19.4.16

THE WILD ORCHIDS

Well known for his simple but empowering structural designs, Sandra Azwan had melded together sophistication, elegance and romance in a simple yet breathtaking collection that will redefined any typical assumption when it comes to wedding dresses. Shop the look now!


SANDRA AZWAN Bridal 2016 | Wild Orchids   

Twenty2, a multi-label store who have made a name for themselves as home to over 100 Malaysian and Indonesian designer brands, launches a new category, and this one’s for all the brides to be. Their new bridal section promises to deliver designer quality pieces without the hefty price tag.  

The first brand to kick start this category will be designer Sandra Azwan. Well known for his simple yet empowering structured designs, Sandra Azwan has managed to infuse sophistication, elegance and romance in a simple yet breathtaking collection called The White Orchid. This collection consists of modern yet classic silhouette’s that embodies love, purity and beauty. These are translated through baroque inspired patterns, lush fabrics and intricate embellishment. 
PhalaenopsisIllusion neckline fitted top with 'nude' bias tape, tulle and lace details. Skirt:  Multiple layers of mesh in full flare wedding style skirt. 

Prices for ‘The White Orchid’ collection starts from RM680 – RM1180, making it extremely affordable. Quality and style were definitely not compromised when looking through their rack of lace embellished fully lined wedding dresses. There will also be 3 couture pieces priced from RM3380 – RM4380 for those who prefer more exquisite designs and intricate detailing with top of the range fabric. 

It’s no secret that finding the perfect wedding dress is not an easy task. CEO Elia Izzati states:”Customers who are also brides-tobe were always asking me if we’d be stocking bridal wear. I realized that there was a niche in the market and people were looking for designer dresses that were also kind on their wallets. That’s when I decided to invite local designers to cater to the masses and their needs.”  
Cattaleya | Classic 'roundneck' lace neckline fitted top with black bias tape, tulle and lace details. Skirt:  Multiple layers of mesh in full flare wedding style skirt.

Twenty2 opened its retail doors to customers in January 2015. Located in hip urban suburb Bangsar, they have grown tremendously as Malaysia’s top retail and online fashion hub. Pre-order for this collection starts 14th April in-stores, 15th April online at www.shopat22.com, and will both end on the 8th of May. 


Shop & view the full collection here. Pre-Order ends  8th of May. For more pictures, click here
Dendrobium (RM980.00) Long sleeve  A-Line full skirt wedding dress (with cap sleeve detail) in sequin & duchess satin.

Visit us at VISTA ALAM, seksyen 14 Shah Alam. Call us at 03-55237766. Click here for direction


8.9.15

The DNA in Menswear

STYLE | DESIGNER | interview
Exclusive for NEWMAN magazine 
Sandra Azwan designs his first menswear line for the yearning gents.
Text By Patrick Loh

After numerous collections made for women, Sandra Azwan finally decides to branch out and design for the discerning men. More and more men are demanding for fashion that isn't just black, white or grey. We like to see more colours, more shapes and more prints and textiles. As a designer, his ultimate companion is his pair of fabric shears and sewing machine, and never the glitz, glam and fame. In his first menswear line, he tells us how he creates a unique DNA by uniting different types of fabric to complete the Sandra Azwan Resort 2015 range of men's clothes to satisfy men's lust for fashion.

HOW DID YOU FIRST ENTER THE FASHION WORLD?
It all started back in 2007 when i joined a competition called MIFA8 and i'm one of the finalist. I was also finishing up my diploma in Fashion Design at UiTM and was moving on to do my degree. I would say that 2007 was a great year as it helped me jump-start my career. By 2010,  i was already starting my own business to sell the label. Before that i did work as a personal assistant for Faizal Hamid. He is my fashion guru. I learned everything from him before consulting for my own brand. At the moment, he is my manager.

WHAT MAKES YOU WANT TO VENTURE INTO MENSWEAR?
When i was showcasing the women's collection during the Kuala Lumpur Fashion Week 2014, the finale of the show caught my attention and i was wondering, why not the men's line for this particular design palette as this is the DNA of Sandra Azwan brand. I suddenly fell in love with the idea and thought the designs will suit men's clothing completely but with a little twist to it.

WHAT ARE THE MAIN ESSENTIALS A MAN SHOULD HAVE IN HIS CLOSET?
White and black shirt are very important. You should at least have a neutral-coloured blazer as well that fits you perfectly. You can get blazers of a moderate price from H&M and Uniqlo instead of a high fashion label. You don't have to spend a lot to look good. You should also own a pair of black or dark coloured jeans.

WHAT ARE THE PRINCIPLES AND SKILLS YOU ENCOMPASS TO BE WHO YOU ARE TODAY?
Having a good eye for detailing is very important. Knowing the materials and fabrics to create the DNA of the brand is very important as well. I will also need to know how to execute my own ideas; learning how to cut and sew and turning them into real life wearable pieces. There a lot of designers out there with no skills. They need seamstress to execute their ideas. Another important thing is, a designer needs to be inspired by their surroundings and everyday life to be able to create a collection.

WHERE DO YOU DRAW INSPIRATION USUALLY?
I don't get inspired by little things, such as a particular flower or object. I get inspired a lot by architecture and buildings instead. That's my strength. My clothes are of structured, geometric and curvy lines. That's the DNA of Sandra Azwan. Even when i look at architecture books of buildings or even just looking at windows can inspire me.  

