Wearable art at JB's fashion runway

The recently concluded 13th Johor Baru Arts Festival will be well remembered as the festival that first included wearable art, presented in an event headlined, Perspective: The Runway.

A parade of models showcasing designs by A-Jane
As in all forms of art, the beauty and appeal of fashion, is highly subjective but the content curator, June Tang, did a fine job in an attempt to present an eclectic collection by local designers here and from our nearest neighbour, Singapore.

When I studied the programme at the start of the festival and discovered The Runway, I made a note in my calendar to join fashionistas at this first-ever fashion event in the JB Arts Fest.  It was always good to see what was trendy and what was back in style!

My seat labelled by my name!
Earlier on, my friends in the JB Arts Fest shared a photo taken during the setting-up of the runway in the ballroom of the DoubleTree by Hilton Johor Baru.  I thought the shape of the hall was ideal for this event because the runway fitted nicely in the centre of the hall’s longish layout.

It was a glittering evening where the Who’s who of style and fashion in JB gathered in the same hall to enjoy the creations of fellow artists.  Not only did the ladies take the opportunity the come decked out in style but even the guys cleaned up pretty well!

Ellysage designs paraded by models on the runway
I hurried into the ballroom where the rows of seats that flanked the runway were almost all filled by guests and designers.  I was directed to my seat there and was told that it had my name on it.  Thankfully, the seats were numbered and with a little bit of help, I soon found it.

The vacant seats next to mine were likewise labelled with a name, Jean Lai and I figured that the young lady seated there is the womenswear designer.  It didn’t take long for me to discover that she was indeed Jean Lai, a Johor Baru talent who is designing smart outfits under her own label, JL. (Facebook: JL Jean Lai, Instagram: JLjeanlai) 

Comfortable homegrown streetwear brands available
at Undefine, multi-branded streetwear concept store 
Guests were to be seated by 8.20pm for the show to start upon arrival of the royal patron of the JB Arts Fest, Her Highness Tunku Tun Aminah Sultan Ibrahim, at 8.30pm.  Poised and elegant, the Johor princess arrived and was escorted to her seat, accompanied by her sister-in-law and wife of the Johor Crown Prince, Che Puan Khaleeda Bustamam, who looked tall and slim in a soft, flowing gown in solid orange colour.

The two-part runway show kicked off with models showing off collections by designers Seraphina S. featuring Rashid Anas for local menswear, A-Jane and Undefine featuring local brands, Nolixon (No Limit Zone), Supercrew and TNTCO as well as Singapore’s Ellysage.

A hair sculpturing demonstration by Andy Chan and team 
Undefine, a multi-branded streetwear concept store recently opened in Johor Baru City Square, carries local quality apparel under homegrown brands.  While the models showed off comfortable street-wear, their cool outfits were matched by a range of footwear from the Crossover collection.

Part one of the show came to a close with multi-award winning Andy Chan and team who presented a hair sculpturing demonstration on two models while a series of creative hair designs were paraded by a group of models.

The focus may have been on their hair designs but my attention was riveted to the outfits the models were wearing.  As they paused and posed on the runway, I saw how these dresses projected an image of modernity in an understated and distinct style. 

These creative hair design models were wearing
outfits designed by Jean Lai
A quick check of the event programme confirmed that they were designs by Jean Lai under the label JL, which follows a simple design philosophy of achieving clean silhouettes, quality, craftsmanship and good fits.

Taste is subjective and during the intermission, I mulled over the styles that were presented earlier and decided that for me, the more wearable pieces of art must be the Ellysage and A-Jane designs.  I particularly liked the flared skirts and uneven hem lengths in the outfits by A-Jane.

The second part of the showcase featured designs by Glancez, Bev C, Al-Kaftan and from Singapore, Ying the Label.  The casual and sporty collection by award-winning contemporary fashion label based in Hong Kong, Glancez, by Malaysian Zera Ng, was in stark contrast with the flamboyant styles of homegrown designers, Beverly and Cally under their Bev C brand.

Some of the cool designs by homegrown designers, Bev C
Al-Kaftan which simply means The Kaftan in Arabic, is a Johor-based designer brand by a mother and daughter team.  Zahara Aljunied and her daughter, Amal Alkaff, who are avid fans of the kaftan, design and produce kaftans in one-of-a-kind designs at affordable prices.

Ying the Label, also offered one-of-a-kind patterns that are transferred onto fabrics from her paintings, origami and embroidery designs.  Believing that art can transcend into everyday wear, the resulting artwork of this label are subtle yet surprising.

As the models paraded the merits of each design to the beat of mesmerizing music, I admired how each outfit was displayed to its best advantage.  All too soon, the show was over and guests filed out to the foyer to visit the pop-up stalls set up by the designers and mingled with the designers and models.  

All the hard work in preparing for this event paid off handsomely as the 13th JB Arts Fest successfully pulled off their first wearable art, fashion runway event!

No comments:

Post a Comment