Kuala Lumpur, a city known to many for its greenery, a variety of food, shopping scene, tropical climate and warm friendly people. This is a destination for your bucket list. You will definitely be spoilt for choice of not only the food and site but also, the vibrant fashion scene.
When it comes to fashion, there are some designers who have made their mark in the fashion industry not only locally but internationally. Dato’ Bernard Chandran, Melinda Looi, Zang Toi, Jimmy Choo and more. With the recent KL Fashion Week Ready to Wear 2016, the celebration of new and upcoming designers has never been greater.
These four fashion designers are the coolest names to know – and wear – right now in Kuala Lumpur. They are the are the new faces of fashion in Kuala Lumpur.
By Appointment only | Also available online.
Joshua Fitton’s background in interior design has helped him bring forth his fashion brand, Atelier Fitton, for men. The emphasis is on a contemporary and timeless aesthetic where the architecture and construction of each piece are carefully thought through and executed. Each piece has been carefully engineered to be functional, comfortable and elegant.
With 15 years of fashion and luxury retail industry experience, Megat Alfie dwelled into fashion as a personal creative outlet as well as a self-discovery tool. Inspired by Syaiful Baharim, Megat loves creating resortwear for men as it is an extension and, somewhat , an exaggeration of what he wears on a daily basis. Megat Alfie has featured in two consecutive KL Fashion Weeks and there is no stopping him.
Known for her signature use of interesting silhouettes with soft layers and drapes, Nurita Harith has been interested in drawing since she was five. Her love for art and fashion keeps her doing what she loves most and the challenge of creating and designing keeps her on her feet. Besides being a ready to wear collection designer, she also does custom made designs.
A beautiful collaboration between public relations mogul Selina Yeop Jr, singer Ning Baizura and Cambodian designer Romyda Keth is what spells out Romyda KL. Their debut at KL Fashion Week 2016 became the talk of the town. The collection saw French chic with Asian influence, and bold colours with flirty, fun and feminine designs.
The New Faces of Fashion in Kuala Lumpur
Within walking distance from Bangsar Shopping Centre, Bangsar Bahru and Bangsar Village, Jalan Maarof is indisputably one of Kuala Lumpur’s busiest roads. It is also, as we were fortunate enough to discover, a great spot to trawl for your next furniture showpiece or even a statement couture dress. Tucked amidst an endless shoreline of bungalows are a number of fully decked-out furniture showrooms and swanky glass-panelled studios bearing the marquee of Malaysia’s most respected fashion designers. While we certainly weren’t expecting to find much shopping in Jalan Maarof, we’re glad to say we found plenty! Nothing quite beats the unexpected windfalls, wouldn’t you agree?
Modern teak furniture
authenTEAK offers a complete range of teak furniture with a modern minimalist touch. Few can argue that teak is one of the best woods available to furniture makers in Southeast Asia and authenTEAK goes by the philosophy: “furniture of today, antique of tomorrow”, meaning that every piece produced is made to last, long enough for them to become antiques for future generations. The two types of teakwood used are plantation wood aged 30 years and FSC-certified reclaimed wood aged above 50 years, which are designed into elegant dining tables, chairs, benches, consoles, display racks and more.
East meets West furniture
Chantique Home Furnishings carries a selected range of imported furniture and home accessories with an east meets west aesthetic. Traditional elements are artfully interlaced with modern furnishings for an interesting slant on your average décor. A wooden filigree mirror stands with a steamer trunk cabinet while an oriental round shelf unit is paired with modern upholstered armchairs and a rug with a bold graphic design. Soft furnishings such as cushions and accessories and a wide range of imported fabrics for curtains, drapes and custom upholstery are also available.
