Fashion photoshoots we love – Water & Oil (Steven Meisel)

Posted in Uncategorized on August 9, 2010 by sabahfashionblog

Steven Miesel’s recent photoshoot for Vogue Italia this month (August 2010) is disturbing yet inspiring and addresses the current issue of oil spills and pollution – who says fashion doesn’t have a social conscience?

The clothes do get a bit lost in the photos but we think it’s beautiful, haunting imagery nonetheless.

… a special shout out to American model Kristen McMenamy who does an amazing job lying in all that disgusting gunk – and making it believable. Urgh, the hours spent cleaning out that stuff from your hair…we feel your pain, girlfriend!

Overall, it’s a social commentary about bad things that are happening in our world today but presented in a fashion-y way. This ‘Water & Oil’ shoot strikes close to home; Sabah is also facing some similar potential pollution issues with the coal plant that the Malaysian government plans to build on the East Coast of our state. Let’s hope this nature-destroying project never becomes a reality.

Meanwhile…more fashion shots…

Steven Meisel is a genius, btw. Love his work.

Have a great week!

The Sabah Fashion Blog

Disclaimer: The Sabah Fashion blog does not own any of these photos. All images on this post are sourced from We just love the images and want to share them with our readers, if the image owners would like it removed from our blog, pls contact us at our email Thank you.


In the spotlight: MICHELE YONG (fashion photographer)

Posted in Uncategorized on July 19, 2010 by sabahfashionblog

For those who have seen her fashion shots, Michele Yong stands out as one of Malaysia’s rising stars in the world of fashion photography. What comes as a surprise, is that she hails from the laid-back seaside city of Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysian Borneo!

The quiet maturity and composure of this talented photographer makes it hard to believe that she is only in her early 20s, which makes her accomplishments seem all the more compelling. After having studied Business & Humanities in her college years, Yong fell into the world of photography as an assistant to award-winning wedding photographer Louis Pang before moving on to her true calling as a current fashion photographer.

Here’s some her latest work. Simply sublime.

With a keen artistic eye and finger on the pulse of the today’s cutting-edge style and fashion trends, Yong’s innate ability to translate her creative vision into digital fashion images have garnered her a small but avid cult following from fashion industry people both in Malaysia and on the international circuit. She describes her style as simple, sleek and sexy, and has shot editorials for Sabah-based Breeze Magazine as well as for Malaysia International Fashion Week (MIFA) 2010 in Kuala Lumpur.

Her passion for fashion photography has taken her to numerous exotic locations in Australia, Singapore, Thailand and Europe, where she has worked with some of the hottest new talents in the modeling industry.

Currently based in Paris, France, she is broadening her horizons and seeking her fortune as an international fashion photographer.

The Sabah Fashion Blog loves her work and wishes her all the best in the future projects. We can’t wait to see her next photoshoot!

Check out her latest portfolio and musings on her website

Au revoir!

Project Runway Malaysia: Felix Chin (Winner)

Posted in Fashion Related Events on June 16, 2010 by sabahfashionblog

If you’re into fashion, there is not a chance on earth that you haven’t heard of Project Runway, the Emmy Award-winning US-based reality show that pits talented newcomers in a competition to search for the next big US fashion designer. The success of the US version soon had other countries starting their own shows, most notably Project Runway Canada and Project Runway Australia.

Well, a few years back (2007), there was actually a Project Runway Malaysia (PRM) on 8TV, and guess what, the winner was Sabah-born designer Felix Chin!

Watch the Project Runway Malaysia finale show here:

To be fair, the style bunnies at The Sabah Fashion Blog agree with YouTube comments that Felix lucked out in the runway finale; sure, the first 10 of his 12-piece collection was interesting and showed his bold POV despite his inexplicable love of the movie ‘Transformers’ – which inspired his final collection. The 11th look was, eh..okay. But we felt his 12th/final blue dress on the runway was all sorts of bland and felt looked unfinished. You just know that something is wrong with a dress when the model can barely walk in it! Or…was it caused by the shoes? 

Of the three PRM finalists, we felt that Alexandrea Yeo had the strongest, most interesting and provocative concept. Maybe she wanted it to reflect her ideas of  ‘self-mutilation’ – e.g. cigarette burns, razor cuts, etc but the combination of idea, dark tone/theme and execution was perhaps a bit too morbid for the judges in context of this competition? Who knows? We liked it – okay, maybe not as a whole collection but definitely each piece by its own merits. We reckon that Felix’s collection told a more cohesive story, the final look notwithstanding.

Hence, Felix was given the win. 

As for finalist Hatta Dolmat…well, erm..we like his hair…lovely. 

That said, it was evident that he too, put a lot of heart and effort into his final collection. Kudos for that.

Only the finale episode of Project Runway Malaysia has been uploaded on YouTube. It would have been nice to see and review the other episodes and talents of all the Project Runway Malaysia contestants.

Sadly, there is no news on whether there will be another Project Runway Malaysia. Shame, really. It was one of the better reality shows on Malaysian TV.

-The Sabah Fashion Blog-



What’s a Linangkit?

Posted in Traditional Sabah textiles on April 21, 2010 by sabahfashionblog

Linangkit is a traditional form of embroidery made by several native tribes in Sabah, most notably the Dusun Lotuds of Tuaran. Back in the old days, cloth was woven by hand on back-strap looms, and were limited to certain dimensions. Thus, garments that required longer lengths (e.g. skirts, etc) would have to be extended using two pieces of cloth. The linangkit embroidery was an ingenious way of embellishing the attire while hiding the seams of the two joining pieces of fabric.

