Taking part in AARRDS was surreal. I remember receiving the email in an Uber in Washington and I had to read it over and over again because...well how did this amazing opportunity land in my inbox? Alhamdulillah, thank you Allah for the rezeki and blessings you've showered me with... but this... this is still unbelievable to me up until now.

Last Friday was the Grand Finale for the 10 finalists. I was so excited to see their three-piece collections and I was of course ecstatic to see what Humaira and Kava had worked on. I wore Na Forrer for the pre-judging event in the morning and Maricel Studio for the Grand Finale in the afternoon (yay Bruneian girlbosses!).



In the morning, we had a 2-hour pre-judging session where each judge got to interact with the designers to learn more about their collections and the stories behind their designs. I was blown away by the amount of passion, drive and effort they put in. It was very motivating and inspiring, and I only hope we have the same level of drive and passion here in Brunei. 

Here are my favourites:

Thailand - Khampee Lak Sanosurang

This was my favourite on the runway. Doesn't it just make you want to pack up and leave to a beach resort on a secluded island? One that has photographers of course because you'll need many photos of you in these outfits.


Myanmar - Ng David Phoo


He handmade each puff ball........ and if you are putting that much effort into making a garment... you best be sure I'll be wearing it proudly, sweetheart.



Malaysia - Andrew Low

His prints were inspired by peranakan decor... and I wanted it all in my wardrobe.


Vietnam - Tran Thi Tu

She was the winner of the competition... and it was very well-deserved. Her designs were so intricate and had so much depth. She was a sweet lady who didn't initially own a passport. Flying to KL was her first time flying... which makes her win even more meaningful and special.


I have to admit it. When it was Brunei's turn to walk down the runway, I teared up. I felt so much Bruneian pride and I'm sure Farhanna did too. We can now say that Bruneian designers have walked the KLFW runway. Humaira's designs were inspired by our school uniforms. It's supposed to be both modern and nostalgic. And they pretty much represented Humaira--fun, quirky and tough. One of the judges actually wants to get in contact with her because she loved her designs so much. I was totally glowing when she told me that.


Next is Siti Nazmah of Kava. I'm not a streetwear gal but oh god did it look super cool walking down the runway!!! Hazim loved their runway presentation! It was feisty, rugged and strong! Modest street gals everywhere would have rejoiced. I honestly think the designs were relevant and very marketable. If you look closely, you'll be able to see places, roads and monuments printed on the fabric.

All in all, these two gals did very very well. Thank you for putting your heart and soul into this because you made us so proud! I cannot wait to see what else you girls have in-store for the world to witness!




With Chessy, a judge from the Philippines.
Thank you again KL Fashion Week, AirAsia and Park Royal Kuala Lumpur for that wonderful experience. Thank you Na Forrer, Maricel Studio, Thavia, Nelissa Hilman, and Schmiley Mo for dressing me up.

Love,


KLFW 2017 Day 3: Brunei on the runway and AARRDS picks!

Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Taking part in AARRDS was surreal. I remember receiving the email in an Uber in Washington and I had to read it over and over again because...well how did this amazing opportunity land in my inbox? Alhamdulillah, thank you Allah for the rezeki and blessings you've showered me with... but this... this is still unbelievable to me up until now.

Last Friday was the Grand Finale for the 10 finalists. I was so excited to see their three-piece collections and I was of course ecstatic to see what Humaira and Kava had worked on. I wore Na Forrer for the pre-judging event in the morning and Maricel Studio for the Grand Finale in the afternoon (yay Bruneian girlbosses!).



In the morning, we had a 2-hour pre-judging session where each judge got to interact with the designers to learn more about their collections and the stories behind their designs. I was blown away by the amount of passion, drive and effort they put in. It was very motivating and inspiring, and I only hope we have the same level of drive and passion here in Brunei. 

Here are my favourites:

Thailand - Khampee Lak Sanosurang

This was my favourite on the runway. Doesn't it just make you want to pack up and leave to a beach resort on a secluded island? One that has photographers of course because you'll need many photos of you in these outfits.


