Local tailor puts heart and soul into King’s royal attire

KUALA LUMPUR: It may have been a laborious and intricate job, but a local tailor has worked hard to ensure that the royal attire of the 15th Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Sultan Muhammad V, was ready in time for the installation ceremony.

Renowned tailor Datuk Jack M.K. Lee (pic) said a sense of pride drove him to complete the attire in three months.

Lee who has had more than 47 years of experience in tailoring and fashion design, said the motifs of arabesque and hi­­bis­cus, which is the national flower, are firstly drawn on paper.

They are later traced and redrawn on Barathea black wool and cashmere from Italy.

The dress is then embroidered with gold bullion thread on the surface without penetrating the other side of the material.

He said the gold thread imported from France is then cut into tiny pieces of about 3mm to 5mm each depending on the form of the hibiscus and arabesque motif to create a 3D effect.

“The gold thread is thicker than ordinary thread and that is why it can only be stitched on the dress surface. Due to the structure of the thread, the needle has to go through every piece of gold thread and later embroidered one piece at a time on the muscat.

“The gold thread is very sensitive if it is not carefully cut according to the desired size,” he said.

The muscat is the royal dress of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong for specific occasions such as the installation ceremony, opening of Parlia­men­tary session and during the official visit of His Majesty abroad.

The official dress which was first worn in 1960 during the installation of the third Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Tuanku Syed Putra Al-Haj Ibni Almarhum Syed Hassan Jamalullail, was inspired by the first Prime Minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra al-Haj.

The Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s dressing officer, Sulaiman Ahmad, 54, said the muscat comprised a short sleeve shirt, a jacket, a pair of trousers and a songket sampin.

The attire comes complete with a royal waist buckle made of pure gold and decorated with rubies with an engraved centrepiece featuring the Federation Crest.

“On the left of the muscat are awards and medals according to the state the Yang di-Pertuan Agong comes from,” he said.

Despite having served for 23 years, it is still a meticulous task for him to manage the Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s attire for every occasion.

“We want the best and the most immaculate presentation of the king. It is only after the Tuanku is pleased, I will feel relieved for ha­­ving carried out another task well,” said Sulaiman. — Bernama

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