Asian designers show off latest collections to big crowd

EXQUISITE collections from international labels made the opening gala of Gurney Paragon Mall's Penang Fashion Week 2016 a truly glamorous affair.

Models in elegant gowns and casual apparel strutted their stuff in runway shows attended by over 400 guests.

Scores of shoppers were also present at the launch on Saturday.

In his speech, Hunza Group managing director Khor Siang Gin said the Penang Fashion Week had established itself as the leading fashion event in the northern region.

“We've gathered some of Asia's most talented designers and prominent brands to showcase their latest collections.

“Penang is famous for streets that are rich in history so Street Vogue is the theme.

“It is all about mixing and matching and we'll show you where high fashion finds street style whilst highlighting the island's uniqueness,” he said.

State Tourism Development committee chairman Danny Law said the event was an excellent platform for emerging talents to break onto the fashion scene.

“Last year, we saw beautiful and inspiring creations that made bold statements,” he said.

Malaysian icon Datuk Jimmy Choo, who was also present, hoped the fashion industry in his birthplace would go from strength to strength.

“Besides the food, heritage and friendly people, Penang can now add fashion and shopping to its list of attractions.

“I hope the Penang Fashion Week will continue to grow and give our local talents more opportunities to flourish," he said.

The night's programme kicked off with an opening number by the Euphoria dance group, followed by a show bringing together jewellery by Chow Tai Fook and gowns from My Dream Wedding.

Models then emerged in casual attire by La Martina and paraded in business and travel essentials from Tumi.

The were loud cheers when Jimmy's Tokyo-based son Danny unveiled his latest collection of Smart Dolls made from cutting- edge 3D printing technology.

The 10 figures came in different skin tones and were clad in clothing from from Western outfits to Chinese gowns and Japanese yukata.

“There are people of different cultures and backgrounds across the world and we try to respect that,” said Danny, whose customers hail from some 60 countries.

Taiwanese accessories designer Illiza Ho, a protege of Jimmy's, thrilled the ladies with her latest collection of handbags named ‘Circulation’, which highlights traditional skills.

“With modern manufacturing processes, the traditional methods of making products are fast disappearing and I hope to keep them alive.

“My designs are also inspired by things in everyday life,” said Ho of her pieces, which took cues from rare plants and animals, and had deep autumnal and winter colours.

Kuala Lumpur-based designer Eric Choong combined the allure of traditional Southeast Asian fabrics with modern stylishness in his stunning range called ‘The Journey of Freedom’.

“When I design clothing, I like imbuing them with a vintage feel using elements like batik.

“I want to bring people back to their roots through fashion,” added the Ipoh native.

He has also spent a lot of time in Shanghai and does consulting work for TV shows and movies.

Thai couturier Wisharawish Akarasantisook closed the shows with his shimmering collection named ‘Roots’.

He believes in bridging tradition with contemporary appeal and uses lots of hand- woven silk from his hometown Buriram.

The Penang Fashion Week's programme continues tomorrow with shows by Xue Kai at 7pm and Richard Rivalee at 8pm and another by Randy Goh at 8pm on Thursday.

Following that are sessions by Samantha Chua at 7pm and Jojo Lim at 8pm on Friday, and full-day programmes on Saturday and Sunday.

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