Fashionable haute couture
A staple in the local Malaysian fashion scene, Jovian Mandagie ‘s couture creations have graced the backs of Malayisia’s luminaries, including the former Queen of Malaysia, legendary performer, Anita Sarawak and songbird, Siti Nurhaliza. The couturier is famed for reinventing the conventional baju kurung into garments fit for the modern age. His designs showcase detailed embellishments and intricate beading, fronted by beautiful ethereal fabrics such as Italian silk and French lace.
World-class designer furniture
With its solid footing in the local Malaysian market, Linds has gone from a family-run business to the well-respected furniture hub it is today. As a mark of its pedigree, the furniture retailer is responsible for introducing many world-class furniture designers to Malaysia, including furniture icons such as Magis, Molteni&C, and Gandia Blasco. Always in step with the latest design trends, Linds delivers a stunning showcase of sleek, contemporary furniture from the world’s leading innovative brands.
The fashion do-it-all
Numbering as one of Malaysia’s most influential designers, Melinda Looi’s experimental and avant-garde couture sensibilities have earned her several accolades. Shop the complete repertoire of Melinda Looi’s creations, including Melinda Looi Couture, Melinda Looi Bridal, Melinda Looi (ready-to-wear), Emel by Melinda Looi and Mell Basics at the huge showroom. You’ll find affordable organic cotton basics from Mell Basics alongside delicately embellished kebayas and the radical art-infused pieces from her ready-to-wear label.
Recycled boat wood furniture
Senasia Collection’s large showroom is a treasure trove of delightfully rustic teak wood furniture crafted from recycled boat wood. Each piece is specially handpicked for character and quality, with no two pieces alike. Statement furniture pieces in a mosaic of washed out colours add a warm tropical breeze to any stuffy abode. Take your pick from boat-shaped wine racks, wooden benches, coffee tables, consoles and beds and pair them with the wide array of decorative items also found in store.
Guide to shopping in Jalan Maroff
A beacon of hope for Southeast Asia’s burgeoning cities, Kuala Lumpur today is a modern capital worth emulating in many aspects. The city is also one of the region’s most well-endorsed shopping hotspots – it’s commercial success led by a tidal wave of expansive malls and popular leisure spots. Keeping pace with the aggressive developments of the city can prove a challenge, but this guide to the shopping precincts in Kuala Lumpur will show you just where to go.
Moving away from KL central towards the south, you’ll reach the Bangsar neighbourhood, a relaxed suburban shopping enclave with a buzzing nightlife scene. Highly cosmopolitan in nature, Bangsar pulls in a crowd of expatriates and affluent locals to its hive of tiered malls and shopping alleys. The twin malls of Bangsar Village I and II in Bangsar Baru are furnished with a kaleidoscope of local indie and high street options. Your passion for all things fashion, home and the arts will be attended to here. Locals also love Bangsar Shopping Centre, a hushed and plush environment to shop exquisite furniture, home accents and stylish accessories.
Bukit Bintang is where the different streams of life in KL merge into a raging rapid in the city’s civic centre. A constant throb of activity is maintained throughout – the area is a magnet for street food vendors and foot reflexology operators in the day and flush with pub-crawlers and barflies come nightfall. Many of KL’s most famous malls dot the famous crossroads of Jalan Bukit Bintang and Jalan Sultan Ismail, including luxe malls Starhill Gallery and Pavilion. More discreet malls such as Fahrenheit88 and Lot 10 offer more in the way of the indie shopper while Berjaya Times Square, with a hulking indoor theme park and an excess of 1,000 stores, draws in huge crowds. Within walking distance is Suria KLCC, an upmarket mall that sits underfoot of KL’s biggest icon – the Petronas Twin Towers. The view alone is worth the trip.
As you move west of the city, you’ll find that the pace slows down dramatically, the buildings grow shorter, and houses are built larger and further apart. Bukit Damansara is a largely suburban area, which isn’t nearly as upbeat as Bukit Bintang or even Bangsar and Midvalley, but boasts a pull factor entirely its own. In Damansara resides one of KL’s newest shopping destinations, Publika; a creative retail space that features some of KL’s most hyped-about boutiques, restaurants and bars. The artsy mall is as non-mainstream as it gets in a metropolis like KL, with independent labels and artisanal furniture shops making up the bulk of the attractions.
