Sunday, September 18, 2011

Come Join Me at My VIP Seat, even if you're not one - The View is Better. Good Things are Meant to be Shared. Arts is Universal, shouldn't you be too?

Gettting ready for my close-up
View from my VIP seat

Day 2 - This time, I am more prepared. I dressed up nicely, and ready for any photographers who wants to take my pictures. Upon arrival, I was ushered to the VIP seat. Of course the time belt for my friend's fashion show is in the late afternoon, so it seems like I could be the only VIP in the seating. Eventually, more VIPs (some I don't recall, probably very reowned in their own industry, who knows right?) began to take their respective seats. The view from the centre is beautiful. If you are a follower of my blog, I always like to share my journey with all my readers. I don't consider myself as being exclusive or private, but when there are good things to share, why not? The VIP seat is also ideal for me to take pictures to share for my followers here, without the crew blocking my view.

Time to sow the seeds
I am so happy to know that there will be some Malay traditional dance performances. What a wonderful change from the usual catwalking and fashion display. As an artiste, I enjoy watching dancing. Even if I am not Malay, I still enjoy watching others dance. Art, to me, is universal, doesn't discriminate your race or religion. The first dance was called "Inang Capai". I enjoy interpreting the dance moves - it seems to me they are farm girls reaching to sow the seeds. Of course it helps to watch the gyrating hips of these girls. Who says tradtional dances are not sexy?

Here comes the men
For this joget dance performance, the men appeared in dazzling orange colour. From my keen observation, the performers are still the same from the last number. I love the way they twist their body to the side, and the men bending forward. There's much symbolism and background to tell, being that this piece has its roots in the farm life.

Legs Apart, Men
I am impressed by how quick the dancers changed their costumes. For example, the men was quick into tranforming to their blue outfit. For this men-only dance, I could sense how smooth and soft their hand movements were. Of course there's no hip gyrating. The men danced with giant steps forward and backward, with their legs apart.

Some Kicks and Receiving
For this joget number, I enjoy watching how harmonious the ladies and men dance with each other. The women are always dancing with their open cloth, as if to receive something. The men on the other hand were more acrobatic with their legs.

Hips Gyration and Delicate Hands Work
Love this piece of performance. The music accompanied for this dance has a nice tempo, that really puts me at least, in the dancing mood. The hips on these ladies were really outstanding, notice that they are wearing a tight sarung around their buttocks? The hand movements were also beautiful and exquisite.

Wait a minute, where's everybody?
As I sat there enjoying the traditional dance and singing, I suddenly noticed one by one the audience began to slip away. Compared to last night's show, where the performances were more contemporary and the artistes more glamorous, the audience were practically packed. But for this form of traditional performance, the audience, I suspect, were quick to get bored. Personally for me, I admire these traditional performers more, for they have to work in a group. The timing, choreography (no doubt it looks simple, but I feel they really do practise hard to make each piece flows seamlessly) and the costume change are simply more appealing. No wonder some VIPs were looking at their watches. It seems now the VIPs prefer the more fast tempo sort of shows nowadays.

Round and Round We Go
To end the traditional performances, the last dance was a fast tempo one. Notice how the ladies and men were dancing. It was a mixture of everything - hips gyrating, hands and arms works and body forward and side. Here come's my friend's fashion showcase...

Cloak and Mystery

I love the way the show started. The models are all foreigners, making this collection look more "international". When all the models are onstage, they let go of their cloaks to reveal the pieces inside. Stepping back, I do admire my friend's take on the cloak bit, giving the show some kind of drama. But as an audience, when I see the whole collection revealed already, even before the actual catwalk, I began to have some doubts....Could this be too soon to reveal? Again, the anticipation to enjoy each piece of her designs dissipate right there on the spot. Her first design possess that dramatic flair with the high back to cover the head. Almost like the Evil Queen in the Snow White fairy tale.

Sequins and Gold
This dress spells glamour. Truly amazing to see how the lights reflect on the dress. I noticed nearly all her dresses are long. I love the luxury feel to her dresses, reaching almost haute couture. But not all is perfect. The upcoming pieces are simply...

Vampire - in Red?
This dress is very sexy, and mimicks almost like the character Vampira. Of course the colour for this piece is orange. The neck covers and splits at the shoulder to reveal the skin just above the bosoms are very interesting to look at. But this dress may risk to be a bit costume-y.

Caped Crusaders
Craftsmanship is extremely important. For the purple dress (on bottom right), I'm afraid it might fell short on the cape intercrossing at the base of the neck and the bottom part of the dress, which comes off almost clownish. But I love the details on the middle part of the dress.  Again, how does one gets the cape off? For the green dress on the left, the details on it is simply beautiful. Guess which is the winner?

Pregnant Faux Fur
I love the faux fur bit, but it gets too much at the lower body. The bosom is revealed, hence defeating the purpose of the fur. This is a design question which seriously hurts the potential for this piece. More thought is needed to make the whole look plausible.

