Traditional Malay clothing has seen a fair amount of change over the years. As styles evolve over the years paved by the influx of Western influences, so does the classic silhouette of the baju kurung, a staple of Malay fashion.
With the Raya season coming up, we will be seeing a slew of vibrant iterations to the versatile outfit. Many local fashion designers have taken to that perfectly balance modern influences without compromising on traditional details.
From the comeback of puff sleeves to intricate embellishments that never cease to amaze, these are just some homegrown talents who prove that the classics never get old.
(Photo Credit: Nurita Harith)
Renowned for her exquisite play on silhouettes, Nurita Harith is a visionary when it comes to creating elegant kurungs. The mind behind self-titled brand, nh by Nurita Harith, the designer's ready-to-wear Raya 2022 collection evokes 'exquisite femininity' through the use of silks. As silk is the primary fabric used in kurungs deemed for special occasions, every item flows seamlessly in spectacle of pastel and jewel tones, appropriate for both casual and formal gatherings.
(Photo Credit: Rico Rinaldi)
A common place in many cultural fittings in Malaysia, florals have been the go-to for almost every Raya baju kurung. As a country that derives inspiration from the nature around us, we love to have that show in what we wear as it pairs beautiful for our tropical season, as seen with Rico Rinaldi's own masterful pieces. A multifaceted designer, Rico Rinaldi finds balance with modern pieces that don't skim on the use of florals to evoke a traditional essence.
(Photo Credit: Ezzati Amira)
Modern baju kurungs often highlight a distinctive part of the entire ensemble, and most of the time, that is accentuated in the form of puff sleeves. Perak-born designer Ezzati Amira always offers a fresh take of the traditional kurung, blending masculine influences to every collection she curates. Puff sleeves have been given centerstage a number times throughout the seasons, with sensible detailing on the sleeves and shoulder.
(Photo Credit: Alia Bastamam)
Sometimes a simple design can go a long way, and nothing can beat the subtlety of monochromes. As displayed by Alia Bastamam, monochromes have been prevalent in kurung designs for its minimalistic yet timeless effect. And as a designer who only create clothes that she would wear, much of her own style shines in her designs that borrow from bohemian styles that still manage to overflow with confidence.
Afiq Mohamed (Afiq M)
(Photo Credit: Afiq M)
Another master of minimalism, Afiq Mohamed, also known as Afiq M, is no stranger to introducing bold and edgy designs to his collections. Breaking from the traditional kurung, the Negeri Sembilan native elevates the garment through the use of elegant shapes that bring out the feminine shape by mixing single tone fabric types in and intricate detailing to make every piece unlike the other.