From special collaboration to reasonably-priced runway-inspired pieces, local designers went on an absolute frenzy in catering to the growing demand for ready-to-wear ‘baju raya’.
It is a very good indication of how Malaysians are now acknowledging local design talents and willing to pay more than what they normally pay to own an RTW (ready-to-wear) pieces by talented designers like FiziWoo and Nurita Harith.
Most of the Raya collections by these local designers do not disappoint and are definitely as close as it gets to their high end custom-made pieces. There are some that just do not measure up to the expectations particularly some ‘celebrity-designer’ collaborations that are cashing in on the popularity instead of quality.
Now let’s have a look at just a few that deserve to be mentioned together with collaboration collections that are quite ‘interesting’ to see.
Zalia is actually a special in-house label curated by Zalora’s resident designer. Not to be under-estimated, Zalia features modest modern pieces suitable for Raya or worn to work and other special occasions. The most memorable pieces from the line has got to be these black and white dresses and separates which borrows the chic-ness of international designer’s creations. The best part is pieces from Zalia cost at least half of the price of other local designer ready-to-wear Raya collections.
Rizman Ruzaini x Tesco
It all began back in 2012 with the very first ever designer Raya capsule collection by Rizalman for Tesco. Fast-forward to 2015, the hypermarket giant has collaborated with designer duo Rizman Ruzaini for a collection of modestly chic offerings. This collection is set to become a huge hit among Malay market as Rizman Ruzaini is the current designer du jour for popular local celebs like Nur Fazura, Ziana Zain and Erra Fazira.
Woo by FiziWoo x Zalora
The special Raya collection by the designer duo is aptly named ‘Raya in the City’ with each piece takes after the names of Kuala Lumpur main roads and districts. Raya in the City consists of modern kurung and kebaya innovatively updated with the use of fabrics like neoprene and brocade. Glamorous enough for even the red-carpet, updated version of the pieces from the collection have been seen on local celebs for prestigious award ceremonies.
Syomir Izwa x Zalora
Syomir Izwa’s design for Zalora captures the essence of his signature color-blocking and minimal approach with pieces in vibrant colors that do not try too hard to be modern which makes them even more special. But if you are looking for something modern, Syomir Izwa does not disappoint as the collection also include more muted color pieces borrowing European sensibility. They look like western interpretation of our kebaya.
Celebrities are also jumping the bandwagon to design their own Raya collection. Most of them collaborate with local designers as well as online fashion stores like Fashion Valet and Zalora. Local actresses Emma Maembong and Liyana Jasmay both released their own Raya collection in collaboration with designer Melinda Looi via Fashion Valet. The collections cater perfectly to Malay market particularly fans and followers of local entertainment scene but sadly, offer very little innovation with pieces that could possibly be available elsewhere (or tailor made) at much lower prices.
Having said that, it is great that so many designers (and non-designers) are coming up with their own Raya collection, not only via proper channel like online fashion store but also simply through self-marketing on Instagram and Facebook. Just make sure you make the best decision. Good design does not always have to be expensive and popular celebrity does not necessarily make a good designer.
Remember Lindsay Lohan for Emanuel Ungaro? Lesson learned.