Falling off
When this dress hits the runway, it was the most revealing. Unexpectedly, I didn't know that shoulder sling that holds the dress together was coming off. Notice in the next picture, how the model tried to hold her dress together from slipping...

Pretty Lovely
Sumptuosly crafted. How the laces blend and covers the kebaya making this piece looked very layered, yet not to the point of being bulky. This piece looks very slimming and surely will made the wearer feels pretty, look at the flowery head cover. The details are evident - which speaks for itself.

Extravaganza to end the Night
Finally the event is coming to a close. First, we have the extravagant head gear (left) . The layering on the hips and waist are beautiful. The gold lace supporting the upper body suggests royalty. Next, we have the see-through dress. Notice the black undies and bra.

Extravagant Catwalk
This model walks quite awkwardly. Whether it is the dress or something in between her legs, she really knows how to steal attention on the runway. During the show, I noticed a majority of the models didn't stop long enough for the photographers to snap their pics. Some of the models almost trip from their long tresses. For different designers, the models would stop at different points at the runway, causing confusion for normal audiences (like myself) to fix a spot to snap their photos. Hopefully, all these pointers would help the organisers to create a better MASiF in the future. Thanks for wanting a Communications Strategy Coach's point of view. Maybe in the future, we can work together and I'll be able to trim the rough edges for your future events. Great job everybody!

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Saturday, September 17, 2011

My point of view is much in demand in fashion industry. Where's my sunglasses? An outsider's 2-day review of the MASiF 2011

An Industry Outsider's View Welcomed
Apparently, my blog has been bestowed by the fashion industry as a definitive guide of insight in the industry's current trends. Plenty of upcoming fashion designers (and aspiring models) are wanting secretly for their names to be mentioned, or at least get their fashion clothes published in my blog. Again, thank you all for the trust given. Personally, I always aimed to be fair in my comments and critique on certain pieces produced by our local fashion industry. My goal is only to upgrade and improve the whole look and design of the piece, and not to downgrade anyone. A pair of industry outsider's eyes like mine are much needed to help the fashion industry to improve on their "whole look".  My background is very much steeped in the film and acting world, hence it truly gives that extra dimension on any upcoming fashion designer's development process when showcasing their designs on the stage.

Undercover from the media and crowd
Surprised to be invited for the 3-day event
The day started pretty much normal for me. Since the opening of the new Isetan supermarket, I bought myself some baked goodies from Sun Mouline (they gave an extra free bun for every purchase) and some Nissin noodles. Prior to that, I also got myself a new pair of Rayban sunglasses - this one comes with ultraviolet screen and an added feature of able to see in dark places. Wow, very good. I brought my new sunglasses along to KLCC, and went to the centre concourse to enquire about the itinerary for MASiF event. Lo and behold, after I've given my name, i was quickly ushered to my seat! Why, it came as a surprise for me - since I wasn't expecting the seating for the show was today! I know my fashion designer friend Reen (under her new label) invited me for the last day of the show - but surprise, my name is stated for 3-day! I didn't expect I was invited for the first day even, and today the second day I was welcomed to attend too. Personally, I feel I didn't quite dress up to match for the occasion. Thank goodness I have my caps and sunglasses, so I put them on to hide my identity. You never know who may be watching in the crowd.....I imagine myself like some kind of Andy Warhol or Anna Wintour - both fashion enthusiasts wearing their sunglasses. People still remembers me from this commercial, and other stuff.

This boy helped me took the pic above. Thank you! Love you!
No plus-one 
In a fashion event, one definitely need to dress up. Since I was ushered into it unexpectedly, not knowing what to do, so I have my cover-up myself up from head to the eyes. That way, nobody will know it's me. You see, in Malaysia, the public will not call you, they will just "know" who you are, even from a distance. And being in such a centre spot, with crowds of people surrounding me, and in my rather very leisure clothes, for a while I felt the need to be NOT at the centre of attention. I asked a cute little boy to take the picture of me. He's really cute and helpful little boy. Thank you! You really made my day. Being in such a crowded place, it's always nice to have someone who helped. Events such as these will only commence once the really important VIPs arrived. (and I noticed one of the VIP actually wearing a skirt like a Scotlands highlander) Of course this is a fashion show, and anyone can dress in anyway they desires - to be creative and express their own unique individuality. So let the fashion show begins!

High Headgears
Truly lovely design. Love the almost-hourglass shape, except it is not meant to be sexy, seeing the theme is more for the muslimah. I truly love the concept of the headgear acting as a form of headcover, as opposed to the traditional tudung. The concept is similar to the African tribe where the women are also adept at covering their heads to act as a base for carrying vessels and jars while they walk. The fabrics for these 2 lovely pieces are soft lace and some kebaya fabric.Of course, not all the collections is perfect. For example:

Bulky fabric or...pregnant?
I was surprised when this piece showed up. The first 2 or 3 pieces were beautiful. But when this one walked up the stage, I find the piece so bulky, it made the model looked pregnant! The fault could be the model's or the clothes, but either way, this piece just simply doesn't work. The model should have stretch her body way more to make the clothes look more fitting, rather than just let it hang on her body. Nobody wants to buy any clothing that made them look either fat or pregnant. (unless they want to, yikes). For the designer's part, the fabric especially at the waist level should be tighten - to give the look more balanced proportionate look.

