Pucci, YSL and all of Farah Khan's labels were presented at the Medium Gala last November. Heard a lot of people liked this show the best during the Malaysia International Fashion Week. I wouldn't be surprised! As I was taking pictures silently on my seat, I noticed a lot of girls spazzing about some of their runway favorites from the show! Talk about being super effective.
The show opened with Emilio Pucci, with his signature prints all over the collection. Yves Saint Laurent followed after with some of the loveliest jewel tones I’ve ever seen in my life. The bags got a few “ooh”s and “ahh”s from the audience - definitely some of the nicest accessories to complement even the simplest of outfits.
Then Farah Khan debuted her jersey collection, FK. Love how they emphasized that you don’t have to iron them. Basically, this collection = most perfect travel companions! Convenient for women who want to be chic but at the same time practical.
Finally, it was Farah Khan’s main label turn under the spotlight. Suddenly, there were these glittery dresses with statements printed on them! I love all the messages that she chose to be printed in big, black, bold letters. You guys know I’m always for positivity! The collection made such a huge impact that you could actually hear the audience reading the statements out loud as the models came out from backstage.
My favorite would have to be the one that she wore herself. CELEBRATE LIFE! <3
I was reminded by all the Philippine Fashion Week tweets to post some of my pending Malaysia International Fashion Week photos. Here are some of my favorites from the early afternoon shows last November 25th.
Met for the second time with my friend, Tongue in Chic Associate Editor Karen Wong, who introduced me to fashion writer Lydia Kwan from Female Magazine. The two of us ended up having dinner together before the Melium Gala, one of the highlights and most-awaited nights of the whole MIFW. More pictures soon!
I was very lucky to be able to sit front row and take all these detailed photos, especially after being told a number of times that the highlight of Malaysia International Fashion Week is usually Bernard Chandran’s show.
Bernard Chandran is Malaysia’s “King of Fashion”. His creations sashay down not only his own country’s runway but also London’s and Jakarta’s. People might recognize him as the chief designer of Project Runway Malaysia as well.
This show was a tribute to his mother and the 1950s, back when he says “people took every effort to be fashionable.” What I like about this collection is the combination of retro chic and very modern geometric cuts and proportions - perfect for those who want to achieve that cliche 50s sophistication without going overboard and costume-y. Who would’ve thought metallics and cutouts could look this good with retro influences?
My personal favorite from this set is that glittery babydoll dress that reminds me of outer space for some reason. <3
My weekend in Kuala Lumpur was spent with this lovely lady right here:
Bobo was one of the first people who replied to me when I tweeted something about having time to meet some Malaysian readers interested to bring me around the city to kill some idle time before the MIFW (Malaysia International Fashion Week) gala nights. She was telling me how surprised she got when I tweeted her back in acknowledgement, but in all honesty I think it’s my honor to be followed by such a wonderful and stylish person such as her.
We clicked instantly like peas and carrots, and all those hours spent together proved themselves to be time very well spent.
We headed straight to our favorite mall, The Pavilion, supposedly to go shopping.
But before we got to do anything, the glutton in me got fooled by these lovely bunny and turtle pastries at Ginza Cafe, found in Tokyo Street. Bobo was kind enough to accompany the bottomless pit that is my stomach - yay!
(Side note: Tokyo Street is also where you can find freshly made Japanese ice cream - I got to try their wasabi ice cream and it was glorious!)
Some foreigners from the other table gave us this humongous pink macaroon with all sorts of fruits in it. Sugar overload prevented us from finishing all of it but it was so good, it definitely kept me going the whole day despite lack of sleep.
Headed to Zara and Topshop afterwards. Same taste in stores! <3
Camwhoring in the bathroom at Starhill. It was such a relief to be with someone who doesn’t get weirded out by things like this! Apparently, she does this a lot too!
Gel nail polish. Had our nails done at this awesome place called Bmic, which can be found at the Pamper Zone at Starhill Gallery. I haven’t tried any UV gel polish until now. I’m hooked! They’re a pain to remove on your own (I think you should have them removed by a professional~) but if you’re not tired of your nail color yet, they can last you up to 3 weeks.
And we ended up choosing the same nail color because it was the perfect kind of glittery pink that we both really liked.
It was so perfect that Bobo’s best friend Zoe got the same nail color too! :)
Ended the day at this indulgent Spanish restaurant with Bobo and her boyfriend Jo. We ordered A LOT of yummy dishes. So much that I was still full even until the next day. A million thanks for the feast, you guys!
Met Cheesie's charming best friend Audrey later that day too. She and Bobo go to the same office, coincidentally. She reminds me so much of my own petite best friend Crissey… whom I sorely miss! Normally we would be the ones having our own girly adventures together but because of clashing schedules we haven’t had any lulzy stories together recently. Soon, hopefully!
Anyhow, after dinner, we got stuck in traffic on the way to Zebra Square for the MIFA Gala. I made it just in time, but our conversations inside the car were so hilarious I definitely wouldn’t mind if the worst scenario had to arrive and I had to stay with them in the car until midnight or something. Good times!
