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Article: The Star - Unique pieces for Raya

NATURE-inspired batik designs graced the floors of Bayou Batik as its Raya 2015 collection.

An inkling of the positive reception was seen in the guests who had their smartphones on video mode as models paraded the label’s latest line of baju kurung made of hand-painted batik.

Founder Hazlina Zainuddin said this collection would see five new baju kurung designs presented in differing variations – kaftan, layered, mini, peplum and the baju kurung riau.

“This season, our designs are focused on flora and fauna such as butterflies, flowers and ferns,” she said.

The fashion show also featured a hijab-styling session with emcee, actress and model Anis Al Idrus.

Anis demonstrated three simple styles for guests to try out.

Non-Muslim guests also sportingly took to the runway to show off their first attempts at hijab styling.

Prizes were given out to participants who came up with the most stylish folds.

“We wanted the event to be interactive as well, thus the hijab-styling session,” said Anis.

The feel of Bayou, explained Hazlina, was simple yet classy and elegant.

“We don’t make our designs too bold,” she said.

However, she has not discounted the possibility of launching an edgier line should the niche arise.

“It will all depend on our customers’ preference,” she said.

Bayou sets apart from other batik boutiques to cater to customer preferences, Hazlina said.

“We started off by observing what customers pick off our shelves. Over time, we learned what they liked from observing their characters.

“We also have made-to-order services. If customers cannot find what they like in our shop, we will tailor-make the item for them,” she said.

Bayou’s trump is in the exclusivity of its unique designs.

“Every piece is hand-drawn, therefore, individually unique,” she said.

Founded in 2010 with her sister Zarina, Bayou was inspired after a visit to a crafts centre where Hazlina, who readily confessed to being a plus-size, could not find anything she liked.

“That was when I thought, ‘Why don’t I go into this? Why don’t I give my input to cater to the plus-size market? There is a big opportunity there”.

The business started small. Her first customers were her mother, sister and mother-in-law.

Today, Bayou pieces are available online at Fashion Valet as well as at Butik Bajoo, a clothing store in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei.

“Our factory is based in Kelantan and we have a team of designers whom we give our input to. Our inspiration can come from looking at the flowers and insects while on our daily walks,” she said.

Hazlina added that there were not as many batik players in Kuala Lumpur compared to the east coast where the prices are lower but the material is mass produced.

“For now, our stand is on exclusivity – maximum four pieces a design,” she said.

 

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