Many positive things can be said about the Andrew Models’ establishment of the Kuala Lumpur Fashion Week (KLFW). Not only are local designers given a new platform – or informally, a breath of fresh air – with which they can get down to business and get their creative juices flowing in the Ready to Wear arena, but to also demonstrate their pride over their hard work in making Malaysia and its various inhabitants proud.
From a viewer’s standpoint, a lot of hype usually surrounds the 7-day annual event because we anticipate beautiful art suggestive of a designer’s individuality to saturate the runway before where we are seated. In our excitement of being able to witness such finesse, we cheer to our hearts’ content when the designer comes bowing at the end of the show, thus sealing off his said uniqueness is previously showcased on stage.
But there’s another aspect to the show that we may surpass perhaps out of sheer excitement over the achievement of each solo designer. It is the aspect of connectivity and friendship – which is increasingly obvious especially with the respect to the recent 2014 installment of the KLFW and the focus on “Ready to Wear”.
The highlight has not only been on standalone names the likes of Khoon Hooi, Joe Chia, Fairuz Ramdan and Bon Zainal, but also on the progressively numerous collaborative efforts between brands that brand representatives such as Zalora, Sazzy Falak, Innai Red and The Offday have meticulously proven us with their fruitful showcases.
Street style or formal, each brand housed by a single representative has its share of relatable accentuation to give to a curated look after another that would later be worn by models as they sashay to and fro the runway platform for display. It brings to light the rhetoric questions – What is fashion after all if not to be appreciated by the mass public? And what is style if not an accumulation of different trends and sub-trends instead of just a single intended direction by a single brand?
The Offday for instance has made us especially proud. Debuting its appearance at this year’s KLFW was a big move for the brand that on a daily basis acts as a supporter and “gallery curator” of various local brands, be them eminent or up-and-coming, such as Shurén Projects, Cheese Denimworks, Tomrich Shoes and Obliq. When queried about how he feels, the brains behind The Offday Irman Hilmi only has elation to offer about his collaboration with the brands whose respective key people he calls his “friends”.
“I’m very happy with the fact that KLFW has acknowledged the effort that the brands I work with and I are doing, and I see it as a big honor being able to present a show for them,” said the happy-go-lucky man who is also the creative director of The Offday Design Studio.
This aforementioned happiness was evident at the end of the Offday’s runway presentation at KLFW last 19 June when not only Irman but also the whole team of said “friends” graciously bowed in unison and shoulder-to-shoulder. This point-of-view goes to show that fashion is not only a platform to publicise individual directions unique to a single designer but to also present what creativity looks like when good minds and steady hearts join forces. With the establishment of KLFW, we can hope for more collaborative and ambitious efforts between good friends to come our way and inspire us.