Sunday, November 23, 2014

Scintillating Black Leanira

I don't know why but I love butterflies for all its beauty and imperfections. They are just beautiful creatures of God. In fact, this blog started off way back in 2009 with the name The Scintillating Butterflies before it was changed to at the end of last year. 

If you were wondering where I got the names of my aere pieces ZERENE, SATYR and ZEPHYR from the aere's first collection, yes it's actually the name of butterflies. I thought it was a good way to integrate my love of butterflies into my label. I decided to name all of the pieces from aere's first collection with the names of butterflies.

This Tuesday, insyaAllah aere will be releasing two new designs from the first collection. Here in this post I am sharing one of the designs, LEANIRA. It's a floor length shirt dress fully embellished with aere's customised gold buttons all the way down which was designed so that it could be worn in many ways. You can either wear it as a fully buttoned down dress; a cool, open trench coat-ish jacket; or partially buttoned for that windy-when-you-walk effect. The LEANIRA is fully lined and not sheer but just light enough to be worn as a jacket.

I decided to wear it with my white pants today and paired it with the galaxy scarf from Yadotsa a few years ago. I only partially buttoned the LEANIRA down, so that it has a bit of a dramatic and flowy effect when I walk. It's a kind of a different look from what I would normally wear on a casual Sunday, but it has a slight European feel to it.

This shoot was done on a rooftop and the husband managed to capture some nice shots as it was really windy up there. Just for good measure, I also buttoned up all the way down to share how it would look if you prefer a more structured look. The LEANIRA is floor length, but don't fret. If the dress is too long, I made sure that the buttons don't get in the way of the alteration.

Anyways, do keep a look at aere's page to see what we have got in store for you this Tuesday. Two days to go! Stay tuned to aere's IG for updates!

Outfit details 

Top: LEANIRA shirt dress from aere
Scarf: Galaxy Scarf from Yadotsa 
Arm Candies : Gift from Swarovski

Location : KL International Airport 2, rooftop
Photographer : @kneok


Thursday, November 20, 2014

Surprise Fashion Feature

Good evening, folks.

It wasn't particularly a good day for me yesterday after my body forced me to take a little rest, although I must admit I felt a little relief after pouring out my heart in yesterday's blogpost. This morning though, I received a delightful surprise that really made my day and had me buzzing after finding out that aere was featured in the papers again! 

Special thanks and mention goes out to my dear @kinayasnain who alerted me to the happy news when she tagged me in a picture of the Berita Harian article this morning. I went to get two copies at lunch time and naturally took a picture of the article and shared it on my IG straightaway. The write-up was regarding the KL Fashion Weekend event last week. I just didn't know how to contain my excitement to see all 7 pieces featured in the newspaper. Seven!!! I seriously felt like doing a little dance, but I guess my squeals were just as annoying to those who were around me.

The article was written on the KL Fashion Weekend as a whole and was highlighting new and fresh designs, It wasn't about aere in particular. In fact there was no mention on aere at all. But that made me even more happier because I think the writer might have chosen the pictures of all seven of aere's designs which she thought represented the contents of her article. That makes me feel really happy and just beaming with pride. Seriously I am just over the moon right now. :)

First, I did not even think that I would be showcasing aere on a runway so soon. Secondly, I'm still digesting the fact that our designs were chosen to be featured in the newspapers at our very first fashion show! It's just that recognition, however small it may seem to others, that makes it a huge achievement for me. So, thank you for choosing aere's pieces to be featured in your writeup, Ms Writer Fatin Hafizah.

Actually this is the second time aere has been featured in Berita Harian in this past 1 month. The first time was when Rico Rinaldi wrote in his column just a month ago about the culture of #ootd in his article and interviewed Vivy Yusof and myself. He chose to feature two of my aere #ootd shots among others. 

The looks were taken from my blog posts :

This follows the first feature on aere in the Sun Daily which I shared here in The Sun was Shining on Me Today post.

I am so happy at the positive response in the media, and most importantly, the indescribable support from all of you on the first release of my first collection on the 28th October 2014. The response was so overwhelming that some designs were sold out already within days and now most of the designs are almost close to selling out just within the first two weeks of our first release online. Honestly, this is driving me even more to work harder and better for the next collections! Thanks so much for all the support which I really, really  appreciate. You have no idea what it means to me :)  Alhamdulillah.

And yes, I know I promised you guys in my post One Small Step: First Fashion Show that I will be sharing my thoughts on my first fashion show experience! So, wait up k. Just to keep you updated I have been a little busy working on releasing a few new designs for aere next week, so be sure to stay tuned to aere's IG or just click on aere so that you won't miss out :)

Good night everyone.


