Saturday February 23, 2013
You canít go wrong with a sarong, says fashion designer
By TASHNY SUKUMARAN
PETALING JAYA: You can't go wrong with a sarong, says fashion designer Datuk Tom Abang Saufi (Pix), who prizes the traditional garment for its versatile and practical qualities.
The 57-year-old even advocates wearing a sarong to formal events.
“I wore a sarong to my Datukship ceremony,” she said with a smile.
“It's very easy to make it formal as it is such a classic and beautiful garment.”
At her atelier, Tom plays with fabrics like crpe de Chine, silk, chiffon and cotton to achieve different folds and flows in a sarong.
“Some time ago, I created a salsarong, a flirty take on the classic sarong,” she said, pointing at a fluted garment which billowed and swirled at the hem.
“I did it to add some pizzazz and modernity to a really comfortable garment. I also created a short salsarong for the younger generation.”
For Tom, the sarong is part of our tradition.
“For many of us, our cradles were made from a sarong. You can use a sarong as a dressing room at the beach with someone holding each end. You can use it as a swimsuit. When you tie it correctly, it traps air and helps you float. That's how many of us in the kampung learned how to swim,” she said.
Other items she created were delicate crpe de Chine sarongs that she teams with kebaya-style blouses that can be worn for formal occasions, and silk shrugs that can be turned into skirts.
Tom expressed excitement over the Keretapi Sarong project organised by Random Alphabets, which calls for Malaysians and foreigners to don a sarong and board trains around KL at 4pm today.
“Young people must wear the sarong to make it hip again, and not dismiss it as something their granny would wear.”
Go to www.randomalphabets.com or the Facebook event page “Keretapi Sarong (No Pants Subway) 2013 Kuala Lumpur” for more information.