One of KL’s oldest precincts, Chinatown’s vibrant street bustle is a welcome change of scene from the manicured malls and polished sheen of the CBD. Escape the drone of the city into a bustling environment of rowdy market stalls of Petaling Street where peddlers tout their wares and hawkers toil beneath the incandescent glow of burning lamps and floating lanterns. Just a stone’s throw away lies the Central Market or Pasar Seni, KL’s answer to the frantic bazaars of Morocco. Unlike the sometimes unsavoury conditions at these markets, the Central Market is fully air-conditioned, allowing shoppers to dig for an unlimited variety of merchandise such as batik, songket, ceramics, sculptures, antiques and art.
Anchoring the bustling commercial and entertainment district of Mid Valley is the aptly named colossal shopping complex, Mid Valley Megamall. With an inventory that reads like an encyclopedia of fashion, interiors, leisure and lifestyle, the family-friendly mall remains unrivalled in terms of scale. As you’ll expect from a mall this huge, the offerings are diverse – ranging from the usual high street suspects, to the rare local designer. It’s upscale neighbour, The Gardens mall fares better, with a sizeable number of quality furniture stores and galleries showcasing inspiring collections of furniture and furnishings.
SHOPPING PRECINCTS IN KUALA LUMPUR
Malls may not be the first destinations on our shopping radars but let’s not deny that there are some great finds tucked within even the most mainstream malls.The Gardens Mall is one of these. With not one but two good-sized malls in the vicinity, shopping in Mid Valley can prove fruitful even for the most untrained shopper.
A high-street heaven, Mid Valley Megamall is a sprawling maze of international chain stores and the occasional rare local boutique. Directly linked to Mid Valley Megamall, The Gardens Mall offers a high-end shopping experience replete with international luxury boutiques and an amazing directory of furniture and homeware stores. Shoppers with a passion for interiors should head straight to the 2nd floor for their fill of premium furniture and furnishings, for it’s there they’ll find nirvana amidst the sanctuaries of a well-presented home.
THE GARDENS MALL
Rustic vintage furniture and decor
S-220, 2nd Floor, The Gardens, Mid Valley City, Lingkaran Syed Putra, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Bits & Pieces unites classic and contemporary tastes with rustic vintage furniture and home décor. Featuring a harmonious blend of earth tones and wood textures, Bits and Pieces sheds light on the myriad ways you can juice up your interior with simple yet quirky home accents. Take your pick of shabby chic décor including country style consoles, painted industrial chairs, metal birdcages, retro clocks, and other kitschy ornaments. That’s not all! An unending supply of ceramic ware, cushions, figurines, glassware, lamps, wall art and furniture serve to channel heaps of personality to your space.
Furniture and lifestyle concept store
S-212, 2nd Floor, The Gardens, Mid Valley City, Lingkaran Syed Putra, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Gudang Studio in the upscale The Gardens mall holds some of the world’s leading furniture and interior brands including Alessi, Ancetipo, Artemide, Bontempi, LSA, Royal Botania and Tom Dixon. Dress your home to the nines with a refined collection of specially selected contemporary furniture. Tap the professional knowledge of Gudang’s consultants for furniture selection, colour coordination or space planning. If nothing in the showroom catches your eye, their designers can assist in materializing your design vision with custom furniture made for your space.
Sleek and contemporary furniture
S-218 , 2nd Floor, The Gardens, Mid Valley City, Lingkaran Syed Putra, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Established in 1996 as a family-run furniture business, Linds Furniture has evolved into a reputable name in the high-end furniture arena. Expect a sleek and modern showcase of top-notch quality furniture. The furniture company is responsible for introducing many world-class designers to Malaysia, including furniture icons such as Molteni&C, Magis and Grange. Of course, contemporary favourites such as Starck are also available.
