Young fashion graduates from Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) Shah Alam dazzled the crowd on the Straits Gala Night 2023 runway in Malacca with their stunning designs. Bold and modish, their styles look great for cinematic costumes and cosplays, and are what the younger generation may want to wear nowadays.
UiTM graduates steal spotlight at fashion show
One of the most dramatic productions to walk the Straits Gala Night 2023 runway in Malacca came from a group of young fashion graduates from Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) Shah Alam.
This influx of new talents in Malaysia’s fashion scene was wowing the audience with their outfits. Bolder than usual, some of their looks appear ideal for cinematic costumes and cosplays, while the gents’ looks are exactly what the new generation may love to wear today.
It didn’t take me long to track down at least one of the eight UiTM graduates who took part in Sheng Tai International’s grand fashion show. All appear to be from different parts of Malaysia, but the one I interviewed happens to be from the same town as me.
All eight designers completed their final semesters in August 2022.Ilyas Syukri, who is from Kuching, tracked me down as soon as the show ended after learning that I was eager to conduct an interview.
Q: Tell me about the preparation, concept, and people involved.
A: We presented a collection from our final degree show last year. All of our looks were based on the dichotomy theme, in which we took classic Malaysian artefacts and translated them into a modern story to create these garments. These were the sources of inspiration that we chose:
1.Ilyas Syukri – Iban Tattoos
2.Muhammad Razwan – Wayang Kulit
3.Hazreem Khan – Saraswati Veena
4.Syahirah Rashid – Pending (belt buckle)
5.Nurul Izwany – Kamcheng (Nyonya ceramic)
6.Nazuha Maliki – Rencong Acheh (short knife)
7.Diyana MIzi – Bekas Bara Besar Terengganu (copper art)
8.Syafiqah Salim – Nyonya Ceramics (famille rose porcelain)
How did you all get on this platform to present?
We were fortunate that Designer Bill Keith, the Fashion Director for this event, approached our lecturers and then chose our designs from a pamphlet from our degree show last year. It was an incredible opportunity to present our work to such a large crowd, not only locally, but also internationally.
How did you get into fashion?
I was born and raised in Kuching. I was just an ordinary little boy, but during my teens, I felt the need to stand out. I began drawing figures when I was 13 years old, and after finishing my Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) examination, I applied for a diploma in fashion design, but was rejected. Fortunately, I graduated from UiTM Samarahan with a diploma in fine arts, which greatly aided me in honing my abilities and expanding my knowledge of the arts. This was very helpful as I eventually got into fashion for my degree at UiTM Shah Alam. I chose fashion not only to create clothes for myself or my clients, but also to create art pieces to show that Sarawak fashion is more than just prints and motifs.
Tell me about your own design concept for this show.
I chose Iban tattoos as my inspiration for my final degree collection because I wanted to learn more about the stories and meanings behind them. To some, they are simply shapes, lines, and ink on someone’s body. However, when I did my research, I discovered that it was more than that. The tattoos symbolise coming of age, bravery, adventures, accomplishments, and much more.
Cosplay is the concept I chose for my final collection. When I’m sketching my designs, I imagine creating a character for a video game. I chose cosplay as my design concept because I associate tattoos (past) with adventure games (present/future) because they share many similarities.
What’s next on your agenda?
My ultimate goal is to open my own studio and art gallery, but as a fresh graduate, I am currently taking custom orders and freelancing. I recently worked as a wardrobe crew member for a telemovie. I’m also still looking for opportunities left and right, while gradually attempting to establish my own brand. Hopefully, a made-to-order collection by this year. The future is unknown. We’ll never know what happens next.