Miss Robin Hood?
The colour choice, the individual pieces that come together - head piece, boots, leggings and baggy green "shirt"- all that just give the impression of Robin Hood - the other sex. I would advise the designer for this piece to be more focus in the silhouette produced because no part in this piece is focused in terms of its design elements. To save this piece, I would advise the designer to straighten up the head piece, to NOT let the tail-end dangled to the back, instead lift it up to suggest some form of regality. This piece just spells poorly-made.

Move away, cameraman! I want to see the cheetah-girl.
In an event with so many technical crew around, one only hopes nobody gets in your view. Unfortunately for me, this cameraman was constantly shifting his position - right in front of an audience. This is one shabby point where the organiser of this event should have placed the crew in order and neatly. It is simply too messy and disturbing, and downright rude for the crew to be in the view of the audience.

This is my Hood, dude... 
Dejavu, the hood is back. This piece is simply colourful (and I love colours). It is very form-fitting, which accentuates every part of her skinny bodice. But to give you a fuller view of this piece, the cameraman is blocking the view again. Mind you, it happens many times. Maybe I should let go my sunglasses and cap - so he knows who he's blocking....this abang gemuk cengkodok (means chubby in malay)

The 20s are back!
Get your butt off my face!
Again, you'll notice the cameraman. As for the look, the hair is revealed in short. Thick earrings, with a black corset matched with a grey jacket. Lovely combination.

Safe Drag
Black is a very safe colour, hence I don't find any redeeming creative quality in this piece. Again its very conventional, the expression on the model's face is very stiff, hardening to the point of coming off as a drag. How I wish the designer will experiment more colours. Another sad use of the colour black is with this singer with holey leggings - meaning it's torn. Looks very poor, perhaps an element of rebellion?

Want to see a storm? This piece does stir up some gasps from the crowd for its ultra high slit cut that goes all the way to the naughty part of the model. Everytime she walks and swings her long skirts, the front of her white panties was visible. Kudos for its ultra-daring catwalk. But the model seems at times to be shy and not confident when wearing the piece, and that's a drag. Show it proudly, girl. Or don't show at all.

Some Musical Interlude
The interesting thing about MASiF is its infusion between music and fashion. This concept is nothing new actually, but it's good that our country is catching onto the concept. The artiste in the picture in my opinion needs some brushing up on his singing, but it's lovely to watch him play the "angklong".
Front and Back
This is my favourite colour. The model has a great smile. At first look, the dress seems demure with a hint of naughtiness at the short length. But when she turns and walked back, you get to see the V-back, bare. Sexy and chic.

Armor for Yo Chest
This is a bit awkward combination. Seeing the bright yellow splashed across the black background is simply....out of place. I would rather there to be bits of yellow spread across the palate, rather than it concentrates on the breast - like a plate of armor.

I'm a Present
This is a lovely cute piece. Here's where the colour yellow is used to its true advantage - acting as a surprise in the form of a ribbon and head cover.

Colours - In Bloom
Finally, some bright colours. I didn't show you the individual pieces because as a single piece, it would be dull. But as a combination, it looks more interesting. I'm sure I can spot a traffic lights in there somewhere. For this collection from Madukala, the drapings are essential.

Kebayas Galore
It's a beautiful traditional clothing. Personally, fashion to me is always about looking forward. For this collection, I couldn't see any innovation on the age-old kebayas. For teenagers to wear kebaya is another thing. I feel it doesn't match the spirit of kebayas. A better, more innovative on the use of kebayas is much needed to make it more versatile for the times.

Evening Pieces, Not Couture
This collection is simple and lovely. But the name for this collection is attached with the word "couture". This is questionable since couture means it's ultra expensive, high concept and use of many materials to conjure a dream-like image. I believe evening gowns are more appropriate. Let's not get ahead of ourselves, shall we?

Motifs Central
This collection has a form of branding on all its collection. Notice the square shaped design on the skirt's bottom. The purple is beautiful. Love the faux-fur which gives an added luxury, but the a different matter.

It's a wig, it's a's a...a...a...
This is hard to describe. The colour juxtaposition is way out - you got grey on the arms and white on the head, smacked gold right in the middle and white boots to kick. Colour coordination is key in making this look work, and sadly, it doesn't. This look only works for a fashionable nurse working in the maternity ward for the a distant future. Oh, my eyes hurt!

Back to the 70s!
Before the end of part 1 of this article, I want to end with a positive look. Simply love this piece! Especially the black background to accentuate the swirls of colours, almost psychedelic, reminiscent of a 70s look. The hat is creative in acting as a head cover for the muslimah as well. The neck covers is white, includes the leggings as well. This is Studio 54 gone prim.

Wait for the Part be continued.

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