Zalora once again releases their much anticipated Raya collection with four emerging Malaysian designers. It's good to know that collaborations with giant online fashion retailers like Zalora shed much needed light on the creatives - meaning more exposure, a chance to be a household name (like Rizalman and Jovian) and of course, improving revenues. Personally I love doing some research online prior to making a purchase, thus this platform suits demographics like me, who love to ponder and compare before deciding to click that 'buy' button. The launch of the collection was held recently at Pullman Hotel Bangsar, where hundreds of guest (including celebs) were present to witness to collection firsthand.Woo/Fiziwoo
I admit that I initially had doubts with the designer (I commented something admittedly quite offensive on Dunia Fashyon Twitter quite sometime ago about the copycat nature of our local designers, and for that, much apologies). But in truth, I think dynamic duo Mohd Hafizi Radzi Woo and Izree Kai Haffiz potentially propagates from under-the-radar to household name with this collection. The pieces looks polished, which are evident in the photos and structured - thanks to the abundance of neoprene, something quite refreshing to use for a Raya collection (though breathability might be an issue come crowded open-house season - but at this age of urban Raya celebration I think air-conditioning is a given).
Peplums might sound like a repetitious option for festive clothing but Fiziwoo has updated it with a more polished (did I say polished again?), almost three-dimensional architectural version of ruffles, scallops and fabric manipulation. Perhaps Kai Haffiz's architectural background plays an influential role, looking at this minimal yet sculptural collection.
This is another low-key designer who I feel will benefit from this joint venture. This time around the bridal wear heavyweight collaborates with contemporary illustrator and renowned artist D.U.R.A to create ethereal prints, which has given Nurita's overall subdued design a colourful lift.
The palette of colors that is used in the collection remains within Nurita Harith’s signature of soft tones. Loving the satin as the primary fabric used throughout the collection. I feel the juxtaposition of abstract print in this case is so appropriate - feels like Nurita's clean designs a perfect showcase for kaleidoscopic D.U.R.A's prints.
Well I'm not for one who champions being judgemental as I do not know her personally, but she seems like a very private person (she has tremendous amount of followers on Instagram but she kept it private, and caters to selected clienteles; her Facebook page is always interactive though) - therefore I feel her quiet designs can be appreciated more with this collection launch.
This is a designer who is not necessarily under the radar, but will most likely profit from the recognition boost from this project. Syaiful x Zalora collection embodies the lightness and femininity that most Malay clienteles are comfortable with come Raya time (there's always extra space for lemang and rendang in that airy kaftan). Jokes aside, this collection is utterly wearable and forgiving for a variety of body figures. And the geometric lines - def a modern touch to the otherwise traditional outlook.
The new crop of generation of Malaysian designers included Zery Zamry, who I learnt about from 2007's Project Runway Malaysia (would love to see a sequel of the reality series though), apart from Nurita Harith. Good to see his evergrowing bridal wear and celebrity-endorsed collections, an upward trajectory from his Project Runway days.
And with such an eye-catching collection of traditional Baju Melayu styles - “Teluk Belanga” and “Cekak Musang” - this might work for his first foray into menswear. Paisley prints are abundant, and the rest of collection is replete with trendy details like star-shaped buttons (almost Givenchy-esque), and popular prints that won't die off anytime soon - the camo. Details are elevated furthermore with the addition of leather sampin, something that someone like me might be a bit too nervous to experiment with. Will have to take a 'never say no' approach stylistically though...
Baju Melayu Hipster anyone? Seeing him riding the 'hipster' wave might work with the growing demographics of university grads/ young professional males who can afford this collection.
I'm totally into the idea of a kurta with another layer with a different length
Words by Hafidzudin Zainal
Backstage and catwalk images by Filzah Athirah
Campaign images from Zalora