Monday, January 30

S’wakian fashion designer Edric Ong to debut at London Fashion Week


Ong will be making his debut with a presentation of a 14-piece collection at London Fashion Week on Sept 16. – Screengrab via Facebook/Edric Ong

KUCHING (Sept 9): Multi-award winning designer Edric Ong will be making his debut at the prestigious London Fashion Week (LFW) this Malaysia Day, Sept 16.

The Sarawakian fashion designer will be presenting a 14-piece collection for Fashion London’s LFW Spring Summer 2023 season at The Royal Horseguards Hotel in Whitehall.

“This is the first time I am showing at LFW and I’m very proud to be an invited designer by the organisers. My sponsor is The Style Showcase, Chicago under Wajahat Mirzaa,” he told The Borneo Post.

Ong, who is internationally renowned for his work with Iban weavers in Sarawak, said this showcase will also mark the first time that Iban textiles are presented as a fashion textile in London.

“In the past, I have showcased our Iban textiles at curated exhibitions at the Prince of Wales Gallery and also at the Brunei Gallery, SOAS London.

“But to present them at a prestigious fashion event in London is an excellent platform for promoting our Iban textiles, and also the craft artists who have made my fashion accessories such as the beaded necklaces and the rattan ‘topi tunjang’ hats,” he said, thanking the women weavers of Rumah Garie longhouse, Sungai Kain in Ulu Kapit as well as fellow artists Juliana Embrose and Abot Gudang for their awesome accessories.

Ong, whose show is by invitation only for VIP guests and members of the media, shared that Paris Lai, a Sarawakian from Kuching, will serve as his muse during the fashion show.

Ong’s muse Paris Lai, seen in one of his creations, will be walking the runway during his showcase at London Fashion Week on Sept 16. – Photo courtesy of Edric Ong

“She has been modelling for me since she was 16 years old and right now she is studying at a university in London,” he added.

He looked forward to showcasing his pieces next week and hoped to present more of his collection at next year’s fashion week in New York and London.

The Edric Ong Spring Summer 2023 Collection features the unique textile techniques of Iban women weavers namely ‘pua kumbu’, ‘pua sungkit’, ‘pua pilih’ and ‘pua karap’ combined with hand spun hand-woven silks and knitted hemp.

Some are rarely seen nowadays and all are one-of-a-kind pieces. The unique rattan ‘topi tunjang’ hats and the hand-made accessories are also a signature style of Ong’s.

A handwoven Iban ‘pua sungkit selampai’ sash with a Michael Lim hornbill recycled metal brooch worn with Ong’s EO appliqué design dress. – Photo courtesy of Edric Ong

Ong’s unique fashion of natural dye textiles, fashion and crafts have won him the Unesco-Asean Crafts Seals of Excellence Japanese ‘G’ Mark Award by the Japanese Industrial Design Promotion Organisation.

He was also named Malaysian Designer of the Year 2009 at the Mercedes-Benz/Stylo Fashion Awards in Kuala Lumpur and Global Influencer in 2016.