Kuching to host The Best of Asean Designers 2019 in Sept

Karim (centre) speaking before a press conference as his Permanent Secretary Hii Chang Kee (left) and Singapore designer Hayden Ng (right) listen.

by Nigel Edgar

KUCHING, Aug 19:  The city will be a focal point for Asean fashion designers this September, with 21 top fashion designers from Southeast Asia and China showcasing their best works in “The Best of Asean Designers 2019” fashion event.

The fashion event will be held here from Sept 6 to 8 at tHe Spring Mall and the Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK), featuring a gala show, presentations, workshops and pop-up stores which will be opened to the public for free (except the gala show to be held at the BCCK on Sept 7).


Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah during a press conference this morning said the event which will provide a platform for collaboration among fashion designers, will showcase creative talents of established and emerging fashion designers from Sarawak and Southeast Asia.

It will also help to promote Sarawak as a destination for creative pursuits, Abdul Karim added.

“Southeast Asia is naturally blessed with a rich and diverse cultural heritage. Every year, the region attracts a huge amount of tourists who are seeking for unique cultural experiences. Its cultural heritage is manifested through a wealth of ancient monuments, religious sites, colourful festivals, exotic cuisines and of course, traditional arts and crafts.

“The cultural heritage of the Southeast Asian region is also reflected in the traditional costumes of the countries.

“Malaysia and Indonesia are known for their Batiks and Kebayas. In Thailand, the women’s national costume is named the Chakri, while the men’s costume is known as Sue Phraratchatan.

“In Cambodia, the Sampot is a women’s long skirt, while the men typically wear cotton or silk shirts. The Longyi is the Myanmar national dress worn by men and women. The most popular and widely recognized Vietnamese national costume is the Ao Dai, which consists of a long gown with a slit on both sides, worn over silk pants,” he said.

Karim said although fashion design and fashion shows in modern times were often associated with Western influences, traditional Southeast Asian culture and heritage are also rich, from which inspiration could be drawn upon.

He said in today’s hyper-connected world, the young generation of Southeast Asian designers have both the technology, skills and heritage to put together creative works that blends the old with the new.

“This is what the Best of Asean Designers 2019 will be showcasing,” said Karim.

Karim (seated centre) during a group photo with some of the organising members, designers and participating models for the Best of Asean Designers 2019.

He also hoped that the Best of Asean Designers 2019 would serve as a platform for Sarawakian designers to work together with fellow designers from regional countries, and leverage on their networks to access new markets for their collections.

Supported by Karim’s ministry and organised by the Asean Fashion Designer Showcase (AFDS) in collaboration with Creative Teamlab and also tHe Spring Mall, many mini events will be held at tHe Spring Mall here where admissions will be free.

From Sept 6 to 8, there will be “Taste of Asean Showcase” to be held at tHe Spring Mall where the 21 fashion designers would showcase their greatest works on a runway with 30 models from Sarawak and other parts of the Asean region.

Participating designers are: from Malaysia – Orson Liyu, Michael Ooi, Fion Poon, Ranong Peru, Catherine Wong and Wan Bainun; Singapore – Hayden Ng, Sylvia Lim and Terry Yeo; Laos – Bandid Lasavong and Pui Sengsoudeth; The Philippines – Pat Santos and Dave Ocampo; Indonesia – Lenny Agustin and Dibya Hody; Myanmar- Min Thu Ryein; Brunei- Fadzil Hadin; Cambodia – Natacha Van; Vietnam – Ha Linh Thu; Thailand – Pitnapat Yotinratanachai; and China – Fan Yan Yan.

Those interested to participate in the Create Your Signature Style Workshop on Sept 7 at tHe Spring Mall will be given a treat on tips and techniques by professionals of top Indonesian makeup brand LT-PRO, and tips on grooming techniques by Singapore grooming consultant Ida Ong along with leading makeup and hair creative directors Tinoq Goh and Dylan Chan, who are also from Singapore.

Also at the Mall on Sept 6 to 8 will be pop-up stores to be set up by Mall tenants and  participating designers.

The The Best of Asean Designers 2019 Gala Night will be held at the BCCK on Sept 7 where all participating designers will be showcasing selected looks in a special curated show. — DayakDaily