Our Go-To Malaysian Designers For An Ayu Raya In 2018
May 30, 2018 | BY Jessica Liew
This year, local designers are taking the traditional baju kebaya and kurung on a spin, showcasing its versatility as a modern fashion muse befitting of Raya. Whether it’s an outfit to win the approval of the 'parentals' or in-laws, or one that stands out from your squad, you’ll find your standout piece or 2, among this season’s most festive collections brought to life by leading Malaysian designers.
70s Paris meets the classy elegance of the kurung and kebaya in Bernard Chandran's 2018 Petang Raya collection. Bernard envisioned starry summer nights in Paris, when its well-heeled denizens step out to bask in the romantic moonlight. In this case, songket is the fabric of Raya, decorated with geometric and floral prints, with delicate fabrics of nimble chiffon, lace, cashmere, with an unconventional touch of denim and tweed, too. The dresses’ proportions and forms are embellished with glitter and rich hues and a vintage touch of gold and bronze, for a dazzling tribute to the evolutionary traditional Malay attire.
Innai Red celebrates the profuse diversity of traditional feminine cuts hailing from different states, giving the kebaya, kebarung, kurung labuh and kurung Kedah a luxurious update with clean lines and ladylike folds. In place of old-school accessories are sparkling embellishments, such as rhinestone buckles to replace the kerongsang, leaning to shiny metallic, rich brocade, shantung silk and taffeta. Pastels meet with bold colours, ticking all appeals of feminine tastes.
Khoon Hooi took his Raya muse on a cheeky throwback to his grandmother’s traditional outfits, with a modern embellishment here and there. The kebaya is updated via various styles and shapes, added with draping, scallop edges and floral detailing in his 18-piece collection. An eclectic mix of materials see fil coupé, satin, silk taffeta and jacquard imbued in the prettiness of pastels. A made-to-order collection expands to lux pieces, that sees a clash of rhinestones and lace, with quirky touches of florals, polka dots and checks.
The Chic Initiative
So you’ve got your outfit sorted – but it wouldn’t be complete without the 'handy' accessory. In keeping up with the festive occasion, The Chic Initiative kicks off their offerings of the Bintang collection, featuring crystals and metallics representing starry Raya evenings. Clutches come in dazzling details of Swarovski crystals, metallic leather and velvet, filling the spectrum of minimalism by day, and kaleidoscopic by night.
Inspired by the pre-French revolution of 1780s, this Fiziwoo x Fashion Valet collection projects a message of women empowerment fromthat historic era of progress into their Raya collection dubbed 'The Bread Winner'. Styles pay homage to the elegant precision of the long kurung's elegance. Classic silhouettes are staples, amplified by flouncy asymmetrical peplums, bell sleeves and folds. Pastel notes of pink, blue and powder join opaque shades of olive green, maroon and black.
Yoke & Theam
The bulk of Raya is spent on your feet, from one Raya open house to another. The right pair of shoes can add a festive dimension to your ensemble, and driven by that purpose, Yoke & Theam created a range of flats and heels in collaboration with designer Alia B. Raya 18 collection. Sporty and feminine codes pervade the series of slip-ons, sling backs and sandals, with metallic fabrics and frills for a girly look, and sporty straps and metal eyelets for an edgy hint.
Alia Bastamam’s Raya muse goes on a whimsical voyage for the season, her identity transformed and conveyed in sophisticated attire of botanical print-meets twinkling galaxy, tinted by relaxed ladylike tones. Alia's signature wraps are paired with bold skirts or flared drapes, and jewel detailing embellish chiffon togas, blouses in pure silk, ruffled shoulder baju kurung, and even disco pants as part of a pink kurta – for an evocative reference of the season’s playful nature.
For those whose Raya indulges the finer things, J Luxe Premium by Jovian Mandagie provides the haute couture wardrobe to match the mood. Structured peplums, beadings, embellished capes and mermaid silhouettes permeate the elaborate collection of effortless sophistication. Enriching the 25 looks are regal shades of emerald green, jet black, silver and red, that bring out the exquisite materials of brocade and satin.
Melinda Looi took the essence of our fashion heritage – its prints – for her ready-to-wear Raya collection, and splashed a joyful energy of vibrant colour schemes. The Bunga Pelikat collection takes inspiration from the masculine attire of kain Pelikat, transformed into womenswear by way of a softer treatment and floral motifs. Melinda's trademark embellishment were projected with intricate beading, lace, Swarovski crystals, and pleated ruffles, that lent an eclectic dimension to a number of well-loved West Malaysian styles.
With his multi-racial background, Syomirizwa Gupta’s collections always weave symbolic tales of cultural diversity. For the label's Raya 2018-Zalora collection, Syomir produces a range of 1960s-cut kurung and kebaya inspired by former First Lady of Singapore, Noor Aishah Mohammad Salim. Handdrawn batik, lace and brocade bring to mind the modest sensuality of this heritage and an unmistakable sense of nostalgia.
This Raya jewellery collection also stars in a special collaboration with Innai Red Raya 2018, and has already made a cute impression on many. For Eid, Wanderlust+Co reinvents summery floret motifs inspired by orchids, lilies and poppies, and fashioned them into earrings, necklaces and bracelets of brass, matte and 14k flash gold plating in dangling forms or oversized facets.
For the hopeless romantics, Nurita Harith has infused her Lebaran 2018 Raya collection with her bridalwear specialty. The muted elegance of dusty lilacs, green and lavender colour the Luxe made-to-measure line and Premium line of ready-to-wear. Nurita celebrates feminine confidence with fluid materials and drapes that hug the figure coupled with strategic embroidery and bead appliques.
For those searching for a more modest Raya wardrobe, HIDAYA presents a line of conservative yet charming pieces across a palette of colours and styles. Black and regal looks come in the Ali, Amal, Esperanza and Rumi pieces, enhanced with embroidery and lace, while sweet pastels are a specialty in the Kashmiri Laces collection. The more exquisite Nadja offers an artisanal touch of lace applique, premium nada and chermeuse, a specialty of the most elegant of abayas.
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