BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
HOW often does one get an invitation to the Buckingham Palace? Never, except for our local fashion designer Farhanna Pura, who felt like it was a dream came true.
Carrying her brand Na Forrer, Farhanna was recently invited to represent Brunei to showcase her design at the first Commonwealth Fashion Exchange initiative that took place at the magnificent Buckingham Palace in London.
What made the event more prestigious other than the fact it was held during London Fashion Week, was the presence of the Duchess of Cambridge and Countess of Wessex, which was another check on the bucket list Farhanna.
“Till today, I am still excited that I made my way to Buckingham Palace. I met a lot of influential people from the fashion industry. It was just mind blowing. I couldn’t love fashion more!,” said Farhanna.
For the event, she chose to collaborate with a Singaporean artisan by the name of Lully Selb to design an evening dress with Baju Kebaya concept as the traditional aesthetic inspired by the evolution of the ‘Modern Malay Women’
The design accentuated the boxy high shoulder representing women empowerment and modernity. She also incorporated the Malay songket – a wrapped cinched corset normally worn by brides in the ‘berbedak’ marriage ceremony.
The fabric used in the design was inspired by Batik motifs prints, Neo florals and cracking wax with the illustration of the Brunei Panji-Panji hand painted by Selb exhibiting the collaboration between Brunei and Singapore.
Although Farhanna did not get to interact with the Duchess of Cambridge, she did share her story regarding her piece to some key individuals in the fashion industry.
“I got to talk to Nadja Swarovski, Livia Firth who is the founder of Eco Age, Fashion scout London team, Ulric Jerome CEO of luxury online retailer and celebrity Colin Firth as well as a lot of new creative friends. And that to me was mission accomplished,” said the founder of Na Forrer.
Farhanna joined some other fashion designers, artisans and creatives across all 52 Commonwealth countries in the fashion exchange.
Na Forrer is known for its exquisite and exclusive made-to-wear designs often a choice for wedding dress and Raya outfits among local and international clients alike.