Thursday, May 28, 2009

Fashion Shoes under the spotlight - All shapes, colours, materials and designs showcased at competition

Shoes under the spotlight
All shapes, colours, materials and designs showcased at competition

By Jade Chan [email protected]

SHOES of all shapes, colours, materials and designs took the spotlight at the Malaysia Footwear Design Competition (MFDC) 2009 award presentation held during 1 Utama Shopping Centre's annual fashion week.

The MFDC was created as a platform for young and upcoming designers in Malaysia to express their thoughts and design capabilities through the creation of their masterpieces, from the conceptualisafion to realisation of the actual footwear.

MFDC 2009 featured five categories: Men's Leisure Shoes Design, Men's Fashion Shoes Design, Ladies' Leisure Shoes Design, Ladies' Fashion Shoes Design and Ladies' Evening Shoes Design.

The top three winners of each category received RM3,000, RM1,000 and RM500 respectively and a plaque each.

There was also a Most Creative Grand Award whereby the winner would be rewarded a free trip to visit an international shoe fair, while
three individuals were presented with a Most Promising Award certificate.

The entries were judged based on their innovation, creativity, practicality, functionality, popular appeal, material selection and safety.

The winners were selected from a total of 270 entries received from 112 participants,85% of whom came from design institutions.

Most Creative Grand Award and Ladies' Fashion Shoes Design Award winner Tan Yen Yen appeared stunned yet thrilled by her double Win.

"My concept was of graphic pop art With the use of picture elements to create a mischievous and playful feel. I wanted to give a new twist to boots, hence I came up with one that had dual function so the wearer can mix and match it with her outfits.

"The base has a funky black-and-white design, along with a jacket that has colourful graphic motif," said the 22-year-old SML Fashion Academy Fashion Design student.

Tan said her win would motivate her to itake up more contests and even design more shoes to Xo withher clothing designs.

In his speech, guest of honour Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said: "This competition is timely, judging from the performance by the industry of an estimated RM1 billion business with exports surging to RM657 million in 2009, compared to RM612 million the previous year.

"The performance by the industry augurs well for the country as the government is also encouraging Malaysians-to buy local products.

The emergence of DatukJimmy Choo, who carved his name in the international shoe design Itarena, is proof that Malaysians can excel in this field. All we need is to create more Jimmy Choos from our pool of talented designers."

Organising chairman YS Leow said: "This competition is aimed at promoting and upgrading local footwear design, and its standard for the
development of the industry."

Leow, who is also Selangor & Kuala Lumpur Shoe Industry Association president, urged participants to take the opportunity to network and offer to design shoes for the celebrities and guest,s of honour that were present at the event.

Local songstress diva Ning Baizura noted that Tan's design stood out because of its creativity, and chic yet edgy look.

"The boots are original, stylish and funky. Tan made it clear when She said she wanted something that was multipurpose, and it's something that can be worn to day or night functions," said Ning.

The self-confessed shoe fan who values comfort admitted that she Would wear Tan's boots, and looked forward to getting Tan to design shoes for her collection.

Ning, along with fellow competition judge and jazz singer Noryn Aziz, also enthralled the crowd with their powerful performances.

The other judges comprised Anita Sarawak, Sonny San, Jimmy Chia, Hazel Lui, Jonathan Cheng and Stanley Chong.

The event included a fashion show by Malaysian designers like Key Ng, Jonathan Cheng,. Scott Chu, Bill Keith and Alvin Tay, some of whom personally designed the shoes to go with their outfits.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Fashion - There's nothing that says men can't look macho and trendy in pink.

Aussie inspiration

There's nothing that says men can't look macho and trendy in pink.

PINK T-shirts and pansy motif shirts may not appeal to the typical urban male but crea-tively-designed, they could well be show-stoppers.

That's what the latest collection by home-grown label Philosophy-Men is offering and more.

The new Melbourne 360C collection is all about timeless and playful pieces that carry that relaxed Aussie feel.

Featuring graphical prints to classic, striped designs, the shirts and T-shirts are stylishly paired with checked bermudas or white pants.
Worn on their own or under well-tailored vests and jackets, the pieces make for easy mix and match ensembles.

The philosophy embraced by Philosophy-Men during the current economic downturn is to treat extravagance as a bad word.

Founders Allan Chan and Tino Soon feel that although splurging should be avoided, indulging a little after all your hard work is surely no

"These days, men look for updated silhouettes with minimal detailing at accessible price points," says Soon, commenting on current customer demand.

"Philosophy offers guys who want to have some fun and fashion by offering them style and clothes at reasonable prices," agrees Chan, adding that the label's clothes start from RM39 and accessories from RM9.90.

The new collection, Chan adds, celebrates "smartonomics", or looking smart at economical prices, inspired by Melbourne's architectural heritage, flora and fauna, seaside charm and indigenous art.

