Bilang’s runway celebrates Brunei’s rich heritage
In a dazzling sequel to their triumphant fashion showcase in Bangkok last year, local rising fashion brand Bilang has once again taken the style spotlight by storm, unveiling their much-anticipated Spring Summer 2024 collection, aptly named Rendezvous on November 16.
The event was held at the illustrious Pos Bloc in Jakarta, Indonesia, organised by Spotlight and the Indonesian Fashion Chamber (IFC) in collaboration with the ASEAN Fashion Designers Showcase (AFDS) – an independent association of designers.
Bilang’s Spring Summer 2024 is a collection of 12 thoughtfully curated outfits that take its spectators on a journey to Brunei’s green exclave of Temburong District to celebrate the country’s rich culture as well as the lush Bornean rainforest gracing the landscape, hence the collection’s name.
According to the co-creative directors and co-designers Zulhelmi Kamaluddin and Fikri Afif, the inclusion of a range of colours symbolises the essence of the district, captured in the progression of the ensembles presented on the runway.
“We were afforded this extraordinary chance to unveil our latest collection at the esteemed Spotlight fashion event. Among the select few, we stood as one of the four designer labels hailing from ASEAN countries to receive an exclusive invitation.
“Adding to our honour, we were privileged to showcase our creations during the opening ceremony.”
The show commenced with a display of calm shades of blue, reminiscent of the tranquil Brunei Bay that must be traversed to arrive at the rainforest nestled along the Temburong District’s trail, showcased through the swamp green outfits, before transitioning to the rich browns emulating the natural texture and hue of tree barks.
Upon arriving in Temburong District, one is greeted with a breath-taking exhibition of its culture, adorned by the captivating palette of red, black and white – colours that are synonymous to the Lun Bawang community who are indigenous to the district.
“Rendezvous incorporates intricate embroideries of local designs found on Brunei’s 10 and 20 cent coins observed since 1967 as stated in the Brunei Darussalam Currency Board,” explained the co-creative directors.
“The captivating claw-shaped pattern represents an animal, while the vertical oblong design is said to symbolise a tree. These remarkable patterns bear a resemblance to the revered traditional Pua Kumbu motifs of the Iban community.”
Each garment exuded a sense of effortless sophistication that harmoniously fuses with nature, culture and contemporary elements reflected in the silhouettes and fabric choices, aligning seamlessly with the event’s theme entitled ‘Culture: Then and Now’.
In line with the event’s vision to celebrate different elements of culture including music, textile and film, Bilang is proud to have collaborated with Hanif Iqbal and ByeHai, two Bruneian musicians, to accompany their runway show. – Izah Azahari