Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home   |  Volume 7, Issue 11, Tuesday, March 13, 2012




Spring hues

By Sabrina F Ahmad


Spring brings with it a slew of events, a spectrum of emotions and a change of seasons. This of course means that it's time to modify the colour palette to suit the blossoming weather. The catwalks and the red carpets around the globe have spoken, and the palette for Spring 2012 is in.

The colour of the year is Tangerine, be it for men, women, or interior decor, and with that out of the way, let's jump into specifics.

Ladies first
Aside from the juicy fresh orange shade that's all the rage, reddish pinks, somewhere between fuschia and magenta are really warming up the racks. Then there's a warm sunny yellow that is really popular, as evidenced by quite a number of appearances on the red carpet at the Golden Globes earlier this year.

We also saw quite a wide range of blues, but if we're going strictly by the catwalk, two shades dominate: a deep maritime blue that Pantone is calling 'sodalite', and a softer blue-green, a shade or two lighter than turquoise that they're calling 'cockatoo'.

Spring isn't Spring without its pastels, and this year is no different. Two shades in particular spring to mind, pale chartreuse shades (often referred to as the 'paste' colour in these parts), and a pinker shade of lilac. Two neutral shades stand above the rest: a deep brown-grey granite shade, and an earthy starfish brown.

Dudes' duds
The Spring 2012 catwalks showed colour-blocking as a hot new trend for menswear this year. Simply put, this means the fashionable man can throw on two separates in bright, solid colours, and complement with one neutral accessory.

This year, men share a few colours with women, including tangerine, sodalite blue, sunny yellow, and starfish brown. As the weather warms up and brings in a beachy feel, Hawaiian ocean blue becomes a popular colour for casuals.

We're also seeing a lot of letter jackets everywhere, so collegiate blue is another hot colour. With Pohela Falgun behind us and Pohela Boishakh ahead, make grass green your go-to colour for fatuas. Where women are wearing their pinks, men go for a more full-bodied wine red. And finally, the two dominating neutral shades are dark khaki and stormcloud grey.

On your face
Soft pastel pinks make for juicy lips during the day, paired off with a sporty, sun-kissed blush. There are occasional bursts of bright eye shadow, such as turquoise, lime green, or the all-popular tangerine, but these are best paired with nude lip colours.

Last year's summer and winter lip trends combine to bring you the red-orange shade that's perfect for a night-time party pout.

Winged eye-liner and thick, natural looking brows pay homage to classical Hollywood style. Get those peepers party-ready with a bold slash of glitter, or wow with seductive ultra-smoky eyes, known amongst celebs as 'panda eyes'.

On your walls
You're not the only one getting a makeover this season. If you're planning to give your home a fresh new look, now's the time to go for it. Tangerine is as popular for decor as it is for fashion, and is the hottest colour for accents. If it's too bright for your walls, you can opt for a warm, mustard yellow or a subtle orange. If you're looking for neutral shades for your living room or corridors, instead of reaching for the same old cream or beige, opt for something like stone grey or concrete. And instead of going for the traditional white door or window trim, pick a colour that is a shade or two darker than the base colour you picked for your walls.

Kitchens are also rejecting cream and ecru for more metal-inspired shades like silver grey or pewter. This particularly works if you have steel fridges, hoods and other appliances.

If there's one room that deserves a break from all the funky colourology, that's your bathroom. The best colour for this one is still white, because it bounces off mirrors and affects how you see your skin tone.

Colours affect your mood, and this season, it's all about keeping you feeling uplifted and cheery. Here's wishing you a colourful Spring.

By Sabrina Fatma Ahmad
Photo courtesy: Dressy Dale


Dressing your size

Just because you have to do something does not mean that doing it without any finesse is okay. Like everything else, dressing up requires attention and skill. One kind of clothing will never complement every person. Everybody has a different body shape and accordingly the clothes that suit them best differ.

Most people do not realise that there are different kinds of cuts and materials that are appropriate for their body shapes. This leads a lot of them to wear either clothes that are too tight or clothes that are too loose.

People who are heavy often opt for extremely loose outfits that make them look yet heavier while some choose to wear clothes that are rather body hugging. Also a lot of people are often confused about what to wear leading them to own outfits that do not exactly suit them.

