Thursday, 17 February 2005

Fashion (non)sense

It was a really bad start. I didn’t want to go. I didn’t even apply but the invitation came anyway. I am one sartorially challenged person and I suspect my presence at these functions was needed to challenge any designer who claims he/she can change and transform a person’s sense or style of dressing. Good luck to them.
So, off I went in a mismatched tudung and attire much to the horror of my children.

First stop, at my shoemaker friend’s shop. He was busy entertaining clients from Hong Kong. The clock was a-ticking and I was a-tapping my badly wornout shoes, (not unlike iJun’s.)

After what seemed like a life time of muah-muah, kiss kiss, bye darling, bye sweetheart, we flagged down a taxi to go to the Roof Garden, where Eric Way, Cherie Blair’s dresser was holding his show. The time was 12.15 and the show would have started and I’d miss the pictures badly needed for my piece. Shoemaker was hungry and seemed oblivious to the miles and miles of traffic along Bayswater Road. I pacified him with the last two bars of Galaxy I had in my bag.

Once there, it was already 1240 and I was sure Eric was already taking his bow while we searched for the entrance. The handphone rang, the shoemaker did a sprint. “Hurry! They are holding up the show for me!” We ran helter skelter, shoemaker, mrs shoemaker, ms shoemaker and me in my badly wornout shoes. Shoemaker knocked on someone’s door – thinking it was the venue, but was rescued by someone who came out searching for the lost party.

Phew! I have had enough of fashion shows. I must be getting on a bit when events like these don’t thrill me anymore.

I remember my first London Fashion Week. It was sheer foolhardy to apply as a photographer. You are put in this dock where it’s a dog eat dog situation. Fashion photographers are one of a kind. You go there and see Xs in masking tape all over the place, reserved areas for the best shots. And if you should be foolish enough to go in front, and they see a strand of your hair straying into their lenses, you’d better wish the ground opens up beneath you. There’d be a chorus of "Hoi!! Get out of the way!"

I was there, clutching my small Canon Ixus, surrounded by mothers of all cameras with grandmothers of all lenses, being elbowed left, right and centre. I remember getting just Naomi Cambell’s heels, Jodie Kidd’s knees and the rest all blurred or blank.

Fashion shows never start on time. It’s the prerogative of designers. The higher they are on the who’s who list, the longer you wait for the show to begin. So, in the meantime you look around to see who comes in what to these events.

The most fascinating creatures to watch are the so called fashion writers. They hardly practice what they preach in their columns. Coordinates do not come any where near in their vocabularies. And my children worry about my dress sense! Watch Hilary Alexander.

Then there’s the model wannabes. Tall lanky teenagers who swan around the place in the hope of getting noticed.

Then finally, the models. In those days, in my days, anyway, models are those with the vital statistics of 36-25-36, right? With bulge and curves in the right place. Nowadays, they advertise at anorexic anonymous for models. Its almost like watching death on a catwalk. There’s no need for hairstyling or proper make-up. The more outrageous you look, the better. Once I went to one show and decided that my teenage daughter could just jump out of bed and would still look good on the catwalk.

I am very proud of our Malaysian models. I was fortunate enough to meet Camelia, our Camelia, at one of these shows. Natasha et Moi.Even as a guest, after a 13 hour flight, she stood out as a real beauty. And there's of course Nasha...what a gem! I've watched her outdoing models on the catwalk here. She can be truly dazzling! (BTW, that's Kak Teh with Nasha.No prize for guessing which one is Nasha.)

And yes, the clothes. You tend to forget the very reason you come to these places when there's so much distractions. They don’t make clothes anymore. They make statements. Wasn’t there once a design which transforms into a table? I went to see one up and coming designer. She used stick-ons to create a pattern on the bodies of the models. And I will never forget Hilary Alexander’s witty remark:Wow! That’s a lovely dress you’re not wearing!

Back to the show at the Roof Garden. Now, this was one classy show at a classy place. Eric used Malaysian batik on some of his very sleek evening numbers, complete with batik shoes and handbags by Lewre.

I went home lamenting my long gone waist. What a waist!
Badly taken pix and bad layout by Kak Teh. Sleek evening numbers by Eric Way & Beautiful shoes by Lewre.

27 comments:

MakNenek said...

kak teh.. how beauty perceptions have changed..from the curvaceous looks of marilyn monroe, now we're seeing and agreeing to paler and thinner kate mosses! lepah tu, dorang tak suka senyum plak..muka 'vogue' mesti nak muncung dan garang! kah kah kah..

CN said...

why must fashion show focusing more on a tiny figure? discrimination discrimination..arghhhh

About Blogreader said...

Hey do you think I can be a model?

