Get glammed up for Hari Raya
ARE YOU ONE OF THOSE people who gets sky-high excited about any celebration and festival, even though you don’t personally celebrate them?
When Chinese New Year comes around, I get all giddy and abnormally childish when I see a lion dance performance at my neighbour’s house – imagine their cute ears flapping around! During Deepavali, although it may not be as widely celebrated in Sarawak compared to West Malaysia, I like watching Hindi blockbuster movies on television and the cooking channel that features Indian cuisine (good-looking actors and food go hand-in-hand).
With Hari Raya just around the corner, I bet our Muslim friends are even more excited and are now in the midst of preparing for the eventful celebration. After a month of fasting, nobody would deny them a great time of celebrating.
Besides the food and the friends during Hari Raya, the other great part about house-visiting is getting to see what people are wearing.
The baju kurung (for women) and baju melayu (for men) have evolved dynamically over the years, straying away from the usual straight-cut tops and bottoms, to a diverse range of sleek and modern baju kurungs with different cuts and flairs.
Always up-to-date with what customers want and the latest fashions, SES Pesona owner Parves and his sales assistant, Ilia, say that this year’s hottest style is the princess cut baju kurung.
Located at Satok, the store has been open in Kuching for 13 years now and is well-recognised for selling various styles of baju kurung, baju melayu, tudung (shawl) and jubah.
Slightly fitted around the bodice and flowy from the waist to the ground, the fabric of choice for the princess cut of baju kurung is either chiffon, lycra or soft cotton to create that regal style sure to make any girl look and feel a princess on Hari Raya.
The beading detail around the collar as well as the embroidery on the hem of the dress emphasises the classiness of the princess cut. When artistically and intricately arranged around the collar, the beading details give the baju kurung an added touch of femininity.
Speaking of colour, according to Ilia, this year’s colour scheme is colour blocking, where the appearance the outfit is made up of two or more eye-popping solid colours, typically in bold shades. This year’s most popular choice of colour are fuchsia pink, turquoise and emerald green.
Moving on from Satok to Kota Samarahan, kiosk owner of Sal Safiyya, Salmizar Azmin, who operates her business at Summer Mall with her husband and sister, Nur Hanis Athierah’s designs are selling like hot cakes.
Since Nur Hanis is studying fashion design, they design their own collection of cotton baju kurung, with lace borders along the hem and beading details on the collar. While they purchase their own fabrics and beading, their clothes are fabricated in Vietnam.
Similar to SES Pesona, the baju kurung at Sal Safiyya uses the same bold shades and striking colours although it seems that the Salmizar’s customers seem to prefer either green or mustard yellow as their choice of colour.
While SES Pesona was raving about the princess cut, Salmizah’s collection line is made up mostly of baju kurung Pahang called ‘pesak gantung’.
Although different stores, boutiques and even stalls might have different hot items, it seems that they all have something in common this year which is colour blocking!
Like her baju kurungs, Salmizar also designs her own tudungs which revolve around the colour blocking scheme. Among those that she and her sister design are ‘mariya four layers’, ‘mariya 3 layers’ (which are tudung consisting of either four or three layers with colour blocking), ‘qhadeja velvet’ (with a long piece of fabric be pinned on top) and ‘Aisha double selendang’ which has a brooch to add the final touch.
Small local business owner, Siti Julia, 25 who only opens her tudung stall during the fasting month said that the most in-demand tudung this year was the double- and triple-layered tudung manik (beaded tudung) which also comprises either two or three bold colours.
Other than that, another famous item this year is the coloured telekung. Once only available in cotton and the colour white, now customers can get them in different colours where turquoise and olive green seems to be the popular choice with a softer and cooler fabric.
At SES Pesona, the style much in demand this year is the ‘half moon’ tudung with beading and embroidery details. Rather than opting for the classic fabric choice of cotton, the half-moon tudung looks more dressy feminine in soft fabrics like chiffon or lycra.
Whether you prefer the classic old school cut or the latest and in demand princess cut baju kurung, one thing for sure, the ladies always pull all the stops to look radiant on Hari Raya.
So, to those who are celebrating, Selamat Hari Raya and for those who are not, happy visiting!