Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Enchanting season

AEON’s in-house brands – Puteri, Guys’ Vision and Jkids – has something for the whole family.

AEON’s in-house brands – Puteri, Guys’ Vision and Jkids – has something for the whole family.

The first Raya Fashion Week organised by AEON gives fashionistas a reason for early festive shopping.

IT may have been an hour before the event was scheduled to begin, but the hijabsters were already out in full force. The sense of anticipation was palpable, on the faces of gossipy Mak Datins clutching their Louis Vuittons to the fashion reporters snapping pictures of the empty catwalk with smartphones. This pre-show bustle was interrupted as soon as models in flowery topknots sashayed down the runway, the flare sleeves of their baju kurung fluttering to thumping Moorish music.

Welcome to KL’s first Raya fashion week. Held by AEON more than two months before Hari Raya Aidilfitri, the event actually encompasses a period of two days rather than seven. Featuring AEON’s in-house brands – Puteri, Guys’ Vision and Jkids – as well as local couturier Datuk Radzuan Radziwill, the event aims to feature the festive season’s latest collections and allows fashion mavens to gauge what’s out and what’s in for the season.

“The Raya season is the most relevant, if not more, compared to the Spring/Summer and Autumn/Winter seasons of the international fashion scene,” says event organiser and emcee Dodi Mohammad. “Unfortunately, it’s yet to be fully recognised and properly regulated.”

The day’s star attraction Datuk Radzuan made his mark with colours and cuts that hit all the style notes.

Meanwhile, the show was off to an interesting start. Swathed in art deco-esque prints and vivid colours from top to toe, the first model looked like she’s ready to balik – and wow – her kampung. Subsequent getups featured colours and more colours – from brights like orchid purple and fuschia to pastels – while styles veered occasionally towards the unexpected. Even though the designs of the baju kurung remain modern and consistent, surprises appeared, sometimes in an asymmetrical slash of a hemline, and at others, a teensy ‘Now-You-See-It-Now-You-Don’t’ slit on the skirt. This being Spring, the dresses were sometimes accompanied by a spray of sequins and embroidery, adorning necklines and sleeves in a form of delicate flowers.

The men also had their moment, as they stomped down the runway in bold hues usually reserved for the fairer sex. A melange of purple and red baju melayu dominated, on textiles both shiny and matte. This was almost accompanied by the songket in varying degrees of gold for that Midas touch. Jostling for attention were the bright swirls of patterns like paisley and top-to-toe geometry, particularly stripes of varying thickness and designs.

The little ones were not left out – little girls and boys tottered out in their tiny fashion-forward ensembles, generating a smattering of “aww” from the audience. Save for one very grown-up and very chic black baju kurung dotted with tiny red sequins, the styles were fun and adorable: polka dots were interspersed with stripes and splashes of colours made their mark. The girls looked especially pretty in white and pink, while the lads looked smart in red and green.

Despite these well-turned out designs, there was no denying the audience – which included one very attentive Bon Zainal – was waiting with bated breath for Radzuan, the day’s star attraction.

Radzuan’s collection was in a class of its own, with colours and cuts that hit all the style notes. His fetish for blooming buds this season was obvious: they adorned dresses in a wild explosion of colours and ran amok on men’s shirts, while luscious scenes of Spring and Autumn flowers were splayed across the body like a canvas.

Silhouettes are girly and almost Victorian-like as they are gorgeous: peplum and kebaya styles reigned supreme and tiny waists are cinched with ribbons.

There was also an element of naughty: arms played peekaboo under a lace mesh, while chiffon skirts feature a slit down the middle – in other words, designs that are sure to generate some tut-tutting from your more conservative peers.

Contemporary designs dominate Radzuan’s men’s collection, which were made mostly of collared button-down shirts that can be worn as it is or layered, with pants. Prints reminiscent of exquisite Iznik tiles provided a visual spectacle that enchanted the audience.

Not all of Radzuan’s clothes which plied the catwalk would be available for sale in AEON – but those that were, were certainly worth braving the traffic to the nearest outlet for. Apart from gorging on those Raya cookies, make that your must-do activity this season!

> The Raya collections will be available at all AEON outlets at the end of May.

Tags / Keywords: Lifestyle , AEON , KL Raya Fashion Week , Radzuan Radziwill


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