As the Malaysian fashion industry bids goodbye to fashion week, we reminisce about what makes a designer’s collection pop.

Kuala Lumpur was abuzz with activities surrounding last week’s Malaysia-International Fashion Week (M-IFW’10), and for good reason.

In recent years, the industry has seen the emergence of many exciting new designers who are young, vibrant and full of energy.

Over the years many young designers have taken their sketches and designs all over the world, most recently Raffles International College alumni Jonathan Liang showed his collection at London Fashion Week.

Last week the crème de la crème of our fashion industry took to the runways of MIFW, as did many young hopefuls from fashion schools in Malaysia (you’ll read a lot about them in the weeks to come). This got me reminiscing about some of the wonderful designs I’ve had the privelege of seeing at various fashion shows this year.

I love the drama and edge shown by many young designers, and especially when it comes to the creative use of materials. Some of them are just so out there, so crazy, but you can’t stop staring at them – they’re a strange beauty to behold.

In the spirit of making lists, here’s one of the standout elements designers often use in the shows I’ve attended, or at least watched online, or on TV.

Sheer beauty

There was a time when you couldn’t be caught dead in anything see-through, but now this element is everywhere, and designers can’t get enough of it. Just check out this design from Liana Riris A.K.’s collection at the recent Raffles graduation show.

Liana Riris A.K.'s collection 'Statement of Courage'

Liana Riris A.K.'s collection 'Statement of Courage'

Sheer lace, which I have avoided buying because I was sure it was on the way out, is bigger than ever now! So head out and stock up for all those Christmas and New Years Eve parties you’ll be attending at the end of this year.

Futuristic elements

Often when movies, music videos or television series depict the future, women and men are dressed in silvery pantsuits, with structured shoulders and military-like elements to their outfits.

Putri Ili M. Noor's collection 'Beautified Sorrow'

Putri Ili M. Noor's collection 'Beautified Sorrow'

These, when presented on a runway, are always eye-grabbing, mainly because throwing something like that on requires a certain amount of character.

Check out this awesome futuristic-esque piece by Putri Ili M. Noor’s collection, ‘Beautified Sorrow’. Isn’t that a shade you would love to experiment with, but probably never will out of fear of rejection? That’s what makes an edgy dresser (I know I’d have trouble wrapping my head around wearing this).

Crazy hair

This is a popular element in most shows, and Malaysian runways are no stranger to – the crazy big hair. I can imagine the amount of backcombing and hairspray that goes into getting that poofy, afro effect and it really stuns on the runway.

The ruler-straight hair look works just as well, and I always appreciate unique styles like buns and braids.

Dramatic makeup

Of course, you should never draw too much attention away from the clothes but sometimes the models’ makeup does this.

I’ve often been distracted by the dramatic eyeshadow and facepaint some designers incorporate into their shows, and on the other end of the spectrum (I never thought I’d say this) some of the models are way to pretty! I end up staring at their gorgeous features instead of the clothes.

dramatic makeup

dramatic makeup

Not that this is a bad thing, I simply adore makeup, especially if it gives the outfit an edge, and, if it is in accordance with the show’s theme.

Tell us what you think!

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