Myanmar - Ng David Phoo


He handmade each puff ball........ and if you are putting that much effort into making a garment... you best be sure I'll be wearing it proudly, sweetheart.



Malaysia - Andrew Low

His prints were inspired by peranakan decor... and I wanted it all in my wardrobe.


Vietnam - Tran Thi Tu

She was the winner of the competition... and it was very well-deserved. Her designs were so intricate and had so much depth. She was a sweet lady who didn't initially own a passport. Flying to KL was her first time flying... which makes her win even more meaningful and special.


I have to admit it. When it was Brunei's turn to walk down the runway, I teared up. I felt so much Bruneian pride and I'm sure Farhanna did too. We can now say that Bruneian designers have walked the KLFW runway. Humaira's designs were inspired by our school uniforms. It's supposed to be both modern and nostalgic. And they pretty much represented Humaira--fun, quirky and tough. One of the judges actually wants to get in contact with her because she loved her designs so much. I was totally glowing when she told me that.


Next is Siti Nazmah of Kava. I'm not a streetwear gal but oh god did it look super cool walking down the runway!!! Hazim loved their runway presentation! It was feisty, rugged and strong! Modest street gals everywhere would have rejoiced. I honestly think the designs were relevant and very marketable. If you look closely, you'll be able to see places, roads and monuments printed on the fabric.

All in all, these two gals did very very well. Thank you for putting your heart and soul into this because you made us so proud! I cannot wait to see what else you girls have in-store for the world to witness!




With Chessy, a judge from the Philippines.
Thank you again KL Fashion Week, AirAsia and Park Royal Kuala Lumpur for that wonderful experience. Thank you Na Forrer, Maricel Studio, Thavia, Nelissa Hilman, and Schmiley Mo for dressing me up.

Love,


Oh man, I loved Mimpikita's show so much! Music plays a huge role during a runway presentation. It helps the audience feel the design even more, as ridiculous as it sounds. MK's runway presentation had old school pop songs I couldn't help bop and sway too. They had Say a Little Prayer, I Wanna Dance with Somebody, Kiss... and the list of awesome songs goes on. I was able to feel the old school pop culture vibe... and it went perfectly well with every outfit. The 80s ruffles, the glitterness, the bright neon colours... I AM IN LOVE YOU GUYS! That show is my favourite so far! Nurul, take my money!!!

Strappy heels are from Topshop.

Today's pick: Gia from Marcella and Co.




I wore Peggy Hartanto's Ursula jumpsuit today, which I have been itching to wear. It's beautiful. I love all her collections. Very neat, understated sexy and quite bold without being too loud. I wore Thavia's Caia oversized blouse under it because I loved the baggy sleeves and because I am a Thavia gal--LOVE THEIR STUFF. LOVE TCJ. 

The chic Izriniz that I had to congratulate for Innai Red's show last night.

So humbled to be seated next to them!
Anyway, here are a few of my faves (I loved this beige overall-looking piece from Maslea but I didn't catch it on camera!):

Nigel Chia

Nigel Chia

Maslea

Maslea was so ON in the minimal department. 3 the Label and Ana Abu also rocked minimalism quite well from what I saw on Instagram. But back to Maslea, I am living for her colours. White, Grey, Beige. The no fuss, slouchy but clean designs... man I could wear those everyday. I love it! Well done, Suraya. 


Mimpikita--My first pick! I WANT ONE!!!

Mimpikita

Mimpikita

Wonder if Nurul can make a longer one for me. 

Mimpikita
Thavia is one of those brands that just make you feel cool whenever you slip one on. Yes, I know it's uncool to say something is cool, but there's just no better way of describing it. It's also one of those brands that look better when you try it on. Give Thavia a go, if you haven't already, and you'll see what I mean!

Thavia

Thavia
Love,

KLFW 2017 Day 2: Mimpikita take my money!

