BritishIndia: Posh baju Melayu with a sampin made from songket

  • Living
  • Tuesday, 22 Jul 2014

When it comes to styling up for Hari Raya, nothing does it better than the baju Melayu. For men, it's the quintessential Aidilfitri outfit – more so when paired with a beautifully woven sampin. BritishIndia’s latest is thus ideal. The label's Baju Melayu Cekak Musang 2014 Eid Ul-fitr collection features luxurious Malay dress sets, complemented with a range of stunning songket.

To show off the pieces, BritishIndia called in Umar Swift, the CEO and managing director of MAA Group Berhad Muhammad, who – together with his youngest son – gave us a better idea of how their new collection is perfect for Raya.

The pictures here show dad and son modelling different sets from the fashion label. While Umar wears a black linen ensemble, his son’s magenta outfit is made from cross-weave cotton. Their sampin was crafted by Tanoti, a Sarawak weaving house that BritishIndia has collaborated with for the season. The beautiful brocades were made with gold and silver threads to denote elegance.

According to Umar, considered a friend of the BritishIndia brand, Hari Raya is an occasion that necessitates appropriate dressing. “The anchor piece of a baju Melayu is always the sampin. For our family, it always starts with finding a gorgeous few, after which we match them with the right colours that make up our look,” he states.

Umar says that his family still shops together for Raya. He has two sons with his wife, Prof Dr Adeebah Kamarulzaman, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Professor of Medicine & Infectious Diseases at Universiti Malaya. 

Commenting on BritishIndia's Raya designs, Umar says: “It’s kind of a modern take on the classic garment. The traditional baju Melayu may be a little billowy in form, but BritishIndia’s has a more fitted cut.”

BritishIndia CEO Rhoda Yap says that the company's new collection highlights the idea of wearability. She says the materials used were especially lightweight and comfortable. “You’ve got the whole element of comfort that everyone associates with BritishIndia, but this has now been interpreted into a more traditional look. It’s perfect for Raya – or even other formal occasions.”

BritishIndia’s linen is described to be very light and gentle to the touch. Creating well-loved and outstanding linen pieces is apparently a highly skilled craft that the label is especially proud of. Its cross-weave cottons are also cool and breathable. Made from two shades of yarn, it results in a fascinating shade and texture that seemingly “changes colour” when looked at from different angles.

Other offerings from BritishIndia include womenswear and home items that can be great buys for the festive season. As with the rest of their collections (season not withstanding), these exude a strong and attractive ethnic feel. “There isn’t a specific Aidilfitri collection for the women, but there are some pieces we have that can be taken as Raya appropriate. These have the loose form and are akin to a baju kurung or baju kedah,” Yap says.

> Prices start at RM699 for the Baju Melayu Cekak Musang 2014 Eid Ul-fitr collection and RM12,000 for a Tanoti songket.

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