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Malaysia’s Most Stylish Women 2014

 

TIFFANY CHOONG

On Tiffany: Sleeveless coat, Céline. Hat, Emporio Armani

TIFFANY CHOONG, 42, ARTIST

With her sylph-like figure – all yoga- and surf-toned – Tiffany is easily buttoned into this sleeveless Céline creation, a runway signature instantly recognised by the novel placement of stark white buttons. “There’s something quite vintage about its shape,” says the artist, who appreciates linear cuts over fussy evening styles. True enough, designer Phoebe Philo looked to a Thirties silhouette this season, where midi-lengths were key. This fray-edged coat was made for a woman Philo describes as “wild, tender, and strong”, much like Tiffany, whose bohemian style and insatiable wanderlust define her. An oversized bowler hat tops off the menswear vibe, both subtle and powerful.

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On Zaireen: Dress, Dior. Heels, Giuseppe Zanotti Design. On Filip: Robe; and trousers, both from Salvatore Ferragamo.

ZAIREEN ACOSTA, 39, MANAGING DIRETOR

Set within the Drawing Room at The Majestic Hotel Kuala Lumpur, the concept of the classic LBD is given a modern twist, rendered in feather-light quilted nylon. The Dior dress is sculpted to Zaireen’s curves with a nipped-in waist, flaring out into a pouf, in a neo-New Look. The quintessential femme fleur, Zaireen knows how to act the part – oh, she’s been modelling for 25 years – kicking off her Giuseppe Zanotti Design heels with a coquettish smile. “With year-end parties just around the corner, I’m leaning towards elegantly cut dresses from Roksanda Ilincic, Roland Mouret, and Dior in a monochrome colour palette,” she says. “Black and white, after all, never goes out of style.”

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On Elizabeth: Scarf (worn in hair), Prada. Bowerhaus earrings, her own. Shoes, Jimmy Choo.

ELIZABETH LEE, 27, JEWELLERY BRAND OWNER

Elizabeth is no longer the blushing bride, easily stepping into a bath full of bubbles with little more than her Bowerhaus baroque pearl earrings and a Prada scarf, inspired by Jane Russell in the 1954 film, The French Line. “So much for an eveningwear shoot,” she laughs. She’s in a happy mood, having just tied the knot with Benjamin Yong. The whirlwind event started with vows exchanged at the Sydney Opera House and ended with 1,001 guests at an epic carnival-style reception, complete with synchronised swimmers and fireworks. Her wedding trousseau was equally spectacular, featuring a magical Monique Lhuillier in layers of French tulle, and an exquisite Michael Ong cheongsam inspired by, what else, In The Mood For Love.

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On Shareen: Acne shirt; and AQ/AQ trousers, both her own. Bow tie, Topman. On Filip: Shirt, H&M. Trousers, Salvatore Ferragamo. Bow tie, Topman.

SHAREEN CHIO ALBOUY, 35, FULL-TIME MOTHER

Arriving on set in ripped black jeans and a chambray shirt tucked in just so, accessorised with an oversized gold Rolex, Shareen’s cool nonchalance set the mood for her shot. Amusing and gender-bending – punctuated with a pencilled-in moustache – she was game to play the part. “Style is all about having fun with fashion,” says Shareen. “Otherwise, what’s the point of it all?” Wearing her own Acne tuxedo shirt (tags still on as she had nowhere to wear it to, until now) a bow tie was all that was needed to complete this silent movie scene. “I love the way Parisian women dress with their particular brand of effortlessness,” she says about her favourite style. “I once got into a notoriously VVIP club in Paris on the basis of my Isabel Marant boots!”

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On Rani: Coat, Emporio Armani.

RANI BIRRING, 41, BEAUTY BRAND PRINCIPAL

Slipping into a long, grey Emporio Armani coat in place of a dress, Rani knows exactly how to pose in fashion’s new evening statement. “I grew up in England and have a collection of winter coats that are all well-structured and beautifully tailored,” reveals Rani, who makes the perfect face for her beauty brand Bollywood International. “Dior also does some amazing shapes in beautiful fabrics.” This season, it’s all about the cashmere coat and slip dress combination for modern evening glamour in a flash. “Well-cut clothes are de rigueur,” she says of her favourite ’50s-style dresses. “Simply accessorise with flawless skin and manicured nails.”