To breathe life into the clothes, the owners headed where else but, Down Under recently for the fashion shoot. Interesting locations that
provided the backdrop included the historic St Paul's Cathedral, modern Melbourne Museum, sunny Brighton Beach and the picturesque Loch Ard Gorge (Great Ocean Road).

The Melbourne 360C collection comprises the Graphic and Geometric, Tropical Tempo, Nautical Nation and Tribal Territory ranges.

Soon utilised new fabrics such as waxed coating on linen and cotton nylon made to look like plastic.

"The new material gives a rain-proof feeling (suitable for)the wacky weather these days. Men's clothes don't really change that much (in terms of design), but new fabrics update the feel and look," says Soon, who is head of design.

The Graphic and Geometric range is influenced by the city's rich architectural heritage, from the Edwardian baroque Flinders Street Station building to the contemporary Federation Square.

"This range reflects the sleek, modern lines of Australian architecture. It features sharp cuts, minimalistic styling, and metallic and
monochrome hues," says Soon.

As its name suggests, Tropical Tempo toys with flora and fauna prints that inject a "carefree and youthful flavour" in the designs. Sporting pansies and palm trees, giraffes and toucans, motifs come off looking quietly refreshing.

In Nautical Nation, button-down tops, fitted tanks, comfy bermudas and cotton slacks form the sporty line-up. The range carries maritime
elements, appearing crisp and clean.

Inspired by the indigenous art of the aborigines, Tribal Territory relives tribal art prints on earth tone and khaki coordinates.

"It's a tad wild and rustic, with well-tailored cuts showcasing the raw lines of natural linens and fabrics," explains Soon.

The first Philosophy-Men outlet opened in 2001 in Suria KLCC, two years after sister label Salabianca started its first retail store there.

Today, the menswear label has grown to four outlets in Malaysia and three in the Philippines, while Salabianca has eight stores in Malaysia and three in the Philippines.

Philosophy-Men won the 2004/2005 Retail Award of Excellence for Outstanding Malaysian Fashion Retailer awarded by Suria KLCC. Salabianca won the same award in 2000.

Soon and Chan are also the one behind T-shirt brand Graffi Tee.

* The Melbourne 360C fashion shoot was possible courtesy of Tourism Victoria, AirAsiaX, AirAsia-Citibank Credit Card, Suria KLCC, M.A.C. Cosmetics, LG (Life's Good) and Jacob's Creek.

Fashion - Making a statement

Now everyone can get a tattoo, thanks to fashion label Ed Hardy.


WITH more people decorating their bodies with tattoos, inking yourself has never been more in vogue. Thus it makes sense that tattoo-inspired fashion label Ed Hardy should choose to launch a store here.

Everyone who's someone, from the likes of David Beckham, Fergie, Leonardo DiCapario to Jessica Alba, have been spotted in Ed Hardy gear. Now, with the unveiling of its flagship store in Suria KLCC, Malaysians will finally have a chance to check out the cult street fashion label for themselves.

Based on the designs of legendary tattoo genius Ed Hardy, these garments are not just fashion; they reflect a passion for colour and individuality. Like tattoos, there is a different Ed Hardy piece for every person.

The man behind all this attitude is designer Christian Audigier, who has worked with brands like Diesel, Naf Naf and Levi's.

Inspired by the youth of America, vintageinspired fashion, Hollywood stardom, and motorcycle and tattoo culture, Audigier was very taken up with Hardy's artwork.

In the effort to bring together tattoo culture and fashion, he purchased the rights to Hardy's designs; with that, a new fashion subculture was born.

Ed Hardy Autralasia Region managing director Gary Berman, who was in Kuala Lumpur for the opening of the store, says the label allows people to express themselves through their clothes.

"I don't think people want to dress up in 'vanilla!'" he said. "People want to express themselves, but sometimes they're scared to wear something different, to stand out.

"Ed Hardy lets you put the pieces together however you want, in a way that makes you feel comfortable but also lets you make a statement."

Berman added that the idea was to have casual clothes that stand out. "This is casual wear that you can wear out. Like a tattoo, the clothes say something about you."

And while the strong colours and bold designs may seem youth-oriented, Berman insists that Ed Hardy caters to a very broad demographic.

"It's for everyone, from little kids and teens, to people in their 20s, all the way to those in their 50s. The designs are evergreen and a lot of these tattoos were created about 20 years ago. Out T-shirts are classics," he said.

According to Ed Hardy Malaysia general manager Azril Akmar, the clothes allow people to bring out "the rock star within".

"I've seen it on so many customers' faces. You won't know the feeling until you've actually tried on an Ed Hardy piece. It's just something

Malaysians have to experience for themselves," he says.

The Spring/Summer 2009 collection, which was launched recently during the label's grand opening, combines Ed Hardy's signature street sensibilities with a fun, lighthearted twist. Splashes of colours like red, pink, baby blue and green give the edgy clothes a carefree quality, and accessories like beads and wrist cuffs add a touch of the whimsical.