Not that there are any steadfast rules about dressing, there are a few tricks that can help make you look better. Here are a few tips that may come in handy in choosing a wardrobe collection that complements your shape.

Pear shaped bodies are characterised by fuller hips, a wide pelvis and small chest and shoulders. As the weight of the body is distributed downwards the trick is to focus on the upper body by opting for tops with large patterns and brighter colours.

Choose necklaces that are not too long so as to retain the focus on the upper half of the torso. Wear tops with V-cut necklines; this also applies for women who only wear kameez. Dark coloured, straight cut pants and skirts complement such body shapes.

On the contrary if you have broad shoulders and are large around the chest with small hips then pick tops that are small around the top and wider below the waist. Baby doll tops and anarkali kameez could be a great option for you. Try to avoid tight pants. Wear wide pants and skirts.

As the name suggests, apple shaped bodies are large around the middle. Short, waist length tops are a big no as this will further draw attention to the bulk in your tummy. Just because you are a little heavy does not mean you will have to wear clothes that fall on your structure like tents.

Straight cut tops are the way to go for you. Tight pants are completely out as they will have the same effect as short tops. Wear straight cut pants and skirts. Avoid big belts or anything that emphasises the waist. Vertical lines may help you look slimmer.

This is perhaps the most popular shape among women; however, dressing it is difficult. Wear fitting tops that compliment your curves. Again wear waist belts or cuts that accentuate your waist. Wear medium or short length necklaces. Avoid extremely loose tops. Straight shapes are not really going to flatter you either. Wrap-around dresses, skirts and tops are great for this body shape.

Yardstick/ Cornet
If you have a figure similar to the ones that most international models have then you can wear just about anything but, try not to wear tops that are skin tight. Try to avoid plain clothes; wear patterned clothes be it stripes, floral prints or polkas. Try to avoid wearing very high heels because it is only going to make you seem yet longer and lankier.

Brick women basically have a masculine structure with broad shoulders and back. The only feminine portion of their body is the bust and that is what should be accentuated with wrap and draping tops and dresses.

In case of tops, play with patterns near the bust such as stripes with the rest of the top having a single colour. Similarly if you have a plain colour in the waist area it will make the waist look narrower. Flowing materials will help in emphasising the curves. Wide pants are what should be part of your wardrobe. Avoid wearing jeans because that will give you a more masculine touch.

Bowling pin/ Skittle
Women belonging to this category have small torsos and big thighs. What you need to do is emphasise your upper body. As you have to take attention off of your thighs wear trousers that do not stick to your legs and the same goes for skirts; skirts should have folds so that they make the thighs look smaller. Wear belts to emphasise your waist and bust. As skittles are generally short, add a pair of high heels to complete the look.

Just because you belong to a particular body type does not mean that you should always wear clothes that are only meant for that specific figure. If you come across an outfit that you really like, buy it as long as you think you can pull it off even if it does not necessarily suit your shape. Because, carrying your clothes off well is as much a part of fashion as wearing the right clothes is.

By Karishma Ameen


Kuala Terengganu

Kuala Terengganu is located in the north eastern region of Malaysia. It is the largest city and capital of Terengganu state, Malaysia and it is surrounded on three sides by the South China Sea. The city's population is 286,317 where no less than three different ethnicities of people live with each other in peaceful alliance.

I have been meaning to visit Kuala Terengganu for its Islamic architectural work for more than a year now. When I arrived one early January morning and the plane landed at the airport, I saw magnificent rainforests, hills in the backdrop and the beautiful blue-green perimeters of the South China Sea.

The city is lined by wide roads with moderate traffic. Most people use private cars as modes of transport although there are public buses and taxis available as well.

The city centre is marked by a beautiful sculpture. The black stone relic with Arabic calligraphy is a symbol of the Muslim people. In 1887, this stone was found on the banks of Tarsat River at Kuala Brang, Terengganu, which is a state on the east coast of the Malay Peninsula. The inscriptions on the stone, which refer to a Malay kingdom ruled by Islamic Law, were dated 4 Rejab 702 Hijrah (22 February 1303). This historical evidence bears testament to the fact that Islam first came to Malaysia, particularly the Malay Peninsula in the early 14th century.

With the majority of Malaysia's population being Muslim, mosques are very common in both rural and urban areas of the country and the varying architectural styles of mosques display different design influences.

