Tuesday, January 22, 2013

ong shunmugam

I am so obsessed with Ong Shunmugam!

Back in Bandung, I used buy various batik and oriental-print satin clothes and get my tailor to make tube dresses or skirts. He used to think I was a nut case! I had a Chinese satin cloth modeled alá Carrie Bradshaw's LBD (which had a uni strap that flipped and hung over her shoulder) which raised everyone's eyebrows at a medical student function. I've always understood myself to be a fashion oddball. Looking back perhaps I wasn't that much of a weirdo.. it was just that people needed more time to understand my concept of fashion. Hence when I laid my eyes on Ong Shunmugam's collections, my heart skipped a beat. I wanted to write Priscilla Shunmugam a love letter! I wanted to tell her I get her, I get it all and if I had more leisure money, I would most definitely own every piece in Guardianship and Prints Charming! As for now I'll just save up for a Tsu-Yen.

Ong Shunmugam aims to revive the glory of Asian style and denounce disposable fashion. It's about time someone started to make out cultural uniforms Ready-To-Wear rather than function formals. Gimme Tsu-Yen! Gimme Kangxi! Gimme Kamala! Gimme Sanmon!

Below are my favourites with excerpts from Ong Shunmugam on their pieces:

Hang Jebat
 "Whether or not these great Malay warriors really lived, women in the days Sultan Mansur Shah were used as symbol of a man’s prestige. Quite simply, the more women he had, the more powerful he was thought to be. So when Hang Tuah was rumoured to have bedded one of the Sultan’s favourite concubines, the Sultan ordered that Hang Tuah be executed; it was the royal loss of face that triggered the series of events that lead to Hang Jebat’s tragic and iconic death."

"Throughout his reign Emperor Kangxi became known for his many earnest attempts at reform. Soon after ascending to the throne, he tackled the practice of foot-binding among Han women - a lingering reminder of the distance between the ruler and ruled. In 1664, he decreed that all girls born after the year he began rule could not begin binding. The offender's father would be punished by flogging and exile, and local officials would also be held accountable. Custom, however, was too strong for the royal command and this attempt to create a new female culture fell onto deaf ears. Three or four years later, upon urging from the Ministry of Rites, Kangxi retracted the ban."

Prince Andrea
"A recent independent survey amongst young women indicate heavy sighs of missed opportunity upon hearing news that yet another young prince is engaged to be married."

Su Lin

Lai Hing (jacket) + Kamala (skirt)

Sanmon and Priscilla Shunmugam in Paris

Tsu-Yen version 1.0

And now for the piéce de résistance!

P.S. all images courtesy of Ong Shanmugam

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