Modern minimalist furniture and interior design
S-221, 2nd Floor, The Gardens, Mid Valley City, Lingkaran Syed Putra, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Neiviv presents a compelling vision of classic and contemporary homes, with its sleek yet simple, minimalist aesthetic. A penchant for clean lines, neat forms and subdued colour recall the ever-popular Scandinavian style of furniture. Make no mistake though, majority of Neiviv’s furniture are from regional destinations such as Thailand, China and Malaysia. With a wonderful combination of up-and-coming furniture designers and renowned artists being represented here, shopping is transformed into both a journey of discovery and delight.
Wooden vases, art and sculptures
S-219, 2nd Floor, The Gardens, Mid Valley City, Lingkaran Syed Putra, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Perhaps you’re looking for the missing ingredient that imparts a sense of liveliness and vigour into your home? Look no further than OVAS for solid wood décorative pieces, furniture and artworks that instill life, warmth and soul into your living space. OVAS’s dynamic wood sculptures are crafted from mango and suar wood have refined their technique so far as to preserve their natural grain and lustre. Uniting the fields of art and interiors, OVAS also showcases works by up and coming artists from the region.
Guide to Shopping in The Gardens Mall
Tel. +603 2297 0288
Opening times. Open daily, 10am-10pm
Nearest LRT/Monorail. KTM (Mid Valley)
Within walking distance to many of Kuala Lumpur’s heritage centres and cultural monuments, Chinatown is one of the rare spots in the city where tradition hasn’t bowed out to rampant modernism. Dig a little deeper and you’ve arrived at the heart of Kuala Lumpur – Petaling Street – one of KL’s oldest areas.
Colourful and chaotic, Chinatown is a constant throb of activity from day to night. Locals flock to Petaling Street for bargain shopping and scrumptious street food. An unsavoury reputation for counterfeit items does not obscure the fact that some of KL’s most authentic and original shopping destinations are to be found hidden in its midst.
Widely touted as souvenir central, the Central Market and fashion and decor institution Peter Hoe are some of the shopping spots giving some star appeal to this old-time address. Find out what fabulous shopping awaits you with our shopping guide to Petaling Street, Chinatown!
Haven for local merchandise
Formerly a wet market, Kuala Lumpur’s Central Market or Pasar Seni has been reincarnated as a massive air-conditioned gift emporium, teeming with tourists and souvenir-hunters. Everything you expect to see at a market bazaar can be found here, only less haphazardly displayed. Shoppers are spared the market chaos that so often accompanies such venues and allowed to shop for souvenirs and local handicrafts in air-conditioned comfort, just minutes’ walk away from the city’s Chinatown.
Pegged on a variety of “top must-see attraction lists” in Kuala Lumpur, the Central Market is a mosaic of the nation’s arts, culture and handicraft wholly deserving of its heritage status. Inside the art deco style building is a captivating spread of local merchandise such as batik and songket, ceramics, sculptures, antiques, art, jewellery and apparel arranged into miniature ethnic enclaves to showcase Malaysia’s racial diversity.
Rummage through shelves brimming with ethnic crafts and goods or unearth some antique collector’s items at Heritage of the Orient. Tenmoku Pottery houses artisan-made ceramics with an earthy feel whereas Borneo Pearls is popular for jewellery handcrafted from cultured pearls. Head to Batik Emporium for your fill of Malaysian-made batik items. For a more contemporary snapshot of the local arts scene, The Annexe – located at the back of Central Market hosts the occasional film screening, art exhibition and public talk. A narrow laneway occupied by street artists and lined with makeshift art galleries give the place a youthful and colourful vibe.
