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Thursday July 26, 2012
By CHESTER CHIN firstname.lastname@example.org
Award-winning couturier and hypermarket team up to create festive magic.
WHEN homegrown couturier Rizalman Ibrahim decided to commemorate his 20-year anniversary in the fashion industry, it seemed only right that he should do so with an exclusive yet affordable Raya collection.
After all, the month of Raya is a season to express gratitude for one’s blessings and the fashion connoisseur has much to be grateful for.
Since the start of his career in 1992, Rizalman has gone on to receive numerous awards and carved a name for himself in the high fashion industry.
In 2005, he won the Mercedes-Benz Asia Fashion Awards and his current clientele boasts an elite list which includes members of the royal family, local celebrities and prominent socialites.
“After being in the industry for a good two decades, I would like to bring myself closer to my fans and share with them my wonderful moments.
“I want my fans to celebrate Syawal in Rizalman,” says the prolific designer.
Rizalman has teamed up with Tesco for 20 By Rizalman, a limited edition collection which features 12 modern baju kurung and kebaya.
This marks Tesco’s third collaboration with a local designer. In the past, the hypermarket has worked with designers Michael Ong and Melinda Looi.
Tesco’s commercial director of apparel, Hem Patel, says Rizalman’s latest collection is a perfect opportunity for the designer to reveal his latest inspirational designs.
“We are very excited to be working with Rizalman as his vast experience, dedication and detailed hands-on approach provides that exclusive touch to his collection,” says Patel.
With superb cutting and classic designs that fuses the traditional with the contemporary, the ready-to-wear collection embodies the meticulous tailoring Rizalman’s clothes are often associated with.
However, the Penang-born designer admits he was initially sceptical about the concept of an “affordable collection”.
“This is really not my cup of tea. But I feel it’s time for me to venture into new terrain and share my designs with all Malaysians.
“I just want to give back to my fans that have supported me, but have not been able to afford any of my clothes before this. The mass reach of Tesco provides me with the perfect avenue to reach out to those seeking high quality fashion at affordable prices during this Raya season,” he says.
Rizalman’s designs have always gravitated towards haute extravagance rather than budget chic.
But if you think the designer is offering affordable clothes at the expense of quality, think again.
“I have maintained the quality in terms of the colour, texture, usage of lace and striped design in this limited collection,” says the Kuala Lumpur-based designer.
Looking at the pieces from the collection, fashion enthusiasts will instantly recognise Rizalman’s signature minimalist style and attention to detail.
From the elegant feminine silhouettes to the vibrant colours used, the exquisite designs mirror Rizalman’s journey in the past 20 years in the industry.
Aficionados of Rizalman’s work will notice familiar elements including his trademark short kebaya and baju kurung Kedah. Of the 12 pieces in 20 By Rizalman, two are kebaya whereas the rest are baju kurung. The designer plays with jersey, brocade and lace, and introduces a collection where high end fashion and budget casual meets.
The more conventional versions of Rizalman’s kurung features sleeves adorned with glittery sequins with accents of little bow ribbons.
It’s minimalism at its best as the designer highlights the flattering form-fitting contour of the kurung.
The fashion maven gave an arresting interpretation on a colour-blocking piece. With an eye-catching mixture of neon green and electric pink, the kurung is bound to be a show-stopper this Syawal.
On another kurung piece, the designer injected nautical flair with the inclusion of vertical sailor stripes at the waist which runs down the length of the skirt. Rizalman also added a retro-modern touch to the collection with a kurung with polka dots print.
The designer proves he can tackle intricate designs just as well as he does simplicity on a black-and-white striped kurung that has beautiful floral lace layers.
The crowd favourites would be the charming embellishments of rosettes on the front and elaborate lace designs. The beautiful kebayas strike the right balance between modesty and sultry femininity while adding a dash of old world glamour.
And glamour is exactly what Rizalman wants women to feel when they don a piece of his creation.
“I want women to feel a sense of exclusivity when they wear a piece from 20 By Rizalman.
“Just because it’s affordable fashion doesn’t mean that you can’t feel a sense of luxury when you wear them,” he concludes.
> The 20 By Rizalman range is priced from RM180 to RM250. The collection is available at selected Tesco stores.
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