COUTURE connoisseurs can look forward to a feast of style and trendiness at the Penang Fashion Week 2018 in Gurney Paragon Mall.
Some 17 designers, 18 brands and three fashion schools will be featuring their creations across 26 runway shows from April 14 to 22.
Returning for the opening night are Taiwan’s Illiza Ho – a protege of Malaysian icon Datuk Jimmy Choo – and renowned local menswear designer Bon Zainal.
“I’m known for elegant suits, but this time, expect something that’s a bit wild and fun,” Bon Zainal teased at the recent press conference.
The gala on the evening of April 14 also features Hong Kong’s Kev Yiu, who counts celebrities like Sammi Cheng and Myolie Wu among his clientele.
Completing the lineup are two more Malaysians – Carven Ong, who is seen as one of Asia’s top couturiers, and Penang-born Paris-based Jonathan Liang.
There will also be the Malaysian debut of Nickelodeon’s SpongeBob Gold campaign, which has thus far been introduced in the United Kingdom, Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, Indonesia, Singapore and Spain.
Each of the 17 designers will interpret the beloved animated character’s humour optimism and heart of gold as part of a unique runway collection.
Other designers featuring across the nine-day event are returnees Keith Kee, Richard Rivalee, Ranndy Goh, Micheal Ooi and Samantha Chua.
“As a Penangite, it’s great to be part of the event again. This time, my collection is inspired by the Oscar-winning movie, The Shape of Water,” Kee said.
New names debuting this year are Joo Lee, Dennis Lee, Raydian Chew, Chris Yee, Cynthia Ong, Steven Chuah and Jasmine Phoon.
Joo Lee, the head of fashion at Equator College, is delighted to unveil her own collections having seen many of her students featuring theirs in previous editions.
“The event is a good platform to promote local talents and give them international exposure. It can also inspire the young to pursue their dreams in fashion and contribute to the local economy,” she opined.
Also set to grace the catwalk are the latest seasonal collections of international brands such as Michael Kors, Kate Spade New York, La Martina, Tory Burch, Tumi and Pedro.
The list continues with Charles & Keith, Chow Tai Fook, Debenhams, Ecco, Lancaster, Focus Point, Cosas United, Hush Puppies, Akemi Uchi, National Geographic, Travis Hegel and Save My Bag.
Spectators will also be wowed by the creativity of students from ESMOD Kuala Lumpur – The One Academy, Equator and UCSI University.
Hunza Group executive director Khor Tze Ming said this year’s Fashion Week – the 4th edition – is also a platform for charity and social work.
“Fashion can go beyond the label and luxury. Being a responsible corporate citizen, we want to do more to serve our community.
“In partnership with UCSI, we will provide a degree scholarship for an eligible student who wins a fashion design competition.
“Some of our participating designers will also design custom- made attire for 14 children from the House of Hope which has made commendable efforts to change the lives of underprivileged children over the past 12 years.
“Hush Puppies has also sponsored 600 pairs of school shoes for needy kids,” Khor highlighted.
Following the press conference, the designers visited the House of Hope in Ayer Itam to get the children’s measurements and desired clothing styles.
One of the youngsters, Jolene Goh, aged 10, revealed ambitions of going into modelling someday, explaining: “All of them look so pretty on TV.”
Nur Dania Insyirah, six, quipped: “I love dressing up in nice clothes.”
House of Hope founder Khoo Cheng See was touched by the gesture, and said: “Like others, these kids also harbour desires to go into fashion or modelling when they grow up, but often lack the opportunities. We’re very grateful.”
In conjunction with the event, shoppers who spend RM300 in a maximum of two combined receipts in April, will be eligible to redeem vouchers worth RM50.
Such spending also entitles one to an entry for the lucky draw contest offering prizes worth over RM20,000. The grand prize is a return ticket to Europe by Qatar Airways, a 3D/2N stay at DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Penang and shopping vouchers worth RM12,000.
For more details and updates on the Penang Fashion Week, follow the mall’s Facebook page.
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