Thursday, 17 August 2017

Oh man, I loved Mimpikita's show so much! Music plays a huge role during a runway presentation. It helps the audience feel the design even more, as ridiculous as it sounds. MK's runway presentation had old school pop songs I couldn't help bop and sway too. They had Say a Little Prayer, I Wanna Dance with Somebody, Kiss... and the list of awesome songs goes on. I was able to feel the old school pop culture vibe... and it went perfectly well with every outfit. The 80s ruffles, the glitterness, the bright neon colours... I AM IN LOVE YOU GUYS! That show is my favourite so far! Nurul, take my money!!!

Strappy heels are from Topshop.

Today's pick: Gia from Marcella and Co.




I wore Peggy Hartanto's Ursula jumpsuit today, which I have been itching to wear. It's beautiful. I love all her collections. Very neat, understated sexy and quite bold without being too loud. I wore Thavia's Caia oversized blouse under it because I loved the baggy sleeves and because I am a Thavia gal--LOVE THEIR STUFF. LOVE TCJ. 

The chic Izriniz that I had to congratulate for Innai Red's show last night.

So humbled to be seated next to them!
Anyway, here are a few of my faves (I loved this beige overall-looking piece from Maslea but I didn't catch it on camera!):

Nigel Chia

Nigel Chia

Maslea

Maslea was so ON in the minimal department. 3 the Label and Ana Abu also rocked minimalism quite well from what I saw on Instagram. But back to Maslea, I am living for her colours. White, Grey, Beige. The no fuss, slouchy but clean designs... man I could wear those everyday. I love it! Well done, Suraya. 


Mimpikita--My first pick! I WANT ONE!!!

Mimpikita

Mimpikita

Wonder if Nurul can make a longer one for me. 

Mimpikita
Thavia is one of those brands that just make you feel cool whenever you slip one on. Yes, I know it's uncool to say something is cool, but there's just no better way of describing it. It's also one of those brands that look better when you try it on. Give Thavia a go, if you haven't already, and you'll see what I mean!

Thavia

Thavia
Love,

Oh what a good day it was!

I caught two shows on the 16th--#IAMHOMEGROWN by Fashionvalet and Innai Red. I didn't get an invite to Innai but I really wanted to see what they had in store this time (Rio Bonita was amazing that I own three outfits from that collection!) so my friend from KLFW helped me score some media passes (love him!).

Innai's show was a lot different from last year's more beach-vacation-Latina feel. This year's collection i.e. Desert Rose had such a beautiful palette and I already have my eyes on a few dresses and skirts. Here's to hoping my willpower will be unwavering when the time comes.


I wore the Nicole Polkadot Blazer from Thavia, Satin Silk dUCk scarf in Black Olive and a pair of leather leggings, all from Fashionvalet. I wore the brand new pair of Nelissa Hilman--these wonderful green metallic stilettos--that they've so greatly sponsored. I honestly thought my feet would die but I was so pleasantly surprised at how comfortable they were. They were almost as high as my Louboutins but I cannot last a few hours in them. They're pretty sexy though and I would still buy another pair haha. 





I also did not know what to expect from FV's #IAMHOMEGROWN show. I kind of knew what it was about but I wasn't too sure of what they'd be presenting. So it's basically a line of streetwear which Minluna managed to style so amazingly on the models. But what I love the most about this entire movement is the level of patriotism and Malaysian pride that it instills inside all of the Malaysians present. I also was reminded of how much I love Brunei and how much I am so proud to be homegrown (from my little abode of peace). Vivy said something along the lines of Malaysians should always dare to dream and live your dream knowing that Malaysia will always have your backs. It applies to us too, my dear Bruneians.





Need this skirt.


Need the bottom half of this!
Need this too.





Managed to slot in a quick photoshoot for Nelissa Hilman with my bae Fina around noon. Then we had ample time to grab lunch before the first show. Fina looked incredibly amazing btw, but when does she ever not look stunning, really?




The star of my day has got to be my Doris sunnies from Roberi and Fraud. It's probably my most proud purchase of 2017. I saw these on Camila, Chriselle and then Bella Hadid and I knew I needed one in my life. 

That's Day 1 done and dusted. Gonna grab breakfast now before Day 2 commences.

Love,



KLFW 2017 Day 1: Back to Black

Oh what a good day it was!

