Creative entrepreneurs get experience of a lifetime at KL Fashion Week

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From L: Dk Hjh Norazyatul Merna Pg Tajuddin, Benjamin Sanai, Nasrul Hadi and Siti Nazmah Hj Abd Samad during their trip to KLFW recently. Image: courtesy of Nasrul Hadi.

Analisa Amu

Four Bruneian creative entrepreneurs had an experience of a lifetime to Kuala Lumpur Fashion Week (KLFW) recently, working alongside the renowned Malaysian fashion designer Jovian Mandagie.

The talents – Siti Nazmah Hj Abd Samad, Dk Hjh Norazyatul Merna Pg Tajuddin, Nasrul Hadi and Benjamin Sanai – were the winning team of Progresif Cellular’s inaugural fashion workshop held in collaboration with the designer at the telco’s headquarters last April.

During the trip, they had the opportunity to spend a day working with Jovian and his team in preparation for the hectic fashion week prior to Jovian’s showcase at the Pavillion Kuala Lumpur.

In an interview with The Bruneian, fashion entrepreneur and stylist Siti Nazmah said that she learned a lot from the Malaysian designer from the day they took part in the workshop to KLFW.

“He is generous with his knowledge… the details that he shared and his experience in the industry,” said the founder of the local brand KAVA.

“For the KLFW, we were invited to witness the show and learned about how Jovian’s team worked. I learned a lot of things like coming up with the theme of the collection, delegating, styling, photoshoot and preparing for the runway,” added Siti Nazmah.

A model catwalks during the KL Fashion Week recently. Image: Courtesy of Nasrul Hadi.
For makeup artist Merna, witnessing other skilled and experienced makeup artists applying cosmetics on the Malaysian supermodels wearing Jovian was an awe-inspiring experience.

“It was so busy behind the scene. We had the opportunity to witness how the team worked hours before the show.

“They are a team of professionals… I get to observe them (makeup artists) on their techniques and asked some questions on what they were using,” said the 23-year-old.

Another team member, wedding and portrait photographer Nasrul Hadi, said that although they did not get to work directly with Jovian’s team, he had his own share of fun experience throughout the show.

“I get to take pictures of Jovian’s collections when the models did their walks on the runway as well as Malaysian celebrities attending the event.

“It was superb and I get to also interact with some professional photographers who are experienced in the industry. It was inspiring and it made me want to venture into editorial photography, different than what I always do,” said Nasrul, who has been in shooting for six years.

A model photoshoot taken by photographer Nasrul Hadi during the fashion workshop. Image: Courtesy of Nasrul Hadi.

Talking about the previous workshop conducted by Progresif and working with each other, Siti Nazmah shared the knowledge gained through the experience.

“Working as a team is important and they are good at what they are doing. I know they have limited experience in fashion and I shared with them all the things that I know from last year’s KLFW, for example, like how an editorial shoot looks like,” she said.

“What I learned from the workshop, which was time-constraint, was that Jovian triggered our weaknesses and that it made us to improve ourselves. Things that we never do before we made it happen (at the workshop),” said Nasrul.

Sharing the same sentiment, Merna picked up her confidence to perform her task despite her lack of experience in doing editorial makeup.

“Throughout the four hours workshop / competition, we had everything given spontaneously.

“Anything that was not satisfactory, we were told to improvise until it gets better and through the pressure, I learned to handle it,” added Merna.

Thanking Progresif for the opportunities, the young entrepreneurs hoped the local fashion scene would flourish.

“I want the fashion industry to be encouraged in Brunei as it opens a lot of opportunities.

“For us entrepreneurs, it is good for the economy, creating business opportunities for all – make-up artist, photographers, designers etc.” said Siti Nazmah, adding that she is planning to collaborate with her team mates in the near future.

The Bruneian