PETER HOE BEYOND
All-in-one lifestyle showroom
As far as all-in-one stores go, Peter Hoe Beyond is the one to rule them all. Home to a vast expanse of homewares, textiles and souvenirs, the showroom boutique is a hypnotic swirl of modern chinois influences and ethnic bohemian flair. Try your best to take it all in – the heady mix of hand-printed batik print sarongs, scarves, floral shirts, woven baskets, cushions, candles and silverware and tons more objets d’art may prove too much for your wallet. A wide offering that includes Malaysian designer, Justin Yap’s custom-made ethereal gowns and a café with decent coffee make this one legendary spot.
Guide to shopping in Petaling Street
Nearest LRT/Monorail: Pasar Seni
The latest to join the string of mid- to high-end shopping malls in Kuala Lumpur (KL), Publika Shopping Gallery is a delightful breath of fresh air in the KL shopping scene. Stepping through the gleaming glass doors of the shopping centre, you are transported to a world of quirky stores, indie boutiques and gourmet cafes that look like they’ve come straight off the streets of New York.
From whimsical boutiques with great vintage finds, to quirky homeware stores offering everything from artisanal soaps and candles to one-of-a-kind stationery and gifts, Publika Shopping Gallery has it all. Here is our ultimate shopping guide to Publika, Kuala Lumpur!
Innovative and elegant looks
If you never thought avant-garde could be wearable, A.L.L.I.E.N. would make you think again. The local label brings together elegance and innovation to create stunning works that look great on and off the runway. Apart from women’s fashion apparel, they also create bags and other accessories for women that are simple yet artistic.
Enchanting toy store
Two life-sized nutcrackers welcome you to Carousel, a treasure trove of whimsical toys and mini figurines that will thrill both children and adults alike. Think wooden toy houses, little snow globes, wooden train sets, nutcrackers in all shapes and sizes, music boxes, model airplanes and many more. Designed to look like a vintage toy store with massive store windows, pinstriped awnings, and rows and rows of toys, books and costumes, Carousel is a joy to behold.
High quality shoes, bags and accessories
Started up under the Twentytothirty Sgn. Bhd. brand, which specialises in high quality footwear, bags and accessories, Corgi is all about self-expression and being true to your individuality and quintessential personality. You can expect high quality shoes, bags and accessories in classy, stylish designs that exhibit fine craftsmanship and sharp attention to detail. Perfect for the independent woman who knows what she wants and how to get it, Corgi is a fantastic shopping stop at Publika, Kuala Lumpur.
Whimsical lifestyle emporium
Another wonderfully eclectic store with everything from handcrafted jewellery, trendy accessories, artisanal soaps and candles to homewares, stationery and gifts, Kaleidoscope is, well, a kaleidoscope of a store that is as whimsical as it is useful. They make it a point to bring in commercially viable and reasonably priced items so that there’s something for everyone. In keeping with their aim of curating an inspiring environment for all, Kaleidoscope also offers workshops in their shop space, providing workshops such as jewellery making, leather-goods making, handicrafts, soap and candle making, toy making and so on.
Contemporary and vintage wares
Feel free to ignore Outdated’s shop name – if style is forever, then there certainly is nothing out-dated about Outdated. The lifestyle boutique offers a wide range of contemporary and vintage wares. For instance you might find an old (and we mean, really old) Eastman Kodak Pony Premo No. 4 dating back to the 1900s, vintage trunks, industrial desk lamps, current fashion and lifestyle magazines, old-school posters, and even books such as The Tiny Book of Tiny Stories by Joseph Gordon-Levitt.
Exotic, stylish and versatile batik designs
Known for its stunning batik designs, Rubaq is a fashion boutique founded by Kush-Zaharah Sdn Bhd., whose name you may recognise from Zaharah’s batiks. Rubaq, however, offers a more diverse range of designs infused with more contemporary touches, yet crafted with the same techniques and flair as their more traditional wares. At the same time Rubaq retains its distinct charm that is exotic, stylish and versatile, marked by designer Madya Zaharah Ah Mad Osman’s love for bright colours and earthy tones.