I caught two shows on the 16th--#IAMHOMEGROWN by Fashionvalet and Innai Red. I didn't get an invite to Innai but I really wanted to see what they had in store this time (Rio Bonita was amazing that I own three outfits from that collection!) so my friend from KLFW helped me score some media passes (love him!).

Innai's show was a lot different from last year's more beach-vacation-Latina feel. This year's collection i.e. Desert Rose had such a beautiful palette and I already have my eyes on a few dresses and skirts. Here's to hoping my willpower will be unwavering when the time comes.


I wore the Nicole Polkadot Blazer from Thavia, Satin Silk dUCk scarf in Black Olive and a pair of leather leggings, all from Fashionvalet. I wore the brand new pair of Nelissa Hilman--these wonderful green metallic stilettos--that they've so greatly sponsored. I honestly thought my feet would die but I was so pleasantly surprised at how comfortable they were. They were almost as high as my Louboutins but I cannot last a few hours in them. They're pretty sexy though and I would still buy another pair haha. 





I also did not know what to expect from FV's #IAMHOMEGROWN show. I kind of knew what it was about but I wasn't too sure of what they'd be presenting. So it's basically a line of streetwear which Minluna managed to style so amazingly on the models. But what I love the most about this entire movement is the level of patriotism and Malaysian pride that it instills inside all of the Malaysians present. I also was reminded of how much I love Brunei and how much I am so proud to be homegrown (from my little abode of peace). Vivy said something along the lines of Malaysians should always dare to dream and live your dream knowing that Malaysia will always have your backs. It applies to us too, my dear Bruneians.





Need this skirt.


Need the bottom half of this!
Need this too.





Managed to slot in a quick photoshoot for Nelissa Hilman with my bae Fina around noon. Then we had ample time to grab lunch before the first show. Fina looked incredibly amazing btw, but when does she ever not look stunning, really?




The star of my day has got to be my Doris sunnies from Roberi and Fraud. It's probably my most proud purchase of 2017. I saw these on Camila, Chriselle and then Bella Hadid and I knew I needed one in my life. 

That's Day 1 done and dusted. Gonna grab breakfast now before Day 2 commences.

Love,



How do you choose where to spend your limited leave days when there are a billion and one holiday destinations to choose from? Hazim and I were struggling to make a decision. There are just so many things to see, things to do, things to experience, etc. But there isn't much time... and definitely not enough money either.

I had August blocked for KL Fashion Week but I didn't want a minute to go to waste! I wanted a mini getaway--one free from both my day job and LMN, and one that both of us could enjoy. It was so difficult to pick a destination. We thought of Langkawi, Melaka, Penang, Cherating, Redang... and all the islands basically, and we even almost headed out to Genting Highlands for Good Vibes!



Hijab: Satin Silk in Red Razzle from @theduckgroup
Top: Topshop
Skirt: Innai Red
Glasses: Alora Collection

In the end, we picked Penang and we do not regret it at all! Here's what went down in the whole decision-making process:

1. It's all about the money

As much as I would like to say that money does not and should not control you... it sort of does. When I was a student, I used to go on holidays without properly managing my money. I used to tell myself that I would have gained experience so it would have all been worth it in the end, right? WRONG! Going to a destination you can not afford, is never worth it. 

We obviously weren't planning for a big trip because you gotta save for one of those and we had already spent on one last December, so we were able to write off a few of our choices. Langkawi was out of the question because hotels were expensive--St Regis Langkawi remains a dream for now.



2. Theme

We already flew to Koh Phi Phi earlier this year, so even though my heart wanted to go to the beach again, we thought another beach vacation would be a little redundant for 2017. *Scratches out all islands*. Although, it took a while to eliminate Cherating because they had a turtle sanctuary that I really wanted to go see.

We wanted something different. Something I wouldn't have gone to when I was younger (20 year old me would always choose the big cities). This time we wanted to see history and culture. We wanted to experience something new. Penang was the obvious choice, but I wasn't completely convinced.


