Wednesday, 26 March 2014

When cars and fashion collide

The CLA defines a new standard in expressive avant-garde automobile design.

The CLA defines a new standard in expressive avant-garde automobile design.

The new Mercedes-Benz CLA ‘stars’ in an exclusive shoot featuring fashion designs from Stylo 2014.

It could be said that we judge cars rather similarly to fashion. The visually sleek form of a particular automobile for instance, is as much a draw to say – a well-constructed dress or an impeccably tailored suit, in the broadest sense of things.

This very idea was illustrated in a recent fashion shoot scheduled by Mercedes-Benz. The new CLA car served as an ideal accessory to complement the clothes by couturiers Joe Chia and Fairuz Ramdan.

As much as the shoot provides an early look at the much-anticipated Mercedes-Benz CLA, it also serves to bring to attention the ongoing Mercedes-Benz Stylo Fashion Grand Prix 2014.

Both Chia and Fairuz’s designs are walking the runway at the style extravaganza. Stylo 2014 is currently being held in the heart of KL and takes the form of an exciting series of events shining the spotlight on fashion.

Powerful and trendy

Regarding the CLA, a four-door premium coupé in the intermediate segment, Mercedes-Benz has described it as “the new standard in expressive avant-garde design”.

“The CLA is a car that does not confuse mid-range with mediocrity. Its powerful design underscores the sporty side of the Mercedes-Benz brand,” says Kai Schlickum, vice president, Sales & Marketing, Passenger Cars.

Hey, good looking: The CLA radiates power and athleticism, yet tempered with a young, sexy feel to it.
Hey, good looking: The CLA radiates power and athleticism, yet tempered with a young, sexy feel to it.

In keeping with this positioning, the CLA is available with high-torque turbo engines rated at up to 115kW with sports suspension. The technical highlights also include a new world record in aerodynamics for series production automobiles (Cd value: 0.24) and numerous driving assistance systems.

Its breathtakingly sporty proportions and powerfully dynamic design idiom, with interplays between concave and convex surfaces, give the car its unmistakable, attractive look too.

Some of the vehicle’s striking features include the bonnet embedded in the front end with power domes and the diamond radiator grille. The light modules and LEDs behind the headlamp cover glass have also been rearranged.

Not only does it create the characteristic “flare effect” for the daytime driving lights and indicators, this signet defines the car’s energetic appearance and shapes a new Mercedes-Benz face.

When it comes to the interior, the aesthetic derives a special quality touch from the selection of high-quality materials and the available combinations of materials. All trim surfaces are galvanised, resulting in a metallic finish, as well.

The Mercedes-Benz CLA is fitted with integral seats in the front and rear, underscoring its sporty character. More than that, coloured contrasting stitching is available, according to the selected interior appointment options.

Picture perfect

For the shoot that took place, the car was observed to underscore an inherently youthful and modern feel. This is especially so when matched with the models donning forward designs from two highly regarded Malaysian couturiers.

Chia came in first for the industry choice award at the inaugural Mercedes-Benz Stylo Asia Fashion Week that was held last year. He is known for his modern, monochromatic and minimalist point of view when it comes to his designs.

The exterior's progressive, sporty appearance is continued inside the car, as well.
The exterior's progressive, sporty appearance is continued inside the car, as well.

Fairuz on the other hand, is a stalwart when it comes to the menswear scene. He is celebrated for his tasteful use of bright colours and patterns – even when dressing men. He also tends to push the boundaries of conventional suiting in this regard.

For models, Bradley Lim, 23, and Masi Khalatbari, 27, the shoot that took place at the NZ Wheels showroom in Klang, was as much as a good opportunity for them to have a little fun on the job.

Lim, a Malaysian, was dressed in Fairuz’s designs. Commenting on the experience, he said that the presence of the gorgeous car added a different feel to the whole endeavour.

“I’m very much a car person, and thus I think the energy during the whole shoot was a little different than one would normally expect it to be. You know how boys and cars are.”

Khalatbari, who is of Iranian descent, was however clad in Chia’s garments. To her, the presence of the car added an extra element of excitement, of which she could interact with. “I have to say, it isn’t everyday that you get to be working with a car like this. The CLA is indeed sporty, but yet beautiful at the same time. I simply love it,” she enthused.

> The Mercedes-Benz Stylo Fashion Grand Prix celebrates the 16th Petronas Malaysian F1 GP. Comprising galas, parties, competitions and fashion shows, it will run until March 29. The Star is the official media partner.


Photography: Yap Chee Hong

Art direction: Bervin Cheong

Hair: A Cut Above

Makeup: Diva Productions

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Roaring good time 

Tags / Keywords: Lifestyle , Mercedes Benz , CLA , Stylo


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