Southeast Asia's rising designers invade KL Fashion Week runway

Katrina Domingo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 20 2016 06:50 PM | Updated as of Aug 20 2016 08:01 PM

KUALA LUMPUR - Fashion week in this Southeast Asian metropolis shone the spotlight on regional talent, with designers from host Malaysia, the Philippines, Indonesia, Singapore and Thailand competing for the top prize.

Thailand's Anurunq Jaidee bested 14 other rising taste-makers in this year’s AirAsia Runway Ready Designer Search with hand-painted floral ensembles.

Thai designer Anuruq Jaidee takes a bow after presenting his collection at the AirAsia Runway Ready Designer Search.

The 23-year-old Jaidee took inspiration from the palaces and gardens of Thailand's ancient capital, Ayutthaya, embellishing designs with intricate patches to create a three-dimensional effect.

“I took me a month to work on the designs. I made sure that the pieces I created can be worn both for work and parties,” Jaidee said.

Among Jaidee’s creations is a sleeveless turtleneck number that can be worn either as a top or as a short dress.

“Right now, my designs are very Thai-based. But after winning, my design will be based on the cultures of ASEAN member countries,” Jaidee said, referring to the grouping of Southeast Asian nations.

Aside from winning 350,000 ringgit (P4-million), Jaidee’s collection will also be sold on FashionValet, one of Asia’s biggest online fashion retailers.

FashionValet owner and judge Vivy Yusof said the marketability of Jaidee’s designs won her over.

“This competition did not just push them to design something, but it also opened their eyes to the commercial side, the sellability side,” Yusof said.

“I’m always looking for new talents. We ship all over the world so I do feel that these designers can go far. We have so much talent to offer from the ASEAN region,” Yusof added.

The competition sponsor, AirAsia Bhd., hopes the contest will bring Southeast Asian fashion to "a whole different level," said CEO Aireen Omar.

“You have a lot of people from all around the region getting to know each other, and appreciating each other’s art. That resonates our brand and our culture,” Omar said.

“I’m always looking for new talents. We ship all over the world so I do feel that these designers can go far. We have so much talent to offer from the ASEAN region,” Yusof added.

The competition sponsor, AirAsia Bhd., hopes the contest will bring Southeast Asian fashion to "a whole different level," said CEO Aireen Omar.

“You have a lot of people from all around the region getting to know each other, and appreciating each other’s art. That resonates our brand and our culture,” Omar said.