3. Time

Time wasn't really a factor during this trip as everywhere seemed quite accessible. We flew to Penang using Air Asia and that took about an hour or even less. But the amount of time wasted travelling played an important part when we decided which island to hop to during our trip to Thailand. I really wanted to go to Koh Tao and this other island that took quite a bit of travel time. However, since we didn't really have much time to waste, we ended up going to Koh Phi Phi and it was still a wonderful choice.




4. Energy

The last thing that pushed us over the fence was just the sheer thought about how realistic our options were and the amount of energy that we had. Man, I really wanted to go catch Dua Lipa and The Kooks. But hey, I'm 27 with the energy of a lazy cat... I'm ALWAYS tired. There was no way I was going to enjoy a music festival when I was in dire need of some chill time... away from everything. 





Hijab: Chiffon in Blanc from dUCk
Top: An old top from Shop at Velvet
Belt: Asos
Pants: Topshop


All in all, we had such a good time in Penang. Thank you to everyone for your recommendations. We enjoyed the food, the people, the charming street art and our hotel was pretty neat too. What goes into your decision-making process when choosing a holiday destination?

Til our next adventure!


Love,



Choosing a Travel Destination

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

How do you choose where to spend your limited leave days when there are a billion and one holiday destinations to choose from? Hazim and I were struggling to make a decision. There are just so many things to see, things to do, things to experience, etc. But there isn't much time... and definitely not enough money either.

I had August blocked for KL Fashion Week but I didn't want a minute to go to waste! I wanted a mini getaway--one free from both my day job and LMN, and one that both of us could enjoy. It was so difficult to pick a destination. We thought of Langkawi, Melaka, Penang, Cherating, Redang... and all the islands basically, and we even almost headed out to Genting Highlands for Good Vibes!



Hijab: Satin Silk in Red Razzle from @theduckgroup
Top: Topshop
Skirt: Innai Red
Glasses: Alora Collection

In the end, we picked Penang and we do not regret it at all! Here's what went down in the whole decision-making process:

1. It's all about the money

As much as I would like to say that money does not and should not control you... it sort of does. When I was a student, I used to go on holidays without properly managing my money. I used to tell myself that I would have gained experience so it would have all been worth it in the end, right? WRONG! Going to a destination you can not afford, is never worth it. 

We obviously weren't planning for a big trip because you gotta save for one of those and we had already spent on one last December, so we were able to write off a few of our choices. Langkawi was out of the question because hotels were expensive--St Regis Langkawi remains a dream for now.



2. Theme

We already flew to Koh Phi Phi earlier this year, so even though my heart wanted to go to the beach again, we thought another beach vacation would be a little redundant for 2017. *Scratches out all islands*. Although, it took a while to eliminate Cherating because they had a turtle sanctuary that I really wanted to go see.

We wanted something different. Something I wouldn't have gone to when I was younger (20 year old me would always choose the big cities). This time we wanted to see history and culture. We wanted to experience something new. Penang was the obvious choice, but I wasn't completely convinced.


3. Time

Time wasn't really a factor during this trip as everywhere seemed quite accessible. We flew to Penang using Air Asia and that took about an hour or even less. But the amount of time wasted travelling played an important part when we decided which island to hop to during our trip to Thailand. I really wanted to go to Koh Tao and this other island that took quite a bit of travel time. However, since we didn't really have much time to waste, we ended up going to Koh Phi Phi and it was still a wonderful choice.




4. Energy

The last thing that pushed us over the fence was just the sheer thought about how realistic our options were and the amount of energy that we had. Man, I really wanted to go catch Dua Lipa and The Kooks. But hey, I'm 27 with the energy of a lazy cat... I'm ALWAYS tired. There was no way I was going to enjoy a music festival when I was in dire need of some chill time... away from everything. 





Hijab: Chiffon in Blanc from dUCk
Top: An old top from Shop at Velvet
Belt: Asos
Pants: Topshop


All in all, we had such a good time in Penang. Thank you to everyone for your recommendations. We enjoyed the food, the people, the charming street art and our hotel was pretty neat too. What goes into your decision-making process when choosing a holiday destination?

Til our next adventure!


Love,



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