The best young designers in Kuala Lumpur right now

Impressive, provocative, phenomenal.

ICYMI Kuala Lumpur had their fashion week a couple weeks back. We went along and were seriously impressed. Kuala Lumpur’s design schools must be doing something right because the talent coming out of there is phenomenal.

AirAsia held a young designer search competition and nearly 350 people applied. The panel narrowed it down to 10 finalists who each showed a capsule collection of three looks at Kuala Lumpur Fashion Week. The theme was ASEAN.

Congrats to Lee Bao En for winning first place, Shazmin Hashim for winning first runner-up and Ter Mei Ching for winning second runner-up. We rounded up the top 10 because they were all pretty impressive.

Ter Mei Ching (second runner-up)
School: Esmod Kuala Lumpur

Ter Mei Ching was inspired by one of Malaysia’s national landmarks, the Penang Bridge. You can see that through the garments’ architectural shapes and the grey and white colour palette. We’re even getting some space vibes.

Ong Pei Yin
School: Esmod Kuala Lumpur

This one is inspired by the city of Kuala Lumpur. It’s got that urban cool workwear feel but it’s a little bit more conceptual. Sheer pleated details and felt floppy hats? Yes.

Liew Suet Yi
School: Esmod Kuala Lumpur

Liew Suet Yi was inspired by modern architecture in Singapore. She used a monochrome colour palette, a unique colour blocking technique and slashed sleeves for movement.

Andy Yeo
School: Malaysian Institute of Art

Ah, that flamingo print. Andy was inspired by the Langkawi Bird Paradise Wildlife Park. The flamingo, lush greenery and sheer detail is making us ache for spring. The neoprene makes it a bit cooler too.

Salina Sulzaily
School: Limkokwing University of Creative Technology

Salina was inspired by architecture in Malaysia. It’s a slick black leather collection with silver zip hardware detailing. We’ve got our eye on that biker coat and A-line midi skirt.

Lee Bao En (winner)
School: UCSI University

Lee Bao En won first place and it’s easy to see why. Her collection was the most provocative. The models walked slowly and eerily down the runway wearing draped headwear, rough crochet fabric and rainbow ropes that tied their hands behind their backs. The collection was inspired by the ancient ruins in Angkor Wat and the Khmer people of Cambodia.

Hazimin Norzaili
School: UiTM Shah Alam

Hazimin was inspired by deep sea creatures. We love this one. It channels that underwater vibe but instead of going down the dreamy romantic route, it stays tough. There are clashing prints, electric blues and yellows, intricate cut-outs and some fab face jewellery.

Syamil Fazwan
School: UiTM Shah Alam

Syamil’s collection is about the haze and air pollution in the region. This was fantastic. The models wore black gas masks, netting over their heads and carried boxing gloves. There was a gradual fade from black to white, “HAZE” typography and a sports luxe feel.

Shazmin Hashim (first runner-up)
School: UiTM Shah Alam

Shazmin’s collection was a beautiful depiction of deforestation. The models had twigs tucked delicately behind their ears, and Shazmin actually painted the the graphics featured on the garments.

Foo Yee Ming
School: Malaysian Institute of Art

Foo Yee Ming took inspiration from traditional songket fabric, a brocade textile used in Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei. Her holographic take on it was hypnotising.


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