Cover Lúbna Raya 2022 Collection

How our favourite local fashion labels are leading the way in creating clothes that speak to the modern woman while preserving heritage and tradition

Over the last decade, we've seen the modestwear industry flourish in Malaysia and Southeast Asia. It has been largely attributed to the growing digital economy and social media but a factor that is often overlooked is the talent of local designers and their innovations in the field, especially when it comes to formalwear and traditional garments. 

They have skilfully updated the blueprint of modestwear and elevated the entire scene while staying true to the region's heritage and traditions. This phenomenon is most prominent during the festive season.

Tatler reaches out to Lubna and Raeesa, two Malaysian fashion brands beloved for their creative and quirky designs, on reinterpreting modestwear for the modern woman. 

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"Lúbna has always been a fun, experimental brand," shares Shasha Ahmad, head of modestwear at the Malaysian fashion label. "Our brand aesthetic has always been playful and youthful. It can be a challenge to maintain tradition but it is essential, especially during Raya. We always try to find ways to add our modern take on the traditional silhouette with trendy prints and quirky details." 

However, what stood out to us about its festive collection extends far beyond bright and beautiful colours. Its designs are created with comfort and movement in mind without sacrificing shape using clever techniques such as ruched details, side drapes cinched at the waists and flared hems. And it is committed to ensuring these designs cater to women of all sizes, a bold and refreshing move as other fashion brands around the world come under fire for offering watered down versions of their garments, if at all, to its plus size clientele. 

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Lúbna's Zaloraya fashion show perfectly captured its fun and forward-thinking approach to modest fashion, even going as far as sending some of their models down the runway in rollerskates and wave boards in a delightful showcase of its stylish yet comfortable garments. 

On the future of modestwear in Asia, Sasha notes the great potential for growth: "Modest fashion space has always taken the safe route. I hope to see more bold movement in their designs so people can express themselves and show off their personality."

See also: Where to Get the Best Accessories to Complete Your Raya 2022 Outfits

PBR by Raeesa

This year marks Erny Yusmiarty Erizal's 10th year in the industry since launching Raeesa, a ready-to-wear label with a focus on batik. "Modest fashion is doing really well and I can only see it getting better," she says. "After a decade in the space, I can tell that our local market continues to gravitate toward traditional clothing, especially during Raya, no matter how modern the world gets. That’s the beauty of our traditions, it will never go out of style."

"For Raessa, the essential part of any process is definitely the art of batik itself," she shares. "With so many new inspirations, it's easy to get derailed from the design direction. It is important for me to not lose that traditional identity by mixing the two elements together too much. For example, I always try to accentuate traditional elements on the patterns on more modern silhouettes."

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That's the beauty of our traditions; they never go out of style
Erny Yusmiarty Erizal

At the same time, she is not afraid to push boundaries. "I take our art heritage seriously. I carry this tradition with my heart and I'm not afraid of breaking traditions because I am fully aware of what I'm doing. Every small detail matters to me.

"I hope more designers will continue to conserve our heritage and instil pride in future generations," she concludes. 


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