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On Raja Jesrina: Dress, Alia Bastamam. Heels, Gucci. On Filip: Robe; jacket; and trousers,
all from Salvatore Ferragamo. Shirt, H&M.

RAJA JESRINA AZLINA RAJA ARSHAD, 31, HEAD OF DIGITAL MARKETING 

Jesrina practically lives in evening dresses. As a society belle, young royal, and dare we say, living-and-breathing Barbie, she’s constantly photographed in various manifestations of silky, satiny, and embellished gowns. At this shoot, she brought out her sense of humour. Wrapping her signature, voluminous honey-blonde waves in a towel turban and trading in contacts for thick-framed glasses, Jesrina channels the It girl prepping for a ball. On her evening style wish list? A Lady Dior bag in soft rose, and glittering Anouk heels from Jimmy Choo.

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On Suraya: Coat, Céline.

SURAYA YEOP JR, 34, TV HOST

With her sweet, girl-next-door demeanour, it’s almost impossible to guess that Suraya is in her mid-30s and expecting her third child. “It was unplanned but a happy surprise! The way I dress has since changed – I’m constantly mixing and matching outfits, trying on new styles to accommodate my growing baby bump.” Naturally, mums-to-be are her current fashion inspirations, especially the Duchess of Cambridge and Blake Lively. “Baby bumps never looked so good! They make it look so chic and effortless. But if there’s one person I would do a wardrobe swap with, it’s blogger Nicole Warne of Gary Pepper Girl fame. I can see myself wearing every single piece she owns.”

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On Neelam: Hood; top; and skirt, all from Miu Miu. Coat (on chair), Miu Miu. On Filip: Jacket; shirt; scarf; and trousers, all from Prada. Shoes, Salvatore Ferragamo.

NEELAM HAYDEN, 40, FASHION BUYER

Adding bloggers Margaret Zhang and Leandra Medine to her best-dressed list for their fearless sense of fashion, Neelam gets in on the style game for the shoot, changing up her mostly monochromatic wardrobe of skinnies, white tees, and Converse All-Stars for a Sixties-styled Miu Miu ensemble. Sporting a detachable nylon hood, she happily plays the part of a modern-day Alice in a Madhatter-inspired shot. The colours of model Filip’s Prada suit (“Purple pants, don’t care,” laughs Neelam) amplify the quirk. “This preppy look with its clashing colours, bits of shine, and chevron print would definitely catch my eye if I was buying it for my site Killer Dolce!”

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On Atikah: Coat; bra; and skirt, all from Miu Miu. Top, Khoon Hooi.

ATIKAH KARIM, 21, MODEL

Sweeping through the hallways with an ankle-grazing coat over her shoulders, Atikah calls to mind a character from The Matrix. “Edgy looks with just a touch of androgyny are my thing,” says Atikah, who rocked up to the shoot in all-black, with a septum ring and snapback cap worn backwards. Her streetwise appearance belies a softspoken, girly personality, edged up here in a webbed Khoon Hooi top worn over a Miu Miu bra and quilted nylon skirt. It’s not far from her own style – currently influenced by English singer FKA Twigs. “Everything she does is original, creative, and just plain awesome,” says the model, who got her shot in under 10 minutes, as expected of a pro.

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On Elaine: Shirt, Dior Homme. Skirt, Michael Kors. On Filip: Jacket, Salvatore Ferragamo. Shirt, H&M. Bow tie, Topman. Trousers, Salvatore Ferragamo.

ELAINE DALY, 37, ACTRESS AND TV HOST

With her upcoming December wedding, it was only fitting that the bride should wear white. We made it a man’s shirt from Dior Homme – the current evening style statement – worn with the cutest Michael Kors skirt. Ever the performer, Elaine took to blade and foam, riffing on the famous August 1993 Vanity Fair cover of a swimsuit-wearing Cindy Crawford shaving up kd Lang, photographed by Herb Ritts. “Looks from Khoon Hooi, Sonny San, and Alia Bastamam will make up my wedding trousseau,” says Elaine, who cites a recent trip to London’s Victoria & Albert Museum to see Kate Moss and Jamie Hince’s wedding attire by John Galliano as her favourite fashion moment.

 

Styled by Kenneth Goh. Images: Chuan Looi. Model: Filip U/Wu Models. Location: Courtesy of The Majestic Hotel Kuala Lumpur.