In keeping with the season, spaghetti straps, bikini tops, miniskirts and daisy dukes are out in full force for the girls, while the guys rock the casual look with bermudas, hoodies and polo Tees. To dress up the look, there are slick leather jackets and stylish embellished jeans.

Of course, it wouldn't be Ed Hardy without the trademark tattoos and true to form, even ultra girly or preppy clothes are funked up with hip artwork.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Natty Nettles Fashion - should pick up a few simple rules of dressing

Some of the attendees at the recent 44th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards in Las Vegas should pick up a few simple rules of dressing.

US actress Kaley Cuoco Agent GoaSS:
You don't need Eight Simple Rules Of dressing up to know that this look is bad.
Private Kinky: Staring at this caused me a headache. Aspirins, please!
Major Vintagenista: Cuoco's fashion sense is cuckoo!

US singer Taylor Swift Agent GoaSS:
Help! That shapeless dress is eating poor ol'Taylor!
Private Kinky: She has a tendency to dress old. This ensemble look like a casino tai tai.
Major Vintagenista: For someone so young, her style here is very outdated( completely different from last week's best outfit on this page).

US comedian Scott Thompson a.k.a.Carrot Top and a friend
Agent GoaSS: Carrot Top is becoming his own bad joke!
Private Kinky: A disservice to the "Eat More Carrots" campaign.
Major Vintage-nista: Ugly is too nice a word for this ensemble. Let's just focus on the friend instead.

US singer Jennifer Nettles of country music duo Sugarland
Agent GoaSS: Sweeeet!
Private Kinky: Jen, you give me a sugar rush. And I don't even need a Krispy Kreme.
Major Vintage-nista: A dress that hugs in all the right places.

US singer Kellie Pickler
Agent GoaSS: Pickler's mind must've been pickled when she picked this scaley horror.
Private Kinky: A reject from The Little
Mermaid: When Ariel Goes Mad.
Major Vintage-nista: Scales are not a good look unless you're a piano!

US singer Lee Ann Womack
Agent GoaSS: Mothers should just stay out of their teenage daughters'closet.
Private Kinky: Womack realised too late that the white bench was freshly painted.
Major Vintagenista: Some kids drew graffiti on her and she didn't even notice!

Officers on duty
Agent G-on-a-Shoes-String(GoaSS) gets high at the sight of a very rare pair of sneakers, as well as light-brown suede lace-up boots with stiletto heels. Prefers lace to leather (or, God forbid, PVC!), loves brights and whites and sometimes blacks, but puts the greys and earth tones back on the racks.
True to his name, Private Kinky is into experimenting when it comes to fashion, After all these years in the biz, he still wonders why it takes an incredible amount of money to make someone look cheap.
Major Vintage-nista believes three things: style is inborn, trends should be followed with caution, and a little retail therapy never killed anyone.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Nyonya Kebaya - Sexy but not revealing - Review

SISTERS Nadya Supian, 33, and Suraya Supian, 23, consider the kebaya a staple part of their Hari Raya wardrobe.
For the photo shoot, Suraya and Nadya chose the nyonya kebaya in their collection.

"I feel special wearing a kebaya. When I was in university, I wore the kebaya with pants so that I could walk around easily," says Suraya, who is a project executive with a quantity surveying consultancy.

"I love the kebaya because it's sexy without revealing too much."
Nadya, a lecturer, is attracted to the timelessness of the kebaya.

"I caught the trend of wearing the kebaya with pants some years ago. The mix of colours on the embroidered kebaya is funky and no matter what your size is, you can flatter your figure just by adjusting the position and number of brooches on the kebaya.

"It can be sensual in many ways such as wearing it with a tank top that reveals the navel or cleavage. I buy my kebayas at small kiosks
because boutiques tend to overcharge," says Nadya.

Legal assistant Khalisa Badrul Amini, 24, first tried the kebaya at the age of 16.

"It was a turning point because my sense of fashion was 'girly' prior to that. It was also the time when I became more comfortable in my own skin even though the kebaya is a body-hugging outfit."

Remembering her first time in the kebaya, she also felt beautiful.
"It is because I usually admired the kebaya when it's worn by other people and thought how beautiful it is.

"I don't wear it to the office because I have just started working. I may consider wearing the kebaya with pants because I find that it's
comfortable," she says.

Like the others, finance executive Amy Zurina Mohd Aii, 24, loves the curves accentuated by the kebaya.

"I started wearing it at age 14. I felt so matured then," she says, adding that she perceived the kebaya as an attire "for older women" at the time.

"I wouldn't mind wearing the kebaya with pants, though my mum thinks the combination is a bit off. I can't buy them off the rack. I need to tailor them because I'm thin and it's difficult to find a ready-made kebaya in my size," she says.