WHEN CREATING A COLLECTION, HOW DO YOU DECIDE WHAT MATERIALS TO USE?
It depends on my mood and what i'm inspired to do. For this menswear collection, i decided to go towards the sporty yet wearable and stylish concept. I choose very sporty fabric like dry-fit type of materials, sweat-proof and mesh materials as well. It looks very 'breathable' especially when we are living in a hot country like this. I also like to use textured, patterned and embossed fabrics instead of plain ones. 

DO YOU THINK THE MALAYSIAN FASHION INDUSTRY ACTUALLY FOLLOWS THE SEASONS?
Although this is the resort collection, it's also basically considered as the Spring/Summer because first, we don't have the four seasons. Apart from that, there is also no purpose of the Resort and Pre-Fall here in Malaysia. Thus, a collection is actually named after the time of release in the year.

DO YOU HAND MAKE ALL THE DESIGNS YOURSELF?
For the samples, yes i do. I cut and sew all the fabrics myself. For the final production i have a team of people working on it with me. This collection is very limited and its only for special orders; every design is only limited to not more that 10 pieces because of the high price and also to maintain the quality of the label. Besides, this is my introduction to menswear in the fashion industry so i think it's advisable to set a proper standard instead. 

DO YOU MAKE ALL THE DECISIONS YOURSELF OR IS THERE A BOARD TO DECIDE?
There a few people in the board and they are allowed to voice out their opinion as well. We will discuss and see what works or not for the market but the end processes and decisions are still made by me.

HOW DO YOU STAY UP TO DATE WITH FASHION TREND?
I was a fashion blogger before i started designing. I'm constantly reading other blogs, various fashion magazines and other media related to fashion. Honestly, i don't follow trend. Everything comes from my own inspiration. They are unique and special to me. Why should i follow the trends and make my products look like other brands, right? I mean, i can look at shows from Louis Vuitton, Chanel and Balenciaga and get inspired but i also take note on what they are doing so that i won't do the same. When it comes to 'fashion trend' to me its quite personal and its all depends on you. If you in this kind of field, you will know the answer.

WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE FASHION INDUSTRY IN MALAYSIA?
There're a lot of up and coming designers in Malaysia. Its a very good thing especially in UiTM as you can see a lot of young and determined designers eager to make it to the top. Doing a business is never easy. I only started developing my own brand in 2010, targeting my niche market. I was struggling at the beginning but i built my way up. Its hard but its not impossible either.

IN YOUR OPINION, HOW'S THE BUYING POWER LIKE FOR DESIGNER LABELS IN MALAYSIA?
Womenswear is doing really good compared to menswear. Men are afraid to try and experiment new trends, different colours and prints. They always play it safe by going all black and that's absolutely boring. 

ARE MALAYSIAN MEN STEPPING UP THEIR STYLING GAME THOUGH?
Yes they are. Slowly but at least most of them are trying. As you can see, going to the gym and getting a good looking and healthy body is now a trend. These men are more confident with their body, therefore they are more daring to dress up and to try out different types of clothes. They fit better, look better and they possess a greater silhouette, Some guys just like to show off their muscles, so these tops with mesh sides are perfect for them.  

TELL US ABOUT YOUR WORK ETHICS THAT MADE YOU THIS SUCCESSFUL?
My parents are in the army so everything i do need to be perfect. I'm always doing things to make my parents proud. I work really hard and make sure that there're no distractions. I never back down and always finish what i started. On top of that, I've an amazing family that supports me and understand my love for fashion. My fashion guru, Faizal Hamid, is very supportive of me too. He totally understands what i want. I push myself very hard to make him proud. I push so hard sometimes i think i'm about to go crazy, but that's the way if  you want to succeed. There is no easy way or short cuts. Take the time to be who you want to be. Learn as much as you can and most importantly, be happy and dare to dream.

HOW DO YOU JUGGLE BETWEEN TEACHING FASHION DESIGN IN UITM AND DESIGNING?
I only have a few classes in a week with a scheduled time slot. As for the rest of the days i will focus on my designs and label.

DO YOU HAVE A STUDIO?
Yeah, i do actually but it's only a space where i work. Media friends and clients do come over to the studio for exclusive previews as well. At the moment we sell the menswear range online but there will be a boutique coming soon, most probably at Damansara Perdana or maybe at Shah Alam. That will be decided later.

ANY PLANS ON GOING INTERNATIONAL?
Yes definitely, but i want to make sure i get recognized in Malaysia first then i'll decide and see if i should go over to Europe. I have a few friends in Paris who are in the fashion industry as well. Some are in public relations, some are journalist and some are assistant to the local designers. Maybe a few more years down the road and i'll be able to showcase my work in Paris. I'd like to showcase both my womenswear and menswear; like an introduction to the french market.

WHAT IS YOUR ADVICE FOR THE YOUNGER GENERATION WHO WOULD LIKE TO BE AS SUCCESSFUL  A DESIGNER LIKE YOU?
You will need to understand what you want as a designer. Decide if you are into bridal, casual wear, formal clothings, gowns, womenswear or menswear. Focus on one and slowly expand from there. Most designers and fashion houses are all over the place and they are so messy with too many labels. You need to find your DNA and your strength. People need to see you when they take a first look at a piece of clothing. This is something most designers don't have anymore, be it local or international. Never enter the fashion industry thinking at's all about the glitz and glam. Nothing is glamorous unless you work hard for it. Also, never give your clothes out to just anyone, in particular anyone that claims that they are celebrities. It's bad for the label. Start slowly and when you are there, dress celebrities that are only relevant to your brand. Nowadays, 'celebrity' designers will just sponsor anyone they fancy for their only goal is to get any possible publicity, fame and money they could. Don't do that. The best way is to get yourself featured in magazines and promote yourself ( the brand) through the media. 
For more pictures, click here.

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9.4.15

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