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Journey of Healing : Acceptance

It's been a while since I've written and shared about my daughter, the late Putri Jibrael Zumirrah in the Expect the Unexpected series on my blog. I've been trying my best to keep myself busy and I haven't written about her absence since she left this world. It's been one year and ten months but I am still missing her so much and still struggling to deal with her absence. Now, I've been wanting to post about this for the longest time but certain things have triggered me to write this tonight. A dear friend's blogpost, and, believe it or not, after watching the Big Hero 6 movie.

I watched Big Hero 6 last night and there were so many things that I could relate to: The movie shows how losses affect people and how people deal with them differently. The good, the bad, and the ugly.


When the little kid Hiro lost his big brother after losing his parents, he was so broken. When he had the chance to seek revenge against the brother's killer, he suddenly found his purpose again. But he did not realise that it was his anger which drove him. He only managed to snap out of it when he realized that it wasn't what his brother would have wanted. 

On the other hand, the villain let his anger consume him.  He totally lost his way to seek revenge over his daughter's death. Hiro could have been that person too. He was lucky that his brother's love came through for him. In a way, I can relate. There are times when I just want to get angry with the world and everything, but I am thankful that I can turn to God when these feelings threaten to engulf me. I am thankful.

Don't get me wrong, Big Hero 6 was a good, enjoyable movie. It's heavily recommended. It made me laugh a lot, but it also dealt with a lot of issues which just struck a chord with me. It also made a lot of people cry too.

The other thing that I could relate to was that Baymax's prescription to help Hiro deal with his loss was quite accurate: having the support from family and friends, warm hugs, and non-judgmental and inoffensive words of comfort.

Alhamdulillah, I've had the warm support of lots of people last year when she first left this world: family and friends and I'm very thankful for that. But now, at a time when so many people have moved on with their lives, I'm still dealing with the hole in my heart, although I try my best not to show it. I still have to deal with the surge of grief that I have to deal with on my own. It's not that the support system is gone, but I do understand that people have their own lives, their own bigger problems. Everyone is busy with their own struggles and battles in life. Sometimes I feel like I do not want to impose my feelings on them.  

I think I've turned from an extrovert into an introvert after my experience (read here: PPRoM).

So, I would rather contain my deepest feelings and just remain quiet or talk about other things that other people can easily relate to. Things that won't make people suddenly look sad, awkward or uncomfortable. I do realise it now that certain things will make people want to change topics because they wouldn't know what to say if I bring up Jibrael's name in my conversations. I feel lonely at times when I have to limit what I can talk about with people, but I do know that it is during these times that I have to turn to the Creator. He turns these people away from me so that I have no one else to turn to but Him. 

One of the many things that I've learned is that dealing with grief is not linear. This is the most relatable advice any grieving person should realise as soon as possible so that they can understand their situation and not feel guilty that they have not managed to hide the feelings away. Society sort of expects that these feelings go away on their own after 6 months. But truth is, it doesn't. It won't. I can have two weeks of normal days where the grief doesn't affect me so much, but the next day, the grief overwhelms me again, so much so that I can't focus on anything else. They call it grief attacks. I blank out. I become numb, sad or angry at everyone or no one for no apparent reason, I become quiet. I become distant. I become socially awkward. I can't control it, and all it does is drive people away from me. But it's something I have come to accept and live with. The price for fighting for my daughter's life all the way with everything I had. and still losing her. 

I accept it. And I will do it all over again for her without hesitation. I have no regrets because she has taught me so much and has made me a mother. I just miss her so much.

I do know that I am improving, especially from early last year where I would suddenly cry or panic if I hear sudden loud noises, when I couldn't even go out of my room without people forcing me to. When I couldn't bear to face some babies (some babies are okay, some aren't, especially girls, but I have no idea why and I can't control it). In that sense, I have improved over the past year. However, there are still triggers which affect me. Most of these triggers are unintentional, and I know that generally people mean well. But honestly they don't know the effects it has on those suffering from grief.

Grieving isn't a disease, illness or something you can just "get over". It is a life-long process. It's perfectly okay to not be okay and don't let anyone try and rush your journey of healing. Accepting this will also take time. People will try to convince themselves that  they should quickly get over the loss and become "normal" again. The wound will never fully heal, it is not meant to. You have lost a piece of yourself which is no longer here on this world, but waiting for you in the hereafter. This is what I feel right now, as I'm writing this. This is a comfort for me. Of course, I still do have momentarily breakdowns so I'm writing this to remind myself because there are a lot of times when the trigger happens and I cannot control myself.

I write this in the sincere hopes of sharing my experience with those who have suffered loss and to those who want to help someone who they know have suffered loss.  May this post be read in such light and may it be beneficial for everyone, and myself. May God  grant us strength and guide us through this journey of healing and acceptance of the things that we can change and the things that we can't.