Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Craft & Textile: New takes on tenun

New takes on tenun

A cheongsam-inspired black and grey number by Nazreen Idris

At the recent Fiesta Fashion Kuala Lumpur, songket and kain tenun were married with various luxurious fabrics, to beautiful effect, writes MEENA SREENIVASAN.

Hazwani Osman’s creation. Tulle and satin for the billowing skirt with kain tenun on the bodice.

Saidin showed a French lace on tenun.

JUDGING by the eye-catching and edgy designs showcased at the launch of the recent gala Fiesta Fashion Kuala Lumpur (FFKL), it was apparent that our up-and-coming designers have a lot to offer.

The event was held in the ballroom of the One World Hotel in conjunction with Anugerah Bintang Popular Berita Harian 2008 (ABPBH) on Sunday. The 10 designers’ creations were at once elegant, stylish and dramatic.

Kain tenun such as songket and the royal Pahang woven material, which is more popularly known as Tenun Pahang DiRaja, were combined with luxurious fabrics such as Solstiss embroidered French lace, satin duchess, French chiffon, satin and raw silk. They were indeed a sight to behold.

Designers Hatta Dolmat, Zery Zamry, Chandra Shegar, Aidawati Saidin, Hazwani Osman, Calvin Thoo, Nik Erwan Roseli, Nazreen Idris, Amir Luqman and Rizman Ruzaini each created five outfits.
The show-stealers were Nazreen’s creations. She complemented the colours of the songket in pink, purple and brown with Thai silk and French lace.

“My creations, as you have seen, have elements of Chinese, Malay and Indian apparel,” she said.

Rizman Ruzaini’s creations were inspired by the 1960s. Classic and aristocratic silhouettes reflected Malay culture. Peridot green, yellow topaz and rose pink ensembles saw tulle and chiffon over satin, some with French lace patchwork embroidery.

Amir’s creations bowled the crowd over with apparel that gave traditional looks a modern twist. His five designs made of tulle, French lace and kain tenun took him less than two weeks to make.

“Although they are artistically-inspired, my creations have an essence of the Malay tradition. Two were influenced by a Malay tradition called mandi bunga, and based on the colours of the kain tenun given to me, I played on the pastel shades to bring out the subtleness of the Malay influence.

“Mostly grey, pink, lilac and a bit of green, these were the primary colours and a hint of gold to bring out the colour of the songket. I wanted to put the kebaya element on the red carpet,” he said.

Sheer, soft, flowing and monochrome, Chandra Shegar’s creations were appealing and made a statement.

“My designs convey simplicity. The theme today is based on a touch of songket and as such, I played on tone on tone. I chose soft pastels like cotton candy colours. I used a lot of chiffon and plenty of satin silk because songket is already a beautiful fabric on its own. I didn’t want to drown its colours by using too many contrasting colours. It takes away its beauty.

I am inspired by designer Elie Saab who dressed Halle Berry for the Oscars. I have worked with him before and I am motivated by his creations. My five designs focus on lime green, violet blue, milo brown and aquamarine,” he said.

A gorgeous display of traditional fabric by local songket and tenun producers Manang Songket, Bibah Songkat, Wan Hasnah Songket (Sri Gamelan Songket), Zaidah Songket, Atikah Songket TTDI, Tenun DiRaja Pahang Chini, Terengganu Songket, Perusahaan Tenun Pulau Keladi and Tenun Corak Tun Razak were also showcased at the event.

The gala event was attended by Seri Paduka Baginda Raja Permaisuri Agong Tuanku Nur Zahirah.

Also present were Puan Sri Hajar Ahmad, wife of NSTP chairman Tan Sri Mohamed Jawhar Hassan, NSTP Chief Executive Officer Datuk Anthony Firdauz Bujang, Berita Harian Sdn Bhd Group Editor Datuk Manja Ismail and BHSB Deputy Group Editor Mustapa Omar.

“The FFKL is also held to promote tenun fabrics such as songket and the Royal tenun Pahang as cultural heritage, through celebrities who can act as ambassadors.

“At the same time, we hope to encourage more people to wear kain tenun, here and abroad,” said Manja.

- NST -

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