Celebrating shared tradition: custom printed Baju Kebaya with Bruneian Songket and hand-painted Euca silk

Commonwealth Fashion Council

Explore the exchange story of designer Na Forrer from Brunei and artisans Lully Selb from Singapore and find out how they created their look for The Commonwealth Fashion Exchange, 2018. 

"I love that all the ideas we had were translated into the fabric that Lully Selb hand painted and showcased what our collaboration really meant - Empowering and Celebrating the 'Modern Malay Woman'"
Farhanna Pura
The Exchange: Brunei Darussalam x Singapore
For The Commonwealth Fashion Exchange 2018, designer Na Forrer exchanged with artisans Lully Selb to create a look that was inspired by women and will inspire women. The look was unveiled at Buckingham Palace on February 19, 2018, and later moved to the Australian High Commission, London, where it was open to the public in the run up to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Summit, April 2018.
Brunei Darussalam: Designer Na Forrér
Farhanna Pura is the designer behind Brunei brand Na Forrér. Her demi-couture fashion line, inspired by women’s empowerment, translates ‘Girl Power’ into strong silhouettes with contemporary styling that remain true to her Malay culture. 
Singapore: Artisans Lully Selb
Lully Selb, a contemporary modestwear brand, was launched in 2015, synergizing the strengths of both co-founders – Selb, who graduated with a Fashion Design degree from a joint university partnership between NAFA (Singapore) and Huddersfield University (UK); and Lully, a creative artist and Fine Arts graduate.
Lully Selb believes “in challenging the status quo and expressing our unique individuality. Being Muslim creatives, we have a modest approach to our dressing. Who's to say that modernity and tradition are mutually exclusive." 
Lully and Selb
The story behind the look
In celebrating this collaboration between Singapore and Brunei, the focus was on the evolution of the modern Malay woman, as it is a symbol of a shared history and identity. For this project, Na Forrér created an evening dress known as a “Baju Kebaya” - a common traditional womenswear worn by Malay women from Brunei and Singapore during formal events and festivities. 

Illustration of the dress

Traditional Bruneian Songket

The traditional corset was crafted from traditional Bruneian Songket fabric, which is normally worn by brides and grooms for marriage ceremonies and on royal and state occasions.

The corset is made from a 100% wool crepe.

The Shirt

The boxy and high shoulder represents womens’ empowerment and modernity.

The Dress

The dress features Euca silk, and Bruneian Songket, a traditional material woven out of silk and cotton gold and silver threads.

Lully Selb hand-painted Euca silk for the look.

To exhibit the collaboration between Brunei and Singapore, the Brunei emblem Panji-Panji is featured in the custom textile design.

Final look on display at Buckingham Palace, 19 February 2018

Final look on display at the Australian High Commission, London, 22 February 2018

Credits: Story

This content has been specifically curated for the Google Arts & Culture platform on behalf of the Commonwealth Fashion Exchange exhibition that launched on the 19th of February at Buckingham Palace in partnership with Swarovski, The Woolmark Company and MATCHESFASHION.COM.

The project, created and managed by Eco-Age, with the support of The Commonwealth Fashion Council and The British Fashion Council.

More information about the images is available by clicking on them.
Read more about the Commonwealth Fashion Exchange at http://eco-age.com/commonwealth-fashion-exchange/

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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