Penang struts with confidence onto international fashion stage

For a good cause: (From left) Chia wearing a macro blue poppy gown by Steven. The gown was bought at a charity auction by Khor and wife Annie Lee.

THE latest trends and hot looks were unveiled at the start of Penang Fashion Week in Gurney Paragon Mall.

Cameras flashed as models sashayed down a catwalk in exquisite pieces from prominent brands.

Those present for the Opening Gala were captivated by the presence of renowned Malaysian shoemaker Datuk Jimmy Choo and the sight of supermodel Amber Chia strutting her stuff.

She breezed around in several garments from Malaysian-born designer Tanya Steven's Ahnde label.

A macro blue poppy gown she paraded in was auctioned off for charity.

Hunza Group managing director Khor Siang Gin had the winning bid at RM7,000, with Chia adding on a further RM1,000, all of which will be channelled to The Penang Home.

Steven, who was born in Kuala Lumpur but grew up in London, said it was a great honour to have her first show in the country in the Pearl of the Orient, her mother's hometown.

Romantic appeal: Models  sashaying in garments by Steven during the Opening Gala.
Romantic appeal: Models sashaying in garments by Steven during the Opening Gala.

A biochemical engineer by trade, the 28-year-old switched to fashion a year and a half ago as she liked turning ideas into tangible things.

"My pieces all tell a story and are almost lyrical,” she said.

Also featured in the gala on Sunday were the Valiram Group's brands Canali, Tumi, La Martina, Pedro, and Charles and Keith, as well as British retailer Debenham's in-house labels.

My Dream Wedding, Logo and Padini Concept Store also showcased their latest collections.

In his opening speech, Siang Gin said it was time that Penang had its own fashion week like many other prominent cities around the world.

"It helps brand Penang on the international stage and can be a good contributor to its economy.

"Fashion is glamorous and exciting and events of this magnitude give the state an allure which positively impacts businesses," he said.

Reiterating those sentiments, state Tourism Development Committee chairman Danny Law said the event would reinforce Penang's status as a top destination.

Also present on the night were Hunza Group founder Datuk Seri Khor Teng Tong, The Star executive director Tan Sri Kamal Hashim and senior regional manager (operations) David Yeoh.

A day earlier, there were a trio of fashion shows to captivate shoppers, starting with Padini Concept Store followed by local designer Ranndy Goh's fall/winter collection which combined classic evening looks with a back-to-black twist.

Lastly, Bebe Butterfly showed off casual and evening wear under three themes — Minimal Elegance, Merlot and Timeless Allure.

The Penang Fashion Week continues until Sunday, with more fashion shows, contests and activities.

Those spending RM300 or more stand a chance to win a made-to-measure cocktail dress worth up to RM1,500 by one of the participating designers, while those spending RM500 or more in a maximum of two receipts may redeem RM50 in shopping vouchers.

The first 100 to spot a Mini Countryman car with Penang Fashion Week stickers, take a photo of it and upload to Facebook, also stand to win special gifts.

On Friday, there will be fashion shows by Xue Kai at 5pm, Hairstory at 7.30pm as well as Ecco and Kenneth Cole at 8.30pm.

For Saturday, Equator College, Debenhams, Logo (casual wear and evening wear) and Emmanuel Haute Couture by Samantha Chua will have sessions at 1pm, 3pm, 5pm, 7.30pm and 8.30pm respectively.

The event wraps up with shows by My Dream Wedding, Number Three by Backstage, Keith Kee and Aden Yong at 1pm, 3pm, 5pm and 7.30pm on Sunday.

The Star is the official media of the event.

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