To the world of fashion, the embroidery technique of linangkit is similar to the European lace-knotting technique of ‘tatting’ or ‘frivolité’. The linangkit embroidery is done using a needle. A thin thread is looped into a lot of interconnecting identical knots and in doing so, produces a compact, strong fabric.

The practise of linangkit embroidery can only be found on the Northern and West Coast areas of Sabah;

• It is known as rinangkit by the Rungus people of Kudat, Northern Sabah

• It is called berangkit by the Bajaus of Kota Belud

• In the district of Papar, the Kadazans call it langkit.

However, it is believed that the origins of linangkit embroidery are from the Maranao and Magindanao people of the Philippines, who also refer to the needlecraft as langkit.

For the Dusun Lotuds of Tuaran, linangkit is used to embellish the left side of the ladies’ knee-length skirt called gonob and their traditional sashes known as kuwulu. For the men, the linangkit adorns the back area of the men’s long trousers, known as binandus – just below the waistband.

Orange and red are the main colours used in linangkit embroidery; other featured colours include purple, green, yellow, black and white. Traditionally, the wide continuous band of linangkit consists of a repetition of cross-like patterns (inspired by melon seeds) in the middle, followed by squares made up of opposing triangles done in contrasting colours. Colour arrangement within the pattern depends on the embroiderer’s sense of aesthetic, but rarely stray from the colours denoted earlier.

In this increasingly modern age, the traditional techniques of linangkit – like so many hand-made textile crafts worldwide – is facing the danger of extinction, as only the older generation of Sabahan native ladies are still interested in this ancestral artform.

What is the future of Sabah’s linangkit embroidery? Without the intervention from the Malaysian and international fashion community, the knowledge of this traditional folk craft faces a very high chance of being wiped out, lost to memory. Although the practice of wearing traditional attire still prevails in Sabah – thanks in part to the popularity of the state’s Unduk Ngadau (Harvest Queen) beauty pageant, more and more costume designers are opting for faster, cheaper ways to decorate their charge’s stage attire. These costumes are becoming more outlandish each year and the beauty of the linangkit embroidery becomes engulfed in a sea of cheap plastic beads and glitzy sequins.

Perhaps a way to make this precious textile craft from disappearing altogether is by helping it to integrate into today’s fashion. How can linangkit evolve? Could it be incorporated in parts as haute couture? Is there any designer out there willing to experiment with different motifs, shapes and forms of linangkit? Mixing linangkit with a different material? How about the use of colours? A radical colour change? Or amping up the traditional colour in a more provocative way? Let’s leave it to the fashion experts and designers out there to think this over. Any takers?

(Reference: An introduction to the traditional costumes of Sabah, Natural History Publications, 1997)

Richard Nelson Sokial reckons that a talented designer can take elements of Sabah’s traditional attires and strip them down to create functional modern clothes with a nuance of cultural identity.

Flyaway with Matthew Williamson

Posted in Fashion Brands on April 19, 2010 by sabahfashionblog

by Chris Ho

Sabahans have no reason to complain “I’ve nothing to wear” anymore as celebrated British fashion designer Matthew Williamson descended upon Kuala Lumpur recently. Well known for his scintillating bohemian and abstract designs, Williamson’s creations have been worn by the likes of Madonna, Kiera Knightley, Kate Hudson, Mischa Barton, Sienna Miller, just to name a few.

He was here to officially open Debenhams in Lot 10 as well as launching “Butterfly”, his line of clothing in collaboration with the British departmental store.

Nicknamed the Prince of Prints by fashion critics, the designer says the collection was inspired by a painting he saw during a trip to Rajasthan, India which had butterflies on it. “Butterfly” is a play on his love for colours and prints, mixing these elements with embellishments of stones, beads and sequins; adding to a light and yet vibrant exuberance to the collection – just like the insect.

The million dollar question: Will there be a men’s wear line? Williamson told yours truly, he is indeed starting the collection this summer! I don’t know about you all but girls, it’s time to fly out from your cocoon and experience a fashion metamorphosis!

“Butterfly” by Matthew Williamson is available in Debenhams, Lot 10, Kuala Lumpur. Price range from RM229 (embellished top), RM209 (colourful skirt) to RM119 (bikini top) & RM99 (bottom).

Chris Ho feels that aspiring Sabah models should not wear tiaras to casting calls.

Welcome to The Sabah Fashion Blog!

Posted in General on April 19, 2010 by sabahfashionblog
We started this blog as a resource for all things fashion in Sabah – be it in fashion design, fashion photography, make-up trends, current fashion-related events, products, grooming and other useful information for those who love fashion and the art of clothing.

The aim of this blog is to be inspirational, to be a platform for Malaysians in Sabah to express their fashion talents and creative ideas.

We want to highlight:

Local fashion and accessories designers
Aspiring designers, stylists and creative people who express themselves through fashion.

Up-and-coming Sabah-born models
Local men and women for both commercial and editorial shoots.

Local Talents in Fashion Photography
Budding amateurs and professional image-makers from Sabah showcasing their visual style and fashion point-of-view .

Hair & Make-up gurus
Portfolios of the beauty specialists who make models look spectacular.

Personal Style
Useful articles, tips and tricks on how to look your best, clothing maintenance
and shopping advice – of course!

Fashion News
What’s going on in Sabah and Malaysia in the world of fashion, spotlight on stylish Sabah-born personalities plus fashion commentaries from contributing guest writers.

Join us on this exciting new fashion blog! 


The Sabah Fashion Blog