The Palace of Sultan is one of the city's most visited landmarks that interlaces Islamic architecture with colonial influences. The old post office and government buildings are also structurally colonial in design. The oldest shopping mall Pasar Payang is also a tourist hot spot with its impressive floral arch work. This huge shopping mall is also very popular with the locals.

Aside places of historical and architectural interest, we also went to the beach. The South China Sea is very rough which is why swimming is prohibited. But the beautiful shore attracts many visitors everyday and numerous sea food shops have been set up along the beach to cater to them. Colourful Malaysian kites are very famous here. On the way to the beach we also visited the floating mosque that is surrounded by water on three sides. The long white minaret at dusk makes for a serene and spectacular view.

It is important to highlight that there are two types of architectural styles under the vernacular mosques category, namely the traditional and regional. Traditional mosques usually reflect the strong influences of Malay houses, way of life and environment. Conversely, vernacular mosques with regional influences can be distinguished by their two or three-tiered roofs with decorative roof ridges and clay tiles, octagonal minarets and buildings which are square in shape. Mosques of regional influence in Malaysia are similar tothe old mosques built in many parts of Indonesia. This is partly because some of the Malays in Malaysia are the descendants of various ethnic groups from Indonesia. For example, the Malays of Javanese descent came from the Island of Java, the Malays of Banjar descent originated from Kalimantan on the Island of Borneo; whilst the Malays of Bugisdescents were from the Island of Sulawesi. Examples of the vernacular mosques with traditional influences are KampungLaut Mosque, NilamPuri, Kelantan (1730's), Langgar Mosque, Kota Bharu, Kelantan (1871), Paloh Mosque, Ipoh, Perak (1912) and Kampung Raja Mosque, Seremban, Negeri Sembilan (1924). Examples of the vernacular mosques with regional influences are Tengkera Mosque, Malacca (1728).

Another site of religious significance is the Masjid Kristalin Pulau Wan Man. The mosque is located at Islamic Heritage Park on the island of Wan Man. This steel and glass mosque was constructed between 2006 and 2008 and officially opened on 8 February 2008. The mosque is equipped with IT facilities and WiFi coverage. Adding to the mosque's appeal is the fact that it is situated beside the Terengganu River.

Terengganu has long been an important trade stopover on routes through the South China Sea and early records by Chinese merchants indicate that the port was in operation as early as the 6th century. However, detailed historical records did not exist until the 1300s, when Terengganu was incorporated as an Islamic state.

A family of Chinese traders who were trading between China and the Malay Peninsula established Kuala Terengganu as early as the 15th century. Soon after it was founded, the town grew into an important trading post between the two countries. However, after the Malacca Empire conquered the town, its influence as a leading port in the Southeast Asian region diminished as most of the traders preferred to stop at Melaka, which was the centre of trade between China, India and Southeast Asia.

The oldest street was called Kampung China (Chinatown), a settlement where buildings are hundreds of years old. After these very old buildings were threatened with demolition by the city the district was listed in the 1998 World Monuments Watch by the World Monuments Fund (WMF).

Many travellers find the relatively rural and tranquil atmosphere in the state conducive to a relaxing holiday. Terengganu has recently been known internationally as the host of Monsoon, which was first held in 2005 and then became an annual national sporting event. The event brought millions of ringgits of investment into the state from the private sectors and the Malaysian government. Tourists flocked to Kuala Terengganu and Duyong to witness this event, held during the monsoon season, which had previously been a low season for tourism in Terengganu.

Dubbed 'The Formula One of Sailing', this professional sailing series was established in 2000 to bring the world's best match-race regattas together under one banner. The World Match Racing Tour comprises of nine events in nine specially selected locations around the world and features 'match racing' where two identical (supplied) racing yachts go head-to-head in a series of spectacular dogfights on the water. The event attracts the world's best sailors including world champions and Olympic sailors. As the leading professional sailing series in the world, the tour events are must-attend regattas on the match-race circuit.

Because Terengganu has not attracted many Indian and Chinese immigrants, Malay cultural influences still dominate. Traditional pursuits such as kite-flying contests, top-spinning contests, and traditional arts and crafts, such as batik and song kit are still widely popular. Kuala Terengganu is also famous for its keropoklekor Losong and other traditional delicacies.

Interior Consultant

E-mail: journeyman.interiors@gmail.com
Photo Credit: Journeyman archive.


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