Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Moroccan Inspired Raya

Before I started out in the fashion world,  I had no idea how important the Raya season would be for our local fashion industry.  I mean, really no idea! It has been crazy! But in all of the craziness, last weekend I managed to get some time with the husband to buy some stuff. There was something camera-related that he really wanted to buy, and when he checked online and called up a few shops, there was only one place nearby that sold it: NU Sentral.

So last Sunday, we went to NU Sentral. I’ve been there once or twice just to eat, but I’ve never really explored this new shopping mall. All I remember that it is pretty big.

When we got there, there was quite a huge crowd. The camera shop that we wanted to go was on the LG floor, and just outside it, there was the Centre Stage. It was beautifully decorated for the Raya season. There was a unique stage in the centre, and a modern contemporary design with a hint of Moroccan Night Theme inspired lights and décor. I saw a lot of people taking pictures and selfies with their families and friends all around the Centre Stage. I really wanted to take some too.

Amidst the sea of people, it was just a coincidence that we stumbled upon my uncle and cousin, Paklop and Asrar! Really surprised to see them there. My aunt Mak Yong was also there at NU Sentral, but my uncle told me she was off shopping at the many bazaars around the Centre Stage. There were a variety of shops selling clothes, perfumes and other Raya necessaries. I met my Makyong when she was done and then we decided to take a group picture at the Centre Court because the backdrop was just too lovely. And of course, I also took a few pictures there too afterwards.

While we were snapping away, shortly after that, the emcee announced that there was going to be a fashion show by one of the vendors of the Raya Bazaar: KeQaseh by Anas Abdullah. My curiosity got the better of me and I stayed on to watch. The unique stage worked well for the fashion show. I think there were 10 looks by KeQaseh featuring classic Raya wear and there was an interview with the designer at the end.

The emcee later informed that there are many activities that are going to be held by NU Sentral during the weekends from 29th May to 3rd July for the throngs of shopping goers there. After the fashion show, there was even a special activity just for the kids too. I saw some happy kids on stage having fun with their parents looking on. Whilst the rest of the peeps were happily snapping away selfies in front of the beautiful decorations and backdrop. 

You can really tell that NU Sentral put a lot of thought and effort into trying to breathe life into the Raya Spirit, and they have done a great job! If you’re on the look out for a shopping mall that caters for your Raya needs and with the bonus of having some perfect spots to take your selfies and ootds for Raya, check out NU Sentral. Drop by these weekend maybe?


Friday, June 24, 2016

Ibs Writes : Ask and You Shall Receive, Maybe...

Hello everyone. It has been awhile since I last write something online. (FB status not included) I thought why not give it another go after Sabrina asked me few days ago to guest-write here. So here goes nothing…

I think by now, most of you would have noticed my presence on aere and Sabrina’s social media channels. Yes, I am the one responsible for the birth of aereMen. As posted on my personal IG (@ibnuaswan) before, it all started out as a joke. Knowing Sabrina from the industry that we’re in, we clicked when it comes to discussing ideas. As serious as I can be, I can be a big joker especially with people that Im close and comfortable with.

...and here we are. Me in aereMen, complementing Sab's aere :)

The idea to give aere a male perspective happened right after I teased her when I told her that she should be making a menswear collection. That came out as I was rummaging through her collection before we went out for an event. I had something on but thought it was quite boring so I wanted to see if there’s anything that I can style to become menswear (I do that sometimes). Being the last-minute person I am (when it comes to attending events) I tried an aere top (OLIVA top) that I thought looked androgynous. I can actually wear that with a white shirt since the top resembles a jumper. Dark red, so it wasn’t as feminine. Jokingly I pushed the idea to her. A spark went on and then she said “Sure, why not!” The rest was history after a meeting happened a week after that. I  was consulted by the team when it comes to the creative direction and voila, aereMen was on its way to become a reality.

Yes, no kidding. Me in aere  (Me and Sab tend to color coordinate unintentionally by the way) This was the point of time when I joked to her months ago.

To start things off, we agreed that the best time to launch it is together with aere's Raya 2016 collection FEELeid collection.

We sampled some designs with aere's team but thought that the start should be a good representation of what’s to come in the near future. We narrowed down to just one look, just to see how it will fare. Being a simple, basic person, I wanted something not intimidating for the males out there to wear. It should also not overshadow aere.  Sabrina wanted the male version to be versatile enough to complement aere. I agreed fully, as part of the DNA of aere is versatility. At the same time, I wanted it to also shine own its own.

Menswear is a different ball-game altogether. It has more restrictions when it comes to the designs. I guess that’s where my say helped. We also went around to ask opinions from key figures around us (mainly her husband Khubayb, among others). Both me and Sab were happy with our findings on the designs which were positive and that led to the sample making.

For this one look, consisting of the kurta-like KALED top and ARYAN pants, both pieces can be worn together as a whole or as separates. KALED has a clean front with button placket down right the chest. What’s nice is that it has a roomy feel with hidden side pockets that you can rest your hands in. ARYAN on the other hand has the versatility of it being worn together or as an office-wear due to the straight-cut shape. Yep, 2 functions for one piece. Economical ey?

Alhamdulillah, days after we posted images on the FEELEid collection, feedback was positive and I’m glad. Perhaps this will be an ongoing collaboration? #prayforaeremen lol!

Till then...

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Muted Spirit : In the News today : NST

Afternoon, everyone! Today is a public holiday in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia as well as a few other states here for Nuzul Qur'an, which falls on the 17th day of Ramadhan. So I have just been chilling at home, finishing up on a lot of overdue work too. 

These past few months have been really hectic and yet amazing. There were several unexpected opportunities that came up which I took. Even though it really has been exhausting physically, mentally and emotionally, however all in all I think it's been really great! We learn so much more when we are faced with greater challenges and sometimes when we push ourselves, we realise our limitations are further than what we think. I'm grateful and thankful for all that has happened so far. All praises to God for the blessings.

I woke up today to a sweet surprise when I received an email from Syida Lizta Amirul Ihsan. You might know her, she's the Editor of the Women, Health & Fashion segment of the New Strait Times newspaper. She informed me of NST's write-up on aere today! I had no idea they were covering aere so soon. I quickly asked my husband to help get me a copy (or two *close face*) so that I could get my hands on them and read it! 

The title, the write up and the words captured exactly how I feel about aere's FEEL Eid collection and the emotions I try to express through it. In muted spirit. It's just perfect. I'm really constantly amazed at how awesome our local journalists are.

It's extremely humbling to have something that we've given sleepless nights, our heart and soul, recognised. 

Thank you so very much, Syida Lizta for the great write up and NST for always supporting were since the very beginning! Accurate and lovely. DO get a copy. :) If you didn't manage to grab a copy, scroll to the end of this post to read.

Anyways, I visited NST online just to search for were before I publish this post and found this article below titled Mix and Match  by Sushma Veera on 3 December 2014! When aere has just started! Thank you again NST for the love and support :)