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Silas Liew's modern Eid collection

The directional designer turns his hand to festive wear in his latest collection, Eid by Silas Liew

By Emma Chong Johnston | Published: 14 May 2014

Silas Liew does Raya
Photo: Silas Liew

You may have been wondering what Silas Liew is up to these days. We can now tell you: He’s been working on a Raya collection, one that will defy all your expectations of a traditional Raya collection. (Not a peplum or pastel shade in sight.)

But to backtrack just a little... why a Raya collection in the first place?

“I can’t ignore the fact that I live in Malaysia,” Silas says. “Raya is one of the biggest fashion seasons in Malaysia. Also a lot of my friends are Malay, and they were curious about what I was doing and they asked me to make some stuff for them as well. So it was kind of natural to go into it.”

Silas decided he was going to take the plunge into Eid wear earlier this year, and set about conceptualising and sourcing the line, pulling out digital prints, traditional shapes, and many, many cultural references. “There’s actually no central aesthetic, it’s more that we’re trying to show people that we have a range, to give people ideas. The kind of macro concept is that we’re trying to sample from different concepts.”

This means a sculptural obi-like belt set against a geometric print, or sheer chiffon drapes in prints reminiscent of desert rock formations. Also an adorable fanny pack (“What’s a nicer word for a fanny pack?” Silas asks. No reply) that can be tied sash-like across the shoulders or around the waist. Everything is entirely bespoke, so the shapes and fabrics are mainly there as inspiration starting points. “We can do anything that people want,” Silas says with a winning smile.

It’s a small collection, of just seven looks, but for the label’s first foray into Raya fashion it’s all very exciting. “I’ve done a lot of things I’m not really used to, but it’s been interesting to try new things,” Silas said, waving aforementioned fanny pack around. “We’ve got Bohemian baju kebayas, but also more traditional pieces. And then some very glamour pieces, which I’m really not used to. But I’m trying to see things from a different perspective.” Time to make an appointment.


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