Vintage lovers’ paradise
It’s difficult not to fall in love with a boutique like The Odd Loft, which simply oozes whimsy and charm. Where else would you find fashion apparel, jewellery and accessories from the 40s to 60s? From sparkling sequin shoes to Victorian-styled black lace tops with pearl-laced necklines, The Odd Loft is a vintage lovers dream come true. If you don’t have the time to visit their Publika store, feel free to drop by the online shop, which thankfully offers free local deliveries on top of worldwide shipping – though that will deprive you of the wonderful experience you might have at The Odd Loft.
Playful yet comfortable designs
Forget princess dresses and over-the-top clothes for kids. Whimsigirl understands the need for children to have comfortable and practical clothes that will allow them to play and move about with ease. The team at Whimsigirl creates simple silhouettes inspired by traditional South East Asian costumes and incorporates quirkiness into their designs through the use of rich colour and soft animal prints. Adorning the racks of the Whimsigirl boutique are cute separates and dresses for toddlers as well as playsuits for babies as young as 3 months old.
Sustainable teak furniture
Home Treasures is a furniture store that deals mainly in furniture made from sustainable teak. It boasts an array of solid wood cabinetry and tabletops, home accessories and a substantial collection of South East Asian influenced artworks. With an unyielding dedication towards quality and sustainability, Home Treasures uses grade-A kiln-dried teak wood from sustainable forests in Indonesia that are at least 25 years of age. They have also trademarked the use of a 5-step protective finish that enhances the natural beauty of the wood. Custom furniture can be made to order upon request; just send them a drawing with the specifications and watch as your design comes to life in their hands.
Elegant French and English Furnishings
Beautiful Pottery Château is the purveyor of exclusive French and English furnishings imported from all over Europe. Expect lots of character from their wares; think stately chairs, elegant antique cabinetry and tapestries with intricate detailing; the type of pieces that create a talking point amongst guests. Collectors of bone china tea sets will rejoice to hear that Beautiful Pottery Chateau carries authentic and discontinued vintage collectables such as Royal Albert, Ansley, Burleigh and many besides. While there, we also spotted some unique pieces like ornate glass chandeliers and tufted leather chesterfield sofas perfect for creating some luxe vintage flair.
Homegrown store for mothers
Mum Over the Moon is a lifestyle shop for new and expecting mothers, which is part of the homegrown baby store chain, Happikiddo. Find everything from clothing to toys, bags, decorations, gifts and even learning aids. Products at Mum Over the Moon are specially handpicked with the needs of mums in mind, so don’t be surprised if you find yourself leaving the store with more than you’d expect.
Stylish fashion concept store
Positioned as an affordable high fashion shoe brand, Shoes Shoes Shoes has established itself as somewhat of an institution among boutiques in Kuala Lumpur. Contrary to its name, shoes are not the only fashion item they have to offer, you can also find fashionable clothes and statement accessories at this trendy store. The collaboration between Shoes Shoes Shoes and local brand, Dude & the Duchess, has culminated in a full-fledged concept store in Publika which carries both menswear and womenswear to offer the experience of a one-stop shop. The bold and on-trend designs are perfect for stylish fashionistas who aren’t afraid to mix and match.
Student fashion label
“The world’s first fashion label created for students, by students”. That is what Limkokwing Fashion Club touts itself as. Launched by the Limkokwing University of Creative Technology, Limkwokwing Fashion Club gives promising fashion students a chance to hone their skills and gain experience running their own retail. With a younger demographic in mind, the designs at Limkokwing Fashion Club are energetic to say the least. They also exude a glamorous rock and roll vibe through the use of gold studs, sequins as well as bold and graphic prints. Drop by and show your support for these budding fashion designers who represent the future of local fashion in Malaysia.
Shopping at Publika, Kuala Lumpur
Tel: +60 3-6211 7877
Website: http://www.publika.com.my / https://www.facebook.com/PublikaGallery
Opening times: Open daily, 10am – 10pm