where Tunku Abdul Rahman belted 'merdeka!', it was also the place of fight between Muhammad Ali and Joe Burgner in 1975. Michael Jackson also legendarily performed on stage and major football matches were all held here. Hence it's a shame to find out that there was actually a plan to demolish the historical stadium to give way to development in late 1990's! When I say development, they mean another potentially hideous looking retail/office building. Luckily due to public outcry, and because of the Asian financial crisis, the plan was scrapped off and what we see today is an almost original look of the stadium from 1957. Details like original tiles were sourced to preserve the design authenticity (I'm no genius to find out all the facts, therefore thanks BFM 89.9 for the excellent interview on the stadium, which I co-incidentally listened to en route to this event). Having said that, the place is design heaven for me - I'd fantasise that with 'proper' design upgrade (e.g. keep the original metal works and lights, remove the sloppy gigantic collage), the lobby/lounge are could even be a hangout spot for the public with perhaps a permanent cafe/installation space in tow.

We enjoyed guava lemonade and a light snack prior to the vintage treasure hunt.

An array of vintage vehicles on display

Not really selling neonatal-appropriate wear

Kitschy, quirky items are a must at booths like this.

Sangheeta trying a hair net-esque knitwear. Considering that she works in Anaesthesiology (aka doktor bius) this will be so chic for an OT scrub cap as well LOL!

Wood print art by Ipoh Wood Art. This business could potentially have a large following due to its simplicity and affordability - it's basically prints on plywood and the design possibility is endless. A poster frame ranges from RM 12 upwards.

Shoes shoes shoes. You can never have too many shoes (says a shopaholic in denial). At first I was quite disappointed to see the usual Converse/Nike/Adidas trainers galore, but upon further perusal I stumbled upon Modern Flashback Vintage booth. Lo and behold, mint Prada slingbacks at RM80 per pair, Miu Miu with intact details -- err, those are all women's, unfortunately -- I wished they stock interesting Prada design for men as well. But I'm still a happy camper bagging two pairs of almost-pristine, made-in-England shoes at a great bargain. (Personally I don't see a good pair of pre-worn leather shoes below RM100 mark these days, so you can imagine how happy I was at that time!).

Meow meow goodness with glistening details

Some of the vendors went all out when it comes to displaying the objects of their trade. Consider their targets achieved as all these curious things managed to lure visual-hungry visitors like me to peruse or even purchase a knick knack or two along the way...

An abundance of MCM bags sold with quite a hefty price tag. Not sure whether they're authentic or high-grade replicas.

Besides that there are booths selling hand-crafted furniture at reasonable price. So inspired by these raw finishes by The Wooden Stack & Co.

There's a high chance you could find some smart signage/typography goodness for your visual feast at events like KLVF:

Back issues of American super heroes (oh the memories of hoarding RM2 comic books at then KL Plaza gushing in), 90's Malay movies (the actors are much better looking back then don't you agree?)

Trying on shades for shits and giggles - the cat-eye pair looks cool but naturally the temples don't fit me :(

This highly-embellished, faux punk, but smart nevertheless, biker jacket is not on sale. TOO BAD it isn't. Just look at the beautiful details!

The people and atmosphere is full with camaraderie and happiness (I guess partly due to the patriotic Merdeka songs blasting on the speakers). So good to see Malaysians and foreigners mingling around during this event. And kudos to the girl braving the 35-37 degree Celsius heat in a parka, no less.
Chilling out before we hopped into the car towards the next venue.

...To be continued... 

Hafidzudin Zainal

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