And this marks the end of my non-MIFW posts. I’ve been experiencing all sorts of sicknesses lately so I haven’t had time to sort and edit the gazillion photos I took for fashion week… but I’ll definitely finish them before I leave Manila again this Christmas. Fukuoka, get ready!
We were free to choose which shows to watch, and I made sure I attended at least one show that showcases traditional Malay clothing, just so I can have a slight idea what their counterparts are for our Philippine terno and baro’t saya. Kebaya is a traditional blouse-dress combination worn by women in Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei, Burma, Singapore, southern Thailand (source). There was a show just dedicated to this, which I found very reflective of the Malay culture - still grounded on centuries-old traditions and absolutely proud of every single bit of it. Congratulations to designers Azfar, Sazzin, Aqar Couture, Fairuddin, Saleh Hamid, Fiza Zulkarnain, Akmal Ariffin, Erwan Asbor, Eusopth Salleh, Ehfan Ibrahim, Raff Rafael, Zulfadli Nasir, Zarrieff, Arefen Zaidin, and Erdan!
The second half of this entry is from the Autumn in KL show featuring more local YODA designers as well as ones invited from different countries - Zakwan, Ammara Hijabi, Raymond Goh, Afiq Mohamed, Amer Rafique, Yamz, Zulfadli Nasir, Farliz, Merlee Shariff, Fizi Woo, Khalik Mustafa, Fashiongeek, Roy Mulianto (Indonesia), Edwin Ao (Philippines), and Nhat Minh Thuc Ha (Vietnam).
Edwin Ao (Philippines represent!) left a lasting impression with his cut-out, tailored creations. Super love his use of gray and black mixed with different kinds of green. Meanwhile, Nhat Minh Thuc Ha stole the show with his collection’s compromise between modern usually-Western fashion and homegrown Oriental elements, with all the ethnic prints and chunky knits. Lovely mix of red and purple. That outfit in the last photo is a winner!
While Zebra Square, the venue of the Malaysian International Fashion Week (MIFW) may leave much to be desired as it’s still very unfinished, the show that started the week out definitely did not disappoint. It surprised me to be able to witness an actual Fashion Week show that was inspired by a gothic theme! The Young Designers Arena (YODA) would announce the names of their student designers Hazzerwan, Daniel Arif, Afiq Mohamed, Mohd Nizam, Tan Phaik Imm, Kok Leong Vee, Voon Sue Ying, Teo Chun Keat, Wong Sek Li, and Shannar, as well as the titles of their pseudo-collections (because they were only able to showcase at most 3 of their best work) and I would react silently in my seat whenever I would hear something that sounded very unique, as many were just called along the lines of “gothic architecture” or “romantic goth”. The collection that caught my attention most was called “egyptian goth”, which I thought was a very innovative concept! In the end, the designer for this collection, in his all-black ensemble and almost-impossible sky-high black patent boots, won as the new face/representative of his fashion school. Congratulations to him! That black babydoll “egyptian goth” dress that he made - I covet!
Other fashion schools came to show off their best student representatives moments after the awarding and some sort of peculiar variety show - to say that it was an extremely casual first day for the MIFW is quite an understatement, imho. Designers from MIA, PJCAD, TAR College, Limkokwing and Raffles International College presented their colorful-to-compensate-for-all-the-black-earlier work and my personal pick would be the collection that made use of jewel tones, turbans and a lot of nice velvety fabric. Plus points for the designer since he walked down the runway with a completely matching ensemble.
Next up: Glory of Kebaya, Autumn in KL and *THE* Bernard Chandran!
I spent almost a whole week in Kuala Lumpur. Surprise! Tourism Malaysia handpicked some media people from Manila and I was surprised to be chosen (or even be an option in the first place), along with two amazing people - Gino dela Paz from Star and Kat Velayo from Mega. We flew in (Thank you Cebu Pacific and Bea Totanes!) just in time for the Colours of 1Malaysia, which is this annual event in KL showcasing tourism products, multicultural traditions, cultures and art. When that was over, we hopped from one tourist spot to another. We went to the Petronas Towers, Putrajaya, Menara Kuala Lumpur, KL Craft Complex, Luna Bar, Sky Bar and Beryl’s Chocolate Kingdom, among others. We also had a lot of time touring the different shopping areas in the city, so we could share to our readers our own recommendations on where to spend all your Malaysian Ringgit.
Putrajaya, the federal administrative center of Malaysia.
We were greeted by warm glasses of teh tarik!
View from the Skybridge, the bridge connecting the two Petronas towers.
(Bea Alonzo says the Petronas Towers look like two people holding hands. Hur hur.)
Me and Kat in required smart casual attire. Thanks to Shop Dainty for my wedges!
We went to Renaissance Hotel for the Mega Familiarization Program welcome remarks and presentations. Proud to get a certificate, plus some “Friends of Malaysia” goodies.
Among the goodies were these uniform batik shirts we had to wear for the Colours of 1Malaysia. Over 100 people from different countries all over the world wore the same shirt and it’s a shame I wasn’t able to take good photos of everyone since it was raining pretty hard that night.
Arrival of the King.
All smiles and good vibes from different cultures. What I liked most about it is the fact that they got everyone to be part of it. 5000 participants participated, and they all came from different backgrounds - Malay, Chinese, Indian and Siamese people from schools, public and private higher learning institutions, members of local cultural associations, and non-governmental organizations.
Pictures from the palace gates of Istana Negara or the National Palace.
The Bukit Bintang view from the KL Tower.
The Petronas Towers.
Adorable kids I spotted at the tower.
Menara Kuala Lumpur view from Luna Bar. Pretty sunset clouds!
Pavilion is the mall right beside our hotel, Grand Millennium. It’s in the heart of Bukit Bintang, and is probably the best shopping place for both tourists and locals since it houses pretty much everything - high-end designers, high-street brands, lower-range ones, and local Malaysian brands.
Recommended stores: Eclipse for nice cocktail dresses - I got myself a cute black jersey dress, Diva for accessories, Sasa and Watsons for Japanese make-up - prepare yourself for Canmake, Dolly Wink, etc., Topshop for two floors of awesomeness, and Forever 21, Cotton On and Pull & Bear for nicely-priced clothes, shoes and accessories.
We were super lucky to meet with some of the designers from The Twelve at Fahrenheit 88. It’s a concept store consisting of twelve designers carefully selected by MIFA (Malaysian International Fashion Alliance). The twelve are: Shinju Pearls, Tas Iman by Tom Abang Saufi, Radzuan Radziwill, Zero to Ten, Key Ng, YODA, uReka, Sasha Rowena, PU3, BDA, JKhan and Benson Chen (Thank you for the wonderful sandals!). It’s this really quirky artistic space that you wouldn’t want to miss, especially if you’re into edgy things that aren’t mainstream.
Fahrenheit 88 is a fairly new mall that’s right across our hotel, Grand Millennium, and walking distance from Pavilion.
Recommended stores: Uniqlo’s flagship store, and Stardust Studio for Tsubasa Masuwaka’s make-up line, Dolly Wink, and for your daily fix of cute.
You have to go to Sungei Wang Plaza if you’re on a tighter budget and want to get loads of affordable clothes that are mostly sourced from China, Bangkok and Korea. It was a little confusing navigating through the whole place since it’s connected to BB Plaza but I had a grand time spotting stylish, made-up teens shopping with their just-as-stylish friends. Spotted a lot of Japanese fashion-inspired girls complete with gyaru-ish hair and make-up.
Recommended store: Anatomi for quality men’s clothing - this is where I got my brothers pasalubong!
In the middle of Pavilion and Fahrenheit 88 is Starhill Gallery, which is Kuala Lumpur’s luxury shopping mall. All of the expensive brands are here, but it’s also a good place to check out some of their local high-end designers’ boutiques.
Recommended stores: Alexander McQueen, and Sephora where I buy my Urban Decay primer potions.
Sunway Pyramid isn’t in the Bukit Bintang area but it’s worth the 20 or so minutes of driving. It’s a mall that’s close to a theme park, and it also has a nifty ice skating rink!
There I was able to meet Tongue in Chic Senior Content Associate Karen Wong. Such a sweet person. I wish I had an extra day in KL to spend with her and the rest of the Tongue in Chic team.
Recommended stores: Ti Amo for cute ballet flats, and Asian Avenue which is a whole area full of affordable things targeted towards the youth - there’s a store which I liked called Offline Blogshop that took different online stores into one tangible shop.
Central Market is a must for tourists who want souvenirs. The first floor is divided into different “streets” focusing on a certain culture (Indian, Malay, etc.) while the second floor sells mostly clothes and batik.
Recommended stores: Photo Crafts for lomographers, and all the stuff in the second floor because you can find everything batik there - even shoes!
It’s also near Jalan Petaling or Chinatown if you’re into imitation designer goods and haggling Greenhills or Divi-style.
Suria KLCC would have to be my favorite. It’s not as new and spacious as Pavilion but I personally find the atmosphere there warmer and more welcoming. All of the major designer brands are here, but they also have high-street brands too like Zara, Topshop and Mango. Plus points for being the mall right smack in the middle of the Petronas Towers.
Recommended store: Kinokuniya - you will leave the bookstore with an empty wallet and paper bags full of Japanese magazines and hard-to-find artbooks.
Mutiara Damansara is a commercial zone that reminds me a little of Alabang. The area isn’t too near the city too, but it’d be a perfect escape from the hustles and bustles of Bukit Bintang.
Recommended stores: Borders if you can’t visit Kinokuniya for some reason, and Ikea for the best furniture ever.
Ending this image-heavy travel post with two pictures from my quick visit to Jalan Alor and one of my last meal in Kuala Lumpur. Besides shopping, the food in Malaysia is definitely something to look forward to as well. I could talk more about Malaysian cuisine, but that would require a whole new entry.
If you’re interested in going to KL any time soon, it’s not too late to book tickets (maybe via Cebu Pacific) in time for the Malaysia Mega Sale Carnival that happens from June 15 to August 31, 2011. Tourists can expect more discounts and bargains during this period.