Saturday, November 24, 2007

Glamorous in red - Lustrous pearl jewellery the ideal accessory

Lustrous pearl jewellery the ideal accessory

FASHION designer Shamsu Yusof relishes the idea of designing outfits for movies and theatre for two reasons - the outfits are very character-driven, and because of his educational background in English literature.

He signed on to design costumes for the movie The Red Kebaya, and eventually created 400 to 500 pieces of clothing and shoes for the movie, accessorising them with vintage jewellery from his personal collection, including a few original Dior and Schlaparelli.

Shamsu was feted alongside Vanida lmran and Datin Natasha Hudson at the Glamorous Red Dress with Rafflesia White Pearls reception hosted by Raffiesia The Pearl Centre director Winnie Sin.

The event celebrated the three personalities' achievements at the recent 20th Malaysian Film Festival-Shamsu winning the Best Costume Design award and Vanida the Best Actress for their work in The Red kebaya, and Natasha being naraed Most Promising Actress for Chermin.

A simple cake-cutting ceremony was also held for Natasha, who recently celebrated her 25th birthday.

Befitting the event, Vanida and Natasha were beth dressed in heatltiful red gowns designed by Shamsu, and accessorised in lustrous pearl jewellery by Rafflesia that ranged from cultured to South Seas pearls.

“Today, we're celebrating three personalities from the entertainment and fashion industries as Rafflesia has always been supportive of these two local industries," said gaillesla publicist Bill Bora.

"We wanted to personify how good white pearls look on red dresses. It's a combination that will never go wrong.

"Pearls are classic jewellery that personify elegance and femininity, Girls will never go wrong with white pearls as they can be worn to a broad range of events, like Winnie's afternoon casual style, the two actresses' glamorous evening look, or even office wear.

“Well-known personalities like Audrey Hepburn, Princess Diana and Jackie 0 favoured wearing white pearls,"

Sin added, "Any woman, young or old. Can wear white pearls for any occasion, whether day or night."

Shamsu said he wanted to create well-cut and simple gowns that reflected the personalities of those

who wore them.

“Vanida comes across as a conservarive actress, but people don't realise she's got a sensational sense of humour and is very articulate and intelligent.

"l went frilly to show her fun side, and used a deep red colour to reflect her sultry personality.

"1 created a more sophisticated and grown-up look for Natasha, befitting her new Datin status.

“The striking red gown is toned down with a layer of chiffon in a darker shade," said Shamsu.

His favourite creation from the movie is the signature red kebaya worn by Vanida in the movie's posters.

"The lacy top was done in the Kebaya Kota Baru design. It had a fitted design with a panel on the front, and was paired with a black batik sarong with florat motifs.”

Shamsu, who spedalises in designing one-off evening and wedding gowns for his own Margaret McCallum label, said he would love to design costumes for an epic movie about the old Malay palaces, like the warrior queens of Kelantan.

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Runway pieces with a classic twist

If you have rummaged through his first storybook collection and created your own stories in mix-and-match fashion, storybook Vol.2 will definitely captivate the fashion persona in you as Kelvin Tan springs out his new styles and designs.

Vol.2 is the talented young designer's new couture line that is currently available exclusively at isetanm Suria KLCC. Part of the department store's Designer's Selections programme for this year, Vol.2 shares the space with in-house brand Crescendo to make headlines this season.

Incepted last year, the Designer's Selections programme is an effort by isetan to promote its in-house brands as well as to provide a platform for young local designers to showcase their pieces to the mass market.

Tan's first collection, Storybook in Sungei Wang Plaza, has been around for more than a year and Vol.2, which was launched this month, has received overwhelming response.

“It's amazing! We sold out our stocks for the first few days, averaging about 60 dresses a day. I've been restocking every day with new designs and styles. It's really encouraging for me to see that my designs are receiving positive response,” Tan explained.

“The chic trendy tops and dresses have been very popular, especially with the young executive crowd. I've also maintained very affordable pricing so I guess that is another plus point,” he added.

The Vol.2 collection consists of novelty pieces that are not available in the first collection and is very reflective of Tan's signature high fashion designs.

“I've maintained my concept of making runway pieces wearable by giving them a classic twist. I think this is the attraction factor for my dresses because it is rarely that one finds such sexy and classic cuts on ready-to-wear racks,” Tan said.

The collection is a combination of loud geometric prints and classic colours to give it the softer touch.

“The geometric prints speak volumes so I have to tone them down with classic colours to make them look wearable anytime, anywhere. And of course, most of the pieces are detailed with ribbons, which is a signature style of mine,” he said.

Vol.2 will also be adding office wear and a cosmetic line scheduled to be released in Fall 2008.

“Judging by the mass market response, I would really love to take the brand to another level. I have big dreams and hope that it will become a home-grown big brand that makes international headlines. If foreign designers from Europe can penetrate our market, I'm pretty sure that local talents can do the same,” said the 26-year-old designer who is also a recording artiste.

Storybook Vol.2 is currently available exclusively at isetan, Suria KLCC.