Captain Barbell said...

kakteh post la gambar camilla nih :)

atenah said...

fashion? i must be living in a different planet. what's most prized here are dreadlocks and on skinny pale white kids too. oh yes and tatoos, body rings galore. in the lonely planet book, this town is called the last bastion of hippy-dom. aah..finally, fashion-wise I'm at home.

atenah said...

KT, Thanks for the translation i was wvaering between ampuh or mampan.

Atok said...

kak teh,
my other half dok tanya, bila nak bawa dia gi jumpa the shoemaker as promised?
boleh join ke next fashion show tak?

Woman at the well said...

You made me laugh thinking of the skinny girls who parade in the catwalk wearing clothes that nobody wants ...
By the way, we have famous models here in Brasil. One of them just married a very famous soccer player, Ronaldo, who plays in Spain.The ceremony took place in a castle in France, can you believe it?

iJun said...

Psstt.. kak teh! err... ada nombor tepon Nasha tak? hek hek..

Yasmin's Mummy said...

err, who's Camilla? Watched Tyra Bank's 'reality' show the other night on the search for American's next supermodel. All I can say is the perception of beauty in modelling world is way different from the ral world.

Lollies said...

I just want to grow upways not sideways..

Kak Teh said...

maknenek: yes , so very true. They are not allowed to smile, and they stomp around the catwalk not unlike those russian soldiers.
Ceh Ngah: my sentiments, exactly.
blogreader: yes, children's clothes!
Riza: tengah car lah ni...
iJun: ish, ish!
atenah: hmmm once my girls went intoa phase, semua hitam, seluar koyak rabak..and theboys, jeans nak terlondeh..and they call that fashion?
atok: canlah - when u are in london, let me know and we will go. fashion show? aiyah..i had extra ticket yesterday and phoning around to ask people to come with me. Hari ni dah habis.
woman at the well: Renaldo??? My son's favorite!
Yasmin's mummy: Camilla tu bukankah face of L'Oreal? singer and model?
LollLies: kak teh pun harap macam tu lah.

budakkampong said...

orang melayu dulu pakai kain pelekat dgn kain batik je kak teh...

kak teh i was reading mok cik nab...wah... Hans Solo eh...

how about Paul Newman and Jimmy Dean... if i were "happy" i would go for them...

now, i would go for ray fienes

budakkampong said...

or was it ralph fienes

Sunflora said...

Kak Teh, an interesting life you lead! Shoemaker, designers, models etc etc. are you a professional photgrapher as well? Can we see your pictures?

Sunflora said...

Kak teh I just realised that Lewre is Malaysian made. Are the shoes comfortable? Do they come in size 9?

Kak Teh said...

budakkampong: it'll still be Han Solo for me.
SunFlora: kak teh cari makan - gitulah. I am now rummaging my picture files..and will upload pix when my son gets home. Yes, Liew of Lewre is Malaysian.

atenah said...

what pointy shoes...i can see myself terbabas into the nearest longkang with them, ah how women suffer for men

atenah said...

kak teh pakai foundation apa sampai puteh melepak muka...fair & lovely or tepung gomak? :) jgn mare...nanti kena jual

Kak Teh said...

tenah, I can see myself being arrested for possession of harmful weapon with shoes like that!! AAh, so u like my new foundation!! Nice, eh...? well, I didn't want to outshine Nasha! hehe

Mutiara said...

Tadi when I opened your blog, not all the pictures came out. Only the shoes were there. Now i see your wayang cina pic next to Nasha...no comment. Well, fashionaly speaking, I think i can only model for baggy sweatshirts and pants with your kind of make up on my face hehehe

Kak Teh said...

mutiara, if before i can wear kebaya, now its kebarung - and yes, thank God for baju kelawar. can hide a multitude of sins! Haha! I suddenly remember bedak nyonya or bedak sejuk my mother used to lumork all over my face after a bath!! I must have looked like that!

Yam said...

Hehe.. Kak Teh, nice!!

Alaaa.. but your face ada 'bedak sejuk' why la? ;)

d'arkampo said...

let me guess...

the one that look like a model is you and the one that look like a crumpled piece of paper pasted on somebody's face is Nasha. Am I right?

Waa..you are pretty.Reminds me of the actress,err..what is her name ha?

Kak Teh said...

yam: hehe! I like the bedak sejuk whaaaat!
kampo: How right you are!

5xmom ~chanlilian.net~ said...

And I will foolishly wait for the day when curves are back. The fatter, the sexier. Yum yum. *sigh* Kak Teh, you are one funny blogger. Will be back for more.

Kak Teh said...

5